Having a strong exercise routine is important, however you need to be careful to avoid overtraining.
Sometimes we get so into our routine and so focused on our weight-loss or strength training goals that we go too hard and don’t see that we are doing is actually moving us further away from our goals.
We often think, if some exercise and dieting will help us achieve our goals, more exercises and a more restrictive diet will help us reach our goal faster. In general, we can figure that if we burn more calories than we consume we will create a caloric deficit and lose weight. However, our bodies are amazing machines with a lot of safeguards built in.
Working out for too much without enough fuel and recovery will put you at risk of overtraining. When our bodies get overly stress from overtraining, hormones get out of balance and your body goes into a self-preservation mode.
19 POSSIBLE SIGNS OF OVERTRAINING
Most people have felt tired, sore, and stiff after an exercise session, particularly when trying something new or increasing workout intensity, volume, or another variable. Some of these symptoms begin a few hours after a workout session, but they usually resolve within a few days.
After a bit of rest, recovery, and refueling, the athlete will typically feel refreshed and ready to tackle their next workout.
Symptoms of overtraining, however, last longer and are more varied. They may include:
EXERCISE-RELATED SYMPTOMS OF OVERTRAINING:
(1) A plateau or decline in workout performance or progress.
(2) A perception of increased exertion during “normal” or “easy” workouts.
(3) Excessive sweating or overheating.
(4) Unusual feelings of heaviness, stiffness, or soreness in muscles.
(5) A lack of feeling “refreshed” after regular rest and recovery.
(6) Recurrent injuries, such as muscle sprains, tendonitis, stress fractures, and chronic joint pain.
(7) A decline in enthusiasm for exercise (or skipping or quitting workouts).
PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND EMOTIONAL CHANGES DUE TO OVERTRAINING:
(8) Persistent feelings of fatigue, exhaustion, or low energy throughout the day.
(9) A decline in motivation and/or self-confidence.
(10) A lack of enjoyment in favorite hobbies and interests or other signs of depression.
(11) Unusual mood or emotions, such as agitation, anger, confusion, irritability, and restlessness.
(12) New problems with sleeping, including insomnia and poor sleep quality.
(13) Problems with concentration and performance at work or in school.
SYSTEMIC HEALTH CONCERNS OF OVERTRAINING:
(14) A sickly appearance, including changes to skin, hair, and nails (such as acne or hair loss).
(15) An increase in resting heart rate and/or resting blood pressure.
(16) Unplanned/undesired weight loss or weight gain or disordered eating.
(17) Digestive issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and increase in thirst.
(18) Reproductive issues, such as a decrease in libido (sex drive) and a change in menstruation (including irregularity or cessation of periods).
(19) Repeated bouts of illness, such as colds and upper respiratory tract infections.
You may have any combination of these symptoms, not necessarily all of them. In order to get back on track, it is recommended that you take a good hard look at what you are currently doing. Keep an honest record of all your daily activity, workouts, walks, yardwork, etc. Keep a good record of all calories consumed during the day. Keep a sleep log, I recommend a FitBit or Oura Ring to help accurately track your sleep cycles.
It sounds completely counter intuitive, but you may find that you need to decrease your daily activity and increase your caloric intake to get your body back on track and achieve your goals.
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