Overtraining Syndrome – Am I Working Out Too Much?
If your body is fatigued, it's imperative to ease back on workouts to avoid a blowout
So you’ve recently hit your stride when it comes to working out. In the past, you were a bit apprehensive. You had other things to do. But as you began to consider your long-term health, you just couldn’t deny the benefits of exercise.
And now you’re probably feeling great because of it.
But the benefits extend far beyond your feelings. You’re likely making better life decisions too. Challenging exercise leads to an improved state of mental health. It also results in better eating habits, and a more structured lifestyle.
If that’s not enough, now you’re probably a bit more of a morning person (or at least better than you used to be). And there’s probably a little more pep in your step at work. And you’ve probably been getting some quality sleep at night.
Now that you’re serious about staying in shape, you’ve made a plan to keep the ball rolling. Maybe you’re working out every other day. Maybe you’re going at it every day. But you don’t take too many days off because you’ve come to find that your body reverts back to a restful state when you do.
So you get back at it early and often because building good habits takes hard work. And the longer your body stays at rest, the more it gets used to it.
As the old saying goes, too much of a good thing can be harmful. If you’re working out too much, you will get rundown. There is such thing as Overtraining Syndrome, and it can definitely cause some problems.
Overtraining Syndrome can be summed up as simply not getting enough rest in between workouts. And since we’re all different, each person has to monitor themselves in this regard.
Signs & Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome include:
- Fatigue (feeling drained or lack of energy)
- Aches & Pains
- Poor Performance (or reaching a plateau)
- Frequent sickness (especially colds & sore throat)
- Decreased Appetite
- Lack of Motivation (in everyday affairs)
- Loss of Enthusiasm
If these signs & symptoms go unchecked, Overtraining Syndrome can lead to more serious complications such as:
- Physical Injuries
As much as I promote the benefits of exercise, the issue needs to be viewed in the correct context. Keep in mind, proper training doesn’t occur without rest & recovery.
If you think you may be dealing with Overtraining Syndrome, you should take a step back and hit the reset button.
The following suggestions should help to combat Overtraining Syndrome:
- Reduce Gym Time
- Actively Rest
- Increase Food Consumption
- Get More Sleep
- Formulate a New Plan
By letting off the gas pedal, your body should be able to return to its normal state. But be mindful of this occurrence. Don’t rush back in once you start to feel good. And be sure to promote balance when restarting your training regime.
If you find yourself in the grip of Overtraining Syndrome, it’s imperative to ease back your workouts. This is mainly to avoid a blowout. In all actuality, you’re never really aware of your body’s fatigue level. And that’s when blowouts happen.
A blowout can reveal itself in several different ways. If you don’t pay attention to the signs, you can pull a muscle, rupture a tendon, break a bone, or something worse.
Needless to say, blowouts should be avoided at all costs. If/when they do occur, feeling tired will be the least of your worries. You’ll now be sidelined for much longer than originally intended.
Remember, you can always switch things up. If you feel yourself starting to overtrain, switch to a workout that’s less stressful and/or less intense (at least for a short time). For instance, you can go from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to cycling, or from cross-fit to light running.
As your body returns to normal, you can pick up the intensity. But always be mindful of overtraining.