It’s summertime. Everyone wants to be in shape for the season, but be careful. Working too hard for results can cause problems. Over training happens when the body is exercised at a frequency and intensity that exceed its recovery time. The results from over training can include exhaustion, a loss of progress in both strength and cardiovascular fitness, and injury. How can you tell if you’re over training? If you’re hurt, take time off to recover fully. Heading back into the gym the first day you feel 100% will lead to re-injury, longer required recovery time, and more frustration. Feeling sluggish and fatigued rather than energized after a workout is your body telling you whatever you’ve been doing is too much. Likewise, exercising improves sleep patterns, and if you’re having trouble sleeping, too much gym time could be the cause.
Solutions to over training are simple:
1) Eat for energy. Make sure diet isn’t the culprit and you’re getting enough carbohydrates to power your workout regimen.
2) Mix it up. Throw something new into your routine, cross-train while alternating hard and easy days. Usually spend half an hour on the treadmill? Jump in the pool or climb on a spin bike instead.
3) Take rest days seriously. Rest is just as important as exercise, and not giving your body enough time to recover from strenuous exercise will inevitably cause fatigue, moodiness, and injury. Take at least one day a week away from the gym or running and be serious about it. Use the rest day(s) to replenish the things your body has burned through, like carbohydrates, proteins and fluids.
4) Listen to your body. Still feeling sluggish four days after a hard workout? Are your knees or shoulders hurting more than they should? Is soreness sticking around after two days? Is your performance slipping? These are all signals your body gives to let you know it needs a break. Take the time to recover your body is asking for, and you’ll not only feel better, but workout better too.