Overtraining

Sometimes, people get carried away with their training, never thinking that it might not be good for them. If you are really into the fitness scene and train a lot; if you are always pushing the limits to see how far you can progress, it may be time to step back a bit and look at your life. Overtraining –  especially if you have a stressful job – can have some nasty effects on your body that you should be aware of.

Everything we do including eating and even talking is a stressor to our body. Some amount of stress is really good for us, but it should be balanced with rest and recovery. If you constantly train and never take any time off, it could be that your body does not have enough time to recover.  Some of the symptoms of overtraining are: –

  • Feeling drained of energy all the time
  • Aches and pains including soreness in the legs, muscles and joints
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • A sudden drop in your performance
  • Getting more colds and sore throats than usual
  • Feeling irritable and moody
  • Depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for training or your sport
  • Lack of appetite
  • More injuries while training
  • A compulsion to exercise more

When you are training a lot – for instance to go in a competition – it’s important to give your body the rest and recovery time it needs, but you should also give it the fuel needed to keep it going properly. Glycogen stores must be kept up, or your muscles will begin pulling energy from other places in the body where it is needed. This means those areas are also going to be lacking the nutrients they need.

If you have any of the above symptoms or have been wondering why you don’t feel your usual energetic self, consider taking at least a week out of training to see if that helps. The longer you go without doing something about it, the more likely those symptoms are to become worse until they really affect your life.

It is also important to eat nutritious meals all the time so your body has the fuel it needs to recover. But unless you also give it a time of rest, eating well will not be enough to prevent burn-out.

The problem can be exacerbated by having a stressful job, or stressful relationships. Mental stressors are just the same as physical ones to your body, causing it to pour cortisol into your body, even if you are not training. You have to ensure a proper balance between training, recovery, rest, and the other things in your life in order to remain as fit as possible.