Regular workouts are supposed to increase your muscle mass and decrease your body fat, right? The problem: some people, especially people are just starting a new routine, go overboard and actually do their bodies more harm than good.
The best way to recover from that particularly tough workout? A day of rest followed by a light bout of exercise, according to fitness experts. Also, be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Why? Your body will need that time to repair those tiny muscle tears that occur during workouts and enable your body to build new muscle.
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Good nutrition is also key: Think lean protein (fish, chicken breast, tofu), whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Here are just some of the ways your body will let you know if you’re working your body a little too hard:
1. Decreased performance. A drop in your workout performance is one of the earliest signs of overload, according to Jini Cicero, a conditioning specialist based in Los Angeles, Calif. Altered performance levels are often more apparent in endurance activities such as running, swimming and cycling, she says.
2. Disinterest in exercise. A significant decrease in motivation or enjoyment of the activity can be a major sign of burnout, Cicero says. This more often occurs in weight lifters, sprinters or soccer players who are driven by speed and power.