The Top 7 Symptoms Of Over-Exercising

african american woman wiping sweat off her head( — Congratulations! You’ve finally gotten off the couch and into the gym. Now instead of spending hours in front of the television, you’re spending hours at the gym sweating off pounds and conditioning your body. But how are you feeling?

If you’re constantly sore, stiff, uncomfortable and tired, you might be overtraining and injuring yourself.

Too much high-intensity exercise can harm your body, so it’s important not to overtrain. Here are some warning signs that you might be overdoing your workouts:

• Constant pain or soreness. A little bit of soreness after exercise is normal, and it means you pushed your muscles just enough. But that soreness should pass in a day or two. If your muscles are constantly sore and your joints ache with pain, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.

 Difficulty during workouts. If you are struggling to do exercises that were once easy, it’s time to ease up on the workouts.

• Increased heart rate. Your heart rate should go up during exercise, but if it is increased even when you’re not working out, that’s a concern. People who overtrain may also notice that their heart rate takes longer to get back to normal after exercise.

• Can’t sleep, can’t eat. Too much exercise can make you lose your appetite and also make it difficult to sleep, particularly if you exercise within two hours of bedtime.

• Changes in menstruation. Women who overtrain may notice that their periods become irregular or stop completely.

• Getting sick. Excessive exercise can wear down your immune system, so you may be constantly catching colds and other infections. You may also notice frequent headaches.

• Physical and mental changes. Losing too much weight, lack of energy, depression, difficulty concentrating and feelings of irritability are other warning signs of overtraining.

Over-Exercising or Incorrect Technique?

Be certain that you aren’t confusing overtraining with doing exercises incorrectly. How can you distinguish between problems due to overtraining and soreness from improper exercise techniques? If you’re always sore and your muscles are never recovering and they’re very tight, your joints ache and you can’t sleep at night, overtraining is likely to blame. When you’re working out hard, you can tear your muscle fibers down. You have to make time for recovery to prevent the effects of overtraining.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, try the following:

• Talk to a personal trainer first to see if there’s a problem. Have him or her watch your routine to confirm that you’re using proper form.

 Scale back your exercise routine. Vary your intensity and make sure you’re stretching before and after your workouts, drinking plenty of fluids and getting proper nutrition.

• Take an exercise break. If you haven’t sustained an injury, but notice it’s harder for you to complete workouts, your body probably needs a break. Allow your body to rest by taking several days or maybe even a few weeks off to recover fully. You’re not going to lose your fitness by taking some time off—your body needs it.

• Don’t ignore pain. If you’re injured, stop exercising until you see a doctor.

Let your body heal, then gradually get back into your exercise routine. Slowly work up to a pace that’s less strenuous; replace aggressive workouts with more moderate ones. If you’re a runner, try light jogging for shorter distances. If you lift weights, cut back on the amount of weight you lift and the frequency of lifting. Consider working with a trainer to help determine the right amount of exercise so that you don’t suffer the effects of overtraining again.

Of course exercise is necessary for good health. Just be sure not to risk illness and injury by going overboard.

Basketball Star Armen Gilliam Dies Of Apparent Heart Attack

Armen Gilliam( — When former UNLV star and NBA veteran Armen Gilliam came out of retirement in 2005 to become player-coach of the ABA’s now-defunct Pittsburgh Xplosion at age 41, he certainly didn’t do it for the lucrative paycheck.

“If I wanted to make money, I’d go overseas,” Gilliam told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time. “I do this for the love of the game.”

It’s tragic but fitting then that Gilliam died Tuesday night doing what he enjoyed most. The 47-year-old Pennsylvania resident was playing in a pickup basketball game at the LA Fitness in Bridgeville when he collapsed on the court as a result of an apparent heart attack. He was rushed to nearby St. Clair Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

Gilliam’s death shocked his former UNLV teammates and coaches, especially since he was seldom hurt throughout his 13-year pro career and he kept himself in excellent shape afterward by playing basketball and tennis almost daily. In fact, the 6-foot-9 big man routinely beat men younger than him down the floor during UNLV’s annual legends game and unleashed a memorable dunk during last season’s event.

“Everybody loved Armen and he loved everybody,” former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian said through a UNLV spokesman. “I think the world of him. I am just shocked.”

A football player and a wrestler throughout much of his high school career in Bethel Park, Pa., Gilliam only began dabbling in basketball during his junior year of high school. He played two seasons in high school and another year at Independence Junior College in Kansas before blossoming into an All-American at UNLV.

Even though he spent his college years in Sin City, Gilliam earned a reputation as UNLV’s most straight-laced player of his era. He devoted so much energy into sculpting his chiseled 250-pound body that he neither smoked nor drank, and he’d carry a pull-up bar with him on road trips so he could work out in his hotel room.

Former UNLV big man Leon Symanski describes Gilliam as “a real sweet guy” off the court, but he acknowledges his ex-Rebels teammate lived up to his nickname of “The Hammer” during practices.

“He beat the hell out of me every day,” Symanksi said. “You couldn’t move him even if you tried. He’d get down in the low post and it was like trying to move a 1,000-pound steel weight. He was that strong.”

In 1987, Gilliam parlayed his strength and physicality into a brilliant senior season, scoring 23.8 points per game and leading the Runnin’ Rebels to an NCAA record 37 wins and a berth in the Final Four. The Phoenix Suns rewarded Gilliam for his brilliant senior season, making him the No. 2 overall pick in the 1987 draft, ahead of future stars Scottie Pippen (No. 5), Kevin Johnson (No. 7) and Reggie Miller (No. 11).

Gilliam never achieved the level of stardom those three did, but he was a consistently productive player until he retired from the NBA in 2000. He scored more than 12,000 points and grabbed more than 6,000 rebounds in his NBA career.

Upon his retirement, Gilliam still couldn’t stay away from the game so he endured an unsuccessful stint coaching Penn State-Altoona before his season in the fledgling ABA.

Pittsburgh Xplosion general manager Freddie Lewis didn’t know Gilliam very well when he became player-coach in 2005, but Lewis quickly became impressed with how Gilliam carried himself. It would have been for an ex-NBA veteran to act as though he were too good for a soon-to-be-defunct team, but Gilliam attended autograph signings and community service events and served as a mentor to the younger players.

“If you were to rate his personality on a scale from 1 to 10, he’d be a 12,” Lewis said by phone. “He always wanted to do something to help people.”

Late in his life, Gilliam changed the spelling of his first name from Armon to Armen because he was tired of it being mispronounced. Regardless of the spelling, his name will always be synonymous with one of the great eras in UNLV basketball history.

It’s difficult for Symanski to cope with losing Gilliam, but he takes some solace in the fact his friend died doing something he cherished.

“If he has to die under tragic circumstances, then, yeah, it’s a little more comforting if you want to put it that way,” Symanski said. “He was where he loved doing what he loved to do.”