Overtraining, what it is, symptoms and how to avoid it

We all have overtrained at least once in our lives. Overtraining is very common and you shouldn’t worry if it happens to you, instead of worrying read this article so you can get into action to overcome it.

First of all, what ‘overtraining’ means?. Overtraining is the imbalance between training and recovery/rest which might cause chronic fatigue and other physical and mental symptoms. In other words, you will feel like a bus ran over you.

 

What causes overtraining?

Little rest or time for recovery.

Have you ever felt that “endless” energy that makes you go to the gym every single day to exercise intensely, but it only last a few days or weeks and then you end up feeling all tired, indisposed and “sick”?. Well, the reason might be that you catch a cold, you did not gave enough time to your body to recover between training days or both.  Therefore, the next time you feel like an unstoppable machine, remember that everything inside our bodies requieres balance to function properly. Consequently, enough recovery time is needed.

 

Signs and symptoms of overtraining

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Recurrent cold or flu
  • Decreased performance
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Constant muscle soreness
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Anxiety

 

How to avoid overtraining?

  1. Know your fitness level and your personal exercise history: If you haven’t trained for a long period of time or you haven’t exercise at all in your life is best if you start training with light load and low intensity, increasing then the load and intensity slowly week by week.
  2. Set realistic goals: Be realistic with yourself since the beginning of your journey. Try to don’t set unrealistic goals such as losing 10 kg of body weight in 1 month. First of all, it’s not healthy and secondly, you might not maintain it.
  3. Do not push yourself too hard: I know that you have some goals to accomplish, but it won’t happen from one day to another. Therefore, leave the time do its work. So, be patient.
  4. Rest between intense sessions: If you are the kind of person that only does 20 minutes of cardio or weights per day, your recovery time might be shorter in comparison with a person that does 1 hour or more of intense training. In both cases, try to give your body at least 1 or 2 days weekly of rest or  light physical activity.
  5. Fuel your body with real food: Eat healthy! Having a good nutrition will keep your mind sharp, it will improve your sleep, help you keep your body in balance and it will also give you enough energy for your training sessions.

Remember, everything is about balance. Don’t forget that.

Some sources used:

ncbi 

Fitness Australia 

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