Table of Contents
Exercise is good for you. More exercise is better. Trying new workouts now and then is advisable and even better. If you have been hitting the gym for some time, go for a yoga class or a swimming session. Instead of hour-long cardio sessions, go for a Tabata workout or a HIIT session once a week. Attend all these workout routines and more with FITPASS.
Too much exercise, however, is counterproductive. “More you work out, the more benefits of exercise you will achieve” is valid only up to a certain point after which you will just harm yourself. Exercising too much without taking enough recovery time and underfeeding lead to the point at which exercise turns against you. This point is known as overtraining syndrome and decreases fitness and possible injuries. Being able to realize that you’re overtraining before you injure yourself is essential.
Your mood, heart rate, and body weight in the morning can let you know if you’re overtraining. We all feel occasional changes in our heart rate once every day or two. However, if you notice these changes up to 5 days in a row, it might mean that your heart rate is not normal. That’s why there are those heart rate monitors in some of the equipment at the gym. When you train too hard, the metabolic rate increases, which causes an ‘altered resting heart rate’. If your resting heart rate is higher or lower than usual, see a doctor.
One of the worst feelings is not being able to sleep when you’re too tired. When you can’t sleep even after working out, it is due to the hormonal system or nervous system overload. So, train only as much that allows you to get the 10 PM to 2 AM sleep when most of the physical restoration happens. The body grows while you rest, not while training. Instead of training harder than you need to, eat healthy food and take breaks from working out now and then. Be wary of restless or disrupted sleep and not only just insomnia.
Constant joint pain and other aches are logical when your muscles and joints are overused. If the pain in your body hasn’t subsided for over 2 weeks, you should consider seeing a doctor for an injury. You might be overtraining if old injuries keep coming back. Overtraining doesn’t allow the body parts to recuperate between workouts. Doing this too often can also lead to serious injuries. Include rest periods and alternate between training intensities in your routine to let your body heal itself. Go for low-intensity workouts and reduce the weights you lift.
Working out is good for mental health – it reduces depression and anxiety. But if you exercise too much, you might fall prey to depression. If you see exercise as a space-filler or a conquest, you’re probably not thinking straight. If you always keep thinking about training more cause you want to look better, you may have ‘body image issues’. Set realistic goals for short periods only.
It is inevitable to feel fatigued or have heavy legs for a few days when you start working out. It’s also normal when you increase the intensity of your workout. However, fatigue tends to accumulate if you haven’t been resting enough and have been overtraining. Moreover, when you don’t rest enough, there’s low availability of energy in your body. It uses the stored up carbs, protein, and fat when you train too much and don’t consume enough. There will be days when you don’t want to go for a workout and that’s fine. But if this feeling persists, you may have low motivation and energy levels.
If you fall sick quite often, your body is telling you that your immune system is weak and that might be due to overtraining. Overtraining shifts the body into a ‘continual catabolic state’, which increases the chances of falling ill due to reduced immunity. Reduce training at once and increase your rest periods. Make sure you’re getting all the needed nutrients like Vitamin A and E as well as glutamine. If you’re an athlete, 55% of your intake should be carbs.
If you find it hard to quench your thirst no matter how much you drink, you might be spending too much time at the gym. You’re overtraining if you witness an unquenchable thirst. The body goes into a “catabolic state” in which it starts to consume its own muscle for protein and therefore causes dehydration. The solution is to drink enough water and get enough sleep each night.
You do not only need motivation but focus and concentration as well to perform a successful workout. Expert trainers suggest that taking long gaps between sets for whatever reasons is counterproductive. The body doesn’t respond well to inconsistency when you’re trying to lose fat and build muscle. As a result, you can end up overtraining, which will further decrease your focus due to fatigue.
You workout daily and put in everything you have and yet your body doesn’t respond. Well, it’s possible that you are overtraining in such a case. The body works backward when you exercise too much because the muscle fibers are already torn and you’re tearing them further. If you don’t stop here you’ll end up burning your muscles. Give your muscles enough time to rest and recover before you go out for another workout.
Like many others, you may feel that you have accomplished something by completing an intense workout. And similarly, you can end up thinking that ‘more is always better’. This might lead you to exercise too much and can even witness low self-esteem. Overtraining affects an athlete’s nervous system and therefore, happiness, sleep cycle, and mood. You can end up working out too hard if you don’t sleep well or don’t eat & drink well or are stressed.
There is a chance that you might be witnessing these symptoms due to other reasons. However, if you’re pushing yourself too much, you must seek professional help. Overtraining can lead to the kidneys shutting down as well, which is serious. Follow a training program that includes active recovery and complete rest. It is better to do the foam roller exercises than being told not to workout for months.