5 Signs You're Overtraining
I LOVE to workout. It's a stress reliever, a way to get my mind off things, and I just truly enjoy it. So much so, that I've found myself overdoing it on more than one occasion. Which has led to some unfortunate side effects. Luckily I've learned to recognize a few signs of overtraining and to back off at the first sight of any of those signs.
1. You feel exhausted, rather than energized – Typically within the first few minutes of a workout, your body will wake up, exercise endorphins will kick in and you'll start to feel energized. If you're noticing that rather than feeling energized you start to feel exhausted or just can't get the energy up to perform your workout, your body might be trying to tell you something. One workout with that happening, you might just be tired or your body is fighting something off. Multiple workouts where you feel exhausted early on and throughout, you might be overdoing it.
2. You have an increased perceived effort during workouts - When workouts that were once easy or should be easy, suddenly seem difficult, you could be overtraining. A sign of this could be an elevated heart rate. If walking on the treadmill is normally an easy task but suddenly you feel winded and your heart rate is higher than normal, your body is trying to tell you something!
3. Your suffering from insomnia or tossing and turning through the night – Overtraining can cause an overproduction of the stress hormone which. This can make it difficult for you to wind down at night or can cause you to be restless.
4. Your legs feel “heavy.” – A few days of "heavy legs" is normal but if you're feeling it for multiple days/weeks, your body is not having time to fully recover.
5. Your suffering from chronic or nagging injuries and/or are sick more often– Overused muscles and joints can cause constant aches or joint pain. Pain that does not subside in a few weeks, should be considered an injury that needs to be checked out. Overtraining also taxes all of the body's systems and also makes it more difficult to ward off infections. Which could lead to more frequent illness's or infections.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and expect your might be overtraining, here's a few steps to get you back on track in a healthy manner.
Change your workout routine - maybe this means having more rest days, or doing more low impact workouts through the week. Changing things up to be less intensive can help your body have time to recover and get back on track.
Get more sleep - Sleep is the prime time for your body to repair, so make sure you're getting 7-8 hours per night.
Get your nutrition on point - Fueling your body with the right nutrients will assist it in recovering. Be sure to get in a good amount of protein and complex carbohydrates to help you build and repair muscle. Focusing on antioxidant rich fruits and high fiber veggies can support elimination, reduce inflammation, and restore cellular activities.
Hydrate - Hydration is critical for proper body temperature regulation, muscle, and heart function. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces everyday!
Get help - There's no shame in reaching out for help. If you recognize these signs, it would be a good idea to work with a physician or other health professional to be sure your body is functioning properly.
Working with a personal trainer who can help to create a program that is customized to you, your training goals and your health history can really help you to stay on track without over doing it. I'd love to help you do just that! If you're intersted in working with me, let's chat!