We often read about the great benefits of exercising, and how important it is for our wellbeing and health. But too much of a good thing can also be bad for you. Overtraining is a major mistake since instead of helping, it backfires. When you don't give your body adequate rest, you simply risk hurting yourself in many ways. But, for those who are committed to the gym, it's hard to tell the difference between maximizing your efforts for successful results, and overtraining. Read on to discover 8 subtle ways your body tells you that you are overtraining.
It's natural to feel thirsty after a workout session; when you sweat, your body dehydrates and calls for water. Nevertheless, when you somehow feel that your thirst is unrelieved no matter how much you drink, then you are probably overtraining and your body is on catabolic mode - breaking down protein tissue in order to release energy, which causes dehydration and constant thirst.
If you and the gym are buddies, then you know that muscle soreness is part of the game. No matter how fit you are, a little challenge created in your workout can leave you sore the next day… but soreness that lasts more than 3 days can be alarming. When your body is sore all the time, and your legs feel heavy all week long without any relief, it must be a sign you are overtraining. The constant pain in your muscles means your body is telling you to stop and get some rest.
One of the benefits of exercise is having a good night sleep. It's during your sleep cycle that growth hormones work best and help your muscles restore and grow. On the other hand, if you feel restless at night and have difficulty falling asleep, it might be a sign you are overtraining; exercising excessively can keep your body agitated and cause your brain to release stress hormones that can keep you awake all night.
Working out releases endorphins in the brain, which gives us the 'happy' feeling we experience after each session. However, when exercise leaves you unmotivated and depressed, then there must be a problem. Overtraining can create mental stress, which affects the nervous system and decreases your mood. Also, not getting enough rest can make you anxious and unable to focus, even at the gym!
Everybody gets sick, there's no question about that! However, when you become ill frequently and easily, and take a lot of time to get better, then your immunity must be under stress. This can be a result of overtraining. If your body can't handle the amount of physical stress, your immune system is affected since all of your energy is depleted and your body doesn't have enough power to fight back disease.
If you feel constant fatigue and suddenly find difficulty doing the same routines that you normally do, your energies are most likely low and your body is weak. Feeling exhausted every night after working out can be a sign your body is trying to communicate; listen to it and get some rest.
If you exercise, or used to exercised, you probably have injured a joint, broken a bone, or torn a muscle at some point in your life. But if you experience chronic pain in your back, your knees, your joints, your hips, or any of your weak points where you have had an old injury, it might be a sign you are overtraining. Small aches are common after working out, but if you're not giving your body enough time to rest and recover from the pain, it simply gets worse. Moreover, overtraining itself increases the risk of injuries.
A lot of people think that if they train every single day - for 3 hours let’s say - they are doing their bodies a favor and expect to reach their fitness goals sooner. It's like those who want to lose weight fast, so they starve themselves hoping to reach their ideal weight. Of course, both techniques are wrong; you don't build muscles while you're lifting, you build when you rest. So if you don't give your muscles proper time to recover and repair, you won't notice any progress in your body. On the contrary, if you overtrain, your body enters a catabolic state and you burn muscles and store fat!