As the old adage goes, “You can have too much of a good thing.” One good thing that you can have too much of is exercise and training. You may assume that lifting weights or going for a run every day is the best way to improve your max reps or add distance to your runs, but if you don’t give your body enough time to recover between activity, you can actually significantly increase your risk of injury. But how do you know if you’re overdoing it when it comes to training and exercise? We share five signs that you may be overtraining in today’s blog.
Am I Overtraining?
When it comes to determining if you are overtraining, it’s not just about physical symptoms. You may also notice mental or emotional changes that could suggest you’re burning out from overtraining. Here are five signs that you may be overtraining:
- Extended Soreness – It’s normal to be sore for 24-48 hours after a good workout. However, if you’re overdoing it, you might find yourself in a state of extended or perpetual soreness. If soreness lasts for more than a couple days, or it feels like it never really resolves because of your constant workouts, it’s a sign that you may be overdoing it.
- No Progress – As we mentioned in the intro, working the same muscle groups every day isn’t the best way to become stronger or faster. Your muscles need time to recover and develop before attacking another workout. You can work out every day if you like, just make sure you’re targeting different muscle groups so that areas have the time off that they need to recover and reap the benefits of your workout. If you’ve noticed that your progress is stagnating, switch up your routine or back off the workouts a bit. Sometimes less is more!
- Losing Interest – If you’re finding it harder and harder to find the motivation to go to the gym or jump into a home workout, it could be a sign of overtraining fatigue. It’s okay to take some time away to give your mind and body a break. It can actually make it easier to go to the gym, and you may find that you’re looking forward to your workout more often if you don’t force yourself to go every day.
- Mood Swings – Overtraining can also bring about emotional changes including mood swings or an increase in mood intensity. Oftentimes this doesn’t result in an increase in happiness or outgoingness. More often than not, it manifests in the form of increased irritability, anger, sadness or depression. A training routine can be a great stress reliever, but if you’re overdoing it, it can become a source of stress that can greatly affect your moods. If you’re noticing that you’re becoming quicker to anger or you’re more withdrawn because you’re just not feeling like yourself, examine your workout routine.
- You’re Sick More Often – Finally, overtraining can also have an effect on your immune system. If your body is overworked and overstressed, your immune system may not be able to do its job as effectively, which can translate to more days with the common cold. If you look fit but constantly feel like you’re getting over the flu, back off your workout and give your muscles and your immune system a much needed break.
And if you want to safely take your training regimen to the next level, or you need help overcoming an injury, reach out to the experienced team of physical therapists at OrthoRehab Specialists today.