Are You Overtraining?

WorkoutSpring is in the air, which means it’s time to get outside and start training for the race or event you want to participate in this summer, or  start a new exercise routine to get outside and enjoy the beautiful days. The painful truth  is that you can have too much of a good thing, and too much training can lead to burnout, injury, and can actually result in reduced performance.  So, what should you watch for to know if you are overtraining?  Continue reading to find out.

Symptoms of Overtraining

A big indicator of overtraining is that a workout you’ve done a million times suddenly becomes very difficult to do. Feeling worn-out, exhausted and lacking verve, instead of feeling energized after a workout is another big sign. You can also be overdoing it if you’re suffering from body aches, your performance suddenly declines, you find you can’t finish a workout once you start, you develop headaches or insomnia and find you lack motivation. All of these point to overtraining.

You may also experience getting sick often and  be unable to shake the illness in a reasonable amount of time. You may feel depressed or “blue”, you either can’t sleep or you sleep too much, your legs feel heavy during a workout or you feel your emotional fuse getting shorter and shorter. If you experience these symptoms, it’s time to give it a rest.

What You Can Do

So, if you find that you’ve been overtraining there are simple steps you can take to fix it.  First and foremost, give your body time to recover  This is a sliding scale, depending on how hard you’re been overdoing it, but three to five days is a good amount of time to get your body and your mind back on track and resume activities.

Make sure during this rest period that you’re eating the best you can, with plenty of water, fruits and veggies, as well as making sure you get plenty of sleep.  This will help to recharge your batteries so when you resume your workouts you will be at your best.  When you go back to your routine, give yourself permission to start out gently.  The level of intensity can be the same if you’re feeling it, but you may want to do exercise for less time and give yourself more rest in between workouts.  Instead of working out 5 days a week, shoot for 3.  Then you can slowly build back up.

What You Can Do To Avoid Overtraining

Basically, listen to your body.  When you have days you feel sluggish or just aren’t in the “zone”, then rest.  Make sure you also give yourself at least 2 rest days a week. You may also want to switch up your exercise routine. The most important thing to remember is that you have to take care of yourself.  Eat right, sleep well, and give yourself flexibility within your training program.  It’s ok to push yourself, but know your limits and operate within them.  This will keep you healthy, physically and mentally.


Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy ofErik Nomm

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.