We may feel that the more we exercise, the better our results will be. But the truth is actually the complete opposite. Our bodies need time to recover after the damage we have inflicted on them during a workout – and if we just keep pushing and pushing them, they will not perform as well, and the results we are looking to achieve will also be delayed.
If you’re wondering whether you might be
guilty of overtraining (either doing too much or too often), let’s look at some
of the signs, and most importantly, how you can prevent it.
Feeling a bit tired sometimes is perfectly normal – we all experience it. However, if you lack energy on most days, if you are sluggish and fatigued all the time, and if you are also doing a lot of exercise, chances are you are doing too much.
Pain is often the first sign of overtraining – and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be in pain in order to progress. If you are often going through serious DOMS, make sure you cut down on the exercise and prioritize rest.
While exercise is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your sleep, overtraining can keep you up at night, as your body struggles to repair itself.
In order to maximize your recovery time, make sure you are sleeping on the best soft mattress available, and that you are getting enough sleep every night.
Changes in your appetite
Feeling like you can’t eat anything or like you need to eat a lot more than usual is another sign of overtraining, and one that can be very harmful. If you stop consuming the calories you need, your body will suffer even more, because you’ll be spending a lot more than you are fueling your body with. If you start overeating, your results will suffer and you will start putting on weight.
A weakened immune system
Getting ill more often than you used to might mean your immune system is not up to the task of keeping illnesses like the common cold at bay. That can be the result of taxing your body so much that it has no resources left to give to your immunity.
This can open the door to a whole host of other issues, and injuries can become more common as you become less able to recover and focus.
If you are suddenly going through a roller coaster of moods, it may mean your hormones are out of whack, and that your cortisol levels are up.Cortisol is a stress hormone, responsible for a lot of good stuff in our bodies, but it also causes irritability and a generally darker mood.
Hot to prevent overtraining
If you have now realized you’ve been going overboard, the first thing you should do is stop your activities. Give your body seven days of rest, and only do some light cardio during that week. You might need to rest longer if you are in a really bad state, but a week should be enough in most cases.
To prevent the same thing from happening again, make sure you add rest day to your schedule. Rest days are not a sign of weakness, nor are they slacking off. They are actually the time when your muscles grow and when you become stronger.
Don’t work out too hard, and don’t push your body over its limits every time. And if you do, make sure you’ve also signed up for some proper recovery afterwards.
Don’t train when you are injured or in pain, as it will make things even worse.
Focus on the quality of your workout and not its quantity. You don’t have to spend three hours in the gym – if you train smarter, you can achieve the same results in 45 minutes.
Overtraining is doing quite the opposite
to your body of what you want to achieve – instead of making it stronger or
fitter, it’s weakening it and causing all sorts of damage. Only if you fuel
your body with the proper nutrients and provide it with ample quality rest time
can it do what you’re aiming for: strengthen and improve.