It’s great that people today are concerned about their health and are proactive about maintaining their bodies. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend that could potentially weaken these noble goals, and it’s called “overtraining”.
Overtraining can be described as increasing the frequency, duration or intensity of your normal workout routine too quickly, and it carries many negative side effects. First of all, overtraining can diminish the effectiveness of any workout. It can also cause chronic soreness and lead to injury, insomnia, unexplained weight-loss, and other conditions. The question then becomes: How can I prevent myself from overtraining?
Get Your Rest
You may have heard of people scheduling workout programs to focus on different muscles throughout the week. This is to prevent overworking specific muscles to prevent tears and pulls. Just as we need to sleep to recuperate mentally and physically, every muscle in our body needs to recover too. Muscles grow while you are sleeping as growth hormones are being released. Without sleep, there is significantly less time for the recovery and growth to take effect. If you have been following a strict workout plan without rest, you may want to consider taking some time off completely to get yourself back to full health.
Moderate The Workouts
As a general rule of thumb, most things in life should be done in moderation, and working out is no exception. Work in days of rest. You should also structure your workout regimen so that the intensity varies by day. Doing two intense workouts back to back will not be as effective as spacing them out by a day or two. It has also been suggested by Men’s Health that doing two full-body workouts per week can be just as effective as working on different muscles on different days of the week. Individuals will respond differently, so make sure you are doing what feels right for you.
Recognize Your Limits
As a medical professional, I would much rather see a patient come in earlier and be able to get them back on track quickly than have to plan a long-term regimen for recovery. If you find yourself waking up in the morning and your back hurts terribly, visit your doctor. The negative effects of overtraining will not go unnoticed and can substantially decrease your quality of life.
Be conscientious of how hard you are pushing yourself and never be afraid to admit that it may be too much. It will pay off in the long run.