Dangers of Overtraining: 3 Ways to Avoid It

How many days a week do you work out?

Are you constantly pushing your body in the gym day in and day out for an hour or more?

Do you need a crazy amount of caffeine to get started in the morning?

Over training is a real and serious issue among fitness populations. While exercise is necessary for a healthy life, it’s very easy to overdo it. Let’s take a look at what over training is and how you can avoid it.

What is Over Training?

As the name suggests, over training is when you do too much in regards to your physical activity level. This can be inside or outside of the gym. Your body needs time to recover. If you’re constantly pushing your muscles and connective tissue to their breaking point, you’re risking injury.

How do you know if you’re over training? Here are a few key hints:

  • Extreme fatigue (especially in the morning)
  • Always seem to be sore (a soreness you can’t seem to recover from)
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle is shrinking
  • More frequent colds/illness

Do any of these symptoms match your own? Here are a few great ways to avoid over training and get better results.

  1. Nutrition

It all starts with nutrition. Training is the breaking down of muscle tissue and nutrition is how you build it back up stronger than before. If you’re skipping out on nutrition, you are doing your body a disservice.

Be sure to get in a well-rounded, calorically appropriate diet each day. Not sure how many calories to consume? You can figure out your caloric range by using a calorie calculator as you can find here. Or you can use diet planning apps on your phone. MyFitnessPal is by far the most popular with the greatest number of food categories and choices.

  1. Sleep

Sleep is on the same level of importance as nutrition. Sleep is when your body shuts down and starts the repair-and-recover processes needed for you to heal and grow.

During the Rapid Eye Movement (R.E.M.) cycle of sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which is critical for a number of bodily tasks, namely repairing the damage you did while working out. If you’re not sleeping, you aren’t healing properly.

Sleep is also needed to maintain a healthy mindset. Ever notice how moody you get or how disoriented you are when you are skipping on sleep?

7 to 9 hours is the recommended amount of sleep to be getting each night. If you get less, try to take a 15-20 minute nap at some point during the day. No longer than this as it will impact your nightly sleep.

  1. Listen to Your Body

Seems simple, right? Then why do so many people ignore the signs their bodies show?

Don’t let your ego override your body, especially when you’re pushing yourself to new levels of exhaustion. You can still break personal records and see great results even if you take an extra day off. If your body is begging for a night on the couch after several days of training, then it’s best to listen up and take a hint.

One of the greatest skills you can master is listening to the clues your body is giving you. It just might save you from strain, breaks, or other injuries.

 

Tell Us What You Think!

Have you dealt with over training?

How did you handle it?

Do you have your own tips and tricks for boosting recovery?

Let us know all about it in the comments section below!

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