I work out 6-7 days a week and I actually feel guilty when I don’t get a workout in. I know you think I am crazy, but I love the way I feel when I am working out and especially how I feel when I’ve completed a hard workout! Ahhhh the sweat…love the sweat!
Now, there are some days I feel tired and don’t want to do that workout. I had to learn to tell the difference between when I am feeling lazy and when my body is just plain tired! I listen to my body and when it’s tired I take a day off to prevent overtraining and also to prevent injuries.
You should feel energized after your workout, but if you are just plain exhausted your body is telling you something!
Here are 10 signs of overtraining according to American Council on Exercise:
Decreased performance. Slower reaction times, reduced speeds and lowered endurance levels are all common signs of overtraining.
Agitation, moodiness, irritability or lack of concentration. Too much exercise and too little rest can wreak havoc on the hormones and cause mood swings and an inability to concentrate.
Excessive fatigue and malaise. A body that never has a chance to fully recover from a previous workout will continue to feel more and more fatigued. Some people describe this feeling as “heavy legs.”
Increased perceived effort during normal workouts. Overtraining takes a toll on the body, and workouts that were once a breeze can begin to feel like a grind.
Chronic or nagging muscle aches or joint pain. Overused muscles and joints can cause constant aches, which may go unnoticed until the body is given proper rest.
More frequent illnesses and upper-respiratory infections. Too much exercise taxes all of the body’s systems and makes it more difficult to ward off infections.
Insomnia or restless sleep. During sleep the body has time to rest and repair itself. An overtrained body, however, is sometimes unable to slow down and completely relax, making it difficult to recover between workouts.
Loss of appetite. Overtraining can cause an increase in hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine that tend to inhibit appetite. The physical exhaustion and anxiety that often comes with overtraining can also have the same effect.
Chronically elevated heart rate at rest and during exercise. A clear sign of an overworked heart muscle is a chronically elevated heart rate. Also, people who overtrain will often find that it takes longer for their heart rate to return to normal after a workout.
Menstrual cycle disturbances in women. Exercising excessively and not consuming enough calories may disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle. While some may experience irregular periods, others will stop menstruating altogether.
Now if you feel as though you are suffering from overtraining, the best solution is to rest! Take a couple of days off from training and also make sure you are hydrating. Maybe get a nice massage! Then after a couple of days ease back in to your workouts and pay attention to how your body is feeling.
Training towards a goal can be very rewarding and fear that you may resort back to your old habits can be scary. Just remember that rest will allow your body to recover, rebuild and come back even stronger!