We all know how important exercise is for our overall well-being, right? So, it’s only logical that the more we exercise, the more we think that it will provide more health benefits. On the contrary, we also know the adage “Everything done in excess is bad for you”. The same applies when you are a little too enthusiastic with your exercise & Over Training At The Gym.
Experts say that around five hours at the gym weekly won’t put you at risk of “overtraining”. Beyond that, and getting physically active may do more harm in your body than good – some even to the point of being “addicted” to working out.
For starters, there is such thing as Overtraining Syndrome or OTS for short. If left ignored, it can affect your fitness level and may even lead to injuries. That is why it is important to listen to your body and know the following signs that you are over-trained:
1. Excessive feeling of fatigue
After a grueling physical activity, you may feel too tired even to get up in bed, which is understandable and expected. However, when you are over-trained, it can lead to what they call “low energy availability” wherein your body pulls from its energy stores including fat, protein, and carbs.
2. Declining performance
If you notice decreased strength, endurance, and agility even if you are slaving yourself in the gym every day, then it’s most likely due to overtraining. This may also result in fatigue which can create a negative impact on your body in the long run.
3. More effort needed during training sessions
This is in connection to declining performance during workouts. In effect, you may feel the need to increase effort on your physical routines which in turn will make it more difficult and worsen your feeling of fatigue. You may also experience irregular elevated heart rate especially while exercising and may take a longer time for your heart rate to return to normal when you are finished working out.
4. Mood swings and insomnia
Overtraining can also bring havoc on your mood and sleep routine. For one, too much exercise can affect your stress hormones and cause hormonal imbalance which can lead to mood swings and difficulty in concentrating. Overproduction of stress hormones can also cause insomnia, hence relaxing is kind of difficult to achieve.
5. Appetite loss
One of the effects of hormonal imbalance is a loss of appetite. Normally, proper exercise can help regulate your appetite. However, if you experience OTS, it can actually lead to the opposite which is appetite loss.
6. Chronic injuries
Overtraining can lead to injuries and body aches that may last for two weeks or more. In effect, it can also lead to low resistance against various infections such as upper respiratory tract infections. Likewise, it can result in low testosterone and bone mineral density which can cause chronic pain and discomfort.
7. Psychological effect (ex. depression, stress)
People who are used to intense workouts for upcoming competitions may be at higher risk of OTS. In effect, it can also affect your mental state and may result in stress, anxiety, and depression.
Preventing Symptoms of OTS
The above items are some of the alarming signs you need to know if you are over-trained. On the other hand, here are some tips on how you can counter its effects and improve your workout regimen as well:
1. Vary your exercise routines.
Set an exercise program per day to avoid straining the same body part over and over again. For example, do some cardio training on Mondays, leg day on Tuesdays, dumbbells on Wednesdays, and so on. You can also try other activities such as yoga, biking, spin classes, and many more.
2. Avoid early or late workouts as much as possible.
This is to give time to repair your body and have a sufficient amount of sleep. Adults are required to have at least eight hours of shut-eye every night, so make the most out of it. Lack of sleep can affect your workout and may even do more harm than good.
3. Eat and drink healthy.
Make sure to hydrate after every workout. Stick to plain old water instead of sports or energy drinks to rehydrate. Moreover, choose healthy foods or snacks as your post-workout meal. Eat foods rich in antioxidants such as kiwi, berries, and pomegranate, as well as protein-rich meals and green leafy veggies.
At the end of the day, not all types of workout may work on you or on anyone else. Instead, learn to listen to your body and know when to stop, sit back, and rest for a while. After all, we only have one body to take care of.