The Top 7 Symptoms Of Over-Exercising
(BlackDoctor.org) — 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.