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Getting exercise is a must-have for athletes or anyone who is undergoing physical training. In fact, working out is highly recommended as it builds stamina. The more you exercise, the more your body will be trained. However, like any other endeavor, too much of a good thing can be bad. There’s a tipping point if you are not keen enough to spot the signs of overtraining.
This tipping point is called the overtraining syndrome or OTS, which can halter progress. It does more harm than good, and you must be aware that your body also has its limits. Overtraining can occur when your body can no longer keep up with the imposed training as it has failed to recover from previous strenuous movements.
Some athletes even have a hard time predicting if they are overtraining because their bodies react differently to overtraining stimuli.
If you are someone who is suspecting to have OTS, it’s time to reassess your progress now. You can review the most recent intensity and volume of your exercise compared to that of your capacity to recover from physical exhaustion. Remember, you may be putting yourself to risk than leading yourself to betterment.
Check this list of overtraining signs to fend off potential greater risks in case you are indeed overtrained.
1. Hampered Progress and Decreased Level of Performance
You might have an increased intensity and volume of exercise, but the quality of your strength, agility, and endurance should also be considered. If the quality of these aspects is decreasing, then it is time to evaluate yourself.
As much as possible, stay away from the muscle-burning phase by ensuring that you get more frequent rest to help your muscles recover. When your muscles are worn out, your body does not respond well, which can lead to more substantial injuries.
2. Mood Swings and Agitation
When you are overtrained, it can potentially result in hormonal imbalance. Overtraining does not affect your muscles alone. It can go beyond creating havoc in your stress hormones by altering the epinephrine and cortisol levels.
When you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance, you are most likely irritable, out of focus, and for some, aggressive. In addition, there is also a tendency of personality intensifications due to the quick swing of mood. However, it is notable that you should carefully listen to your body as some personality intensification can have a lot of factors to consider.
3. Excessive Fatigue
Fatigue is the usual aftermath when working out and is one of the undoubted overtraining signs. You may experience a few days of exhaustion manifested as heavy legs. However, you will know that you are already experiencing excessive fatigue when it has been going on for several days.
Excessive fatigue tends to accumulate in your body that does not have an opportunity to recover from your previous exercises. Some experts also say that you may experience chronic negative energy consumption. This condition happens when your body is pulling too much from its own energy sources like protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
4. Restless Sleep or Insomnia
Restless sleep or Insomnia is a common sign of overtraining. According to a nutrition expert and personal trainer, Mike Duffy, experiencing restless sleep or Insomnia, is already a combination of hormonal imbalance and nervous system overload.
As mentioned above, overtraining can result in a high level of stress hormones, therefore, making you restless and unable to settle down or relax. He recommends that you should be able to cover 10 pm to 2 am as part of your sleep pattern because it is when your body is being physically restored.
5. Chronic Muscle and Joint Injuries
Experiencing muscle and joint soreness for a couple of days almost every after a workout is normal. However, if you are experiencing these pains for more than three days, it is another sign of overtraining. Make sure that you will be able to take a break and rest.
When your muscles and joints are overused, the pain does not go away easily. It can even become intermittent. This extended pain is one of the overtraining signs that your muscles and joints are not recovering as they should. This significantly affects your body’s ability to repair its own muscles and joints.
6. Metabolic Imbalances
When you experience long-term chronic negative energy consumption, your body may have nutrient deficiencies. One example is iron deficiency anemia, which can potentially endanger your performance and your health. When your body is experiencing overtraining signs, it can tax all of your organ systems, thereby developing medical complications.
7. Disrupted Resting Heart Rate
A disrupted resting heart rate is one of the signals that your body is over trained. It is a result of an increase in your metabolic rate to meet the established demands of training. You can monitor your heart rate through a heart monitor or even through the old-fashioned way wherein you measure your heart rate before standing up to begin your day. If you notice that your heart rate is not consistent, then you should consult a doctor.
8. Unquenchable Thirst
If you are noticing that you have been craving for a lot of drinks lately than usual, then you might be experiencing an unquenchable thirst. Unquenchable thirst is one of the signs that you are overtraining. Your body is in a catabolic state wherein it begins to consume its own muscles for protein. Avoid reaching a catabolic state because it usually results in dehydration.
9. Psychological Stress
Once your body is overtrained, you will be advised to take a break from workouts. When that happens, you may be putting too much pressure on yourself, especially if you are used to gruelling workouts. The sudden halt to train along with hormonal imbalances can ultimately affect your psychological health.
Overall, when you are experiencing several of these overtraining signs, it is recommended that you consult a doctor. When your body seems to warn you that there is something off, listen to it. It is likely complaining from overtraining. One approach you may consider is a system training set up where it includes complete rest and active recovery. Always remember, your body has its limits.