woman doing yoga

With so much focus and hype about a fit and healthy lifestyle, people have taken to enjoying and practising various sports and training regimens. Especially after the events that unfolded in the last two years, people take their fitness a lot more seriously. Everywhere you go, whether outdoors, indoors, or even online, some form of exercise is offered. 

This is all well and good. But with this growing interest in fitness—both newbies and experienced athletes alike are in danger of one thing: overtraining. It might seem unlikely or even impossible at first. 

How is it possible that you can exercise too much? Pretty much everything in life is to be enjoyed and done in moderation. Too much of anything can lead to dire consequences. The same goes for dieting and exercise. 

With overtraining, you risk crossing the line between pushing your limits and abusing your body. This can lead to serious harm, injury, or even illnesses. 

You must listen to your body and look out for the warning signs. 

The Warning Signs

Plenty of things can start to go wrong or break down in your body when you push it beyond its capabilities. Here are just a few of the most common signs you can watch for:

  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Feeling depressed, anxious, moody, or irritable
  • Increased incidence of injuries or headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heart rate or heart rhythm
  • Lack of energy, feeling washed-out, tired, or drained
  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport or reduced competitiveness
  • Longer recovery time
  • Lower immunity (increased number of colds and sore throats)
  • Mild muscle or joint soreness, general aches and pains
  • Reduced training capacity, intensity, or performance
  • Reproductive issues
  • Trouble concentrating

How to Address Overtraining

You can be more proactive about recovering and preventing yourself from overtraining when you what signs to look out for. Besides the obvious, proper rest and nutrition, there are other ways to recover from and prevent overtraining. 

Cross-Training

Doing one sport or sticking to one type of exercise can bore you. The most you can do to make it exciting is to get competitive and push yourself. But since that’s the problem you’re trying to address, a different approach may better suit you. 

Try mixing it up. Take a day or two off from your regular fitness routine and throw in a new and exciting activity to replace it with. For example, instead of doing CrossFit six days a week at full throttle, it might benefit you to insert some gymnastics or yoga into your routine. These accomplish both tasks of expanding your capabilities without compromising your health. 

Keep a Training Log

It would be wise to keep track of your progress and training. This should include everything from your activities to your mood, sleep patterns, diet, and nutrition. While it might be a bit tedious in the beginning, this can help you monitor yourself better. 

Overtraining is not easy to catch in yourself. The signs can often be dismissed as symptoms of something else. Because of the daily stress and responsibilities you have to deal with as an adult, you might not even notice until it’s too late. With a training log, you can detect any downward trends or decreased enthusiasm and address them immediately.

Active Rest and Gradual Return

If or when you do happen to fail at catching yourself overtraining in time, you must take a break. This might be difficult for some of you, but the best thing you can do to ensure you get back to 100 per cent is to heal and regain the strength you lost. This doesn’t mean you have to stop moving altogether. You just have to take it easy. Take long walks, and be sure to get back into training slowly.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a long time athlete or just at the beginning of your fitness journey, you should know to always listen to your body. No matter what you think is causing you to feel ill or unenthusiastic about training, you should take the time to figure it out, not power through it. At best, overtraining will just put you out of commission for a few days or a week. At worst, you could get injured or develop a severe condition. If you want to be healthy, try your best not to overdo it.

If you suspect you’re suffering symptoms of overtraining, it’s time to get a health and fitness check. You can find Invigor Health in Bondi Beach, Sydney. We offer various services like physiotherapy, movement screening, and other assessments to get you at your best. Fix your pain and future-proof your body by booking an appointment with us. Contact us today to learn more!

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