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Posted on 02-19-2013

Good Morning!

Do you know how to detect signals that you are overtrained? If you are committed to improving your fitness level, sometimes you can push yourself past your limits and begin to cause more harm than good to your body.

Here is some insight from cooper health on how to identify symptoms of overtraining and how you can avoid putting your body in this state.

Overtraining can be defined in two ways. It is either a combination of heavy training and a lack of rest, or your workouts may be too long and intense. If you are overtrained, your symptoms can be demonstrated before and after your workouts. There are six common symptoms of overtraining:

  1. Elevated heart rate and blood lactate levels. With minimal workloads during your workout, you may experience an increased heart rate and your blood lactate levels may rise, making it more difficult to recover.
  2.  Shortness of breath. You may notice that you become easily out of breath while doing simple activities and everything you do requires extra effort.
  3. Loss in body weight. Since you are pushing yourself beyond your body’s boundaries, you may see a decrease in appetite. A normal exercise routine can stimulate appetite, but when you push yourself too much and go beyond your scope, your body can go into shock and not feel hungry.
  4. Chronic fatigue. This is a common symptom and it can seem difficult to move parts of your body, or you may feel continued tiredness.
  5. Psychological staleness. Did you once love a specific workout? Overtraining can lead to a lack of enthusiasm for a sport or physical activity that you once loved, but now you no longer experience joy with those activities.
  6. Increased number of infections. The most common infections associated with overtraining are colds and sore throat. Depending on your fitness level, you may notice that you cannot perform to the level you normally due to ongoing sickness.

How to Alleviate an Overtrained State
There is not one scientific formula that leads to overtraining. For some people overtraining could happen over a period of months; for others it could be two or three hard workouts in a row. If you are a long-distance runner or a swimmer, you can often easily identify symptoms of overtraining.

There is no way to get around an overtrained state other than reducing your workload. This may mean cutting back on your workout routines. You need to allow yourself time to recover and heal through rest.

You should also evaluate your training strategy and determine what you are going to do to help yourself get better. Whether you are training for a competition or working to lose weight, it is essential to determine your ultimate goal and how you will healthfully achieve it. It is important to realize that you cannot get fit in one day or lose five pounds in one workout. You need to make a fitness plan that is progressive in nature and will help you meet your goals in an organized, strategic fashion.

Periodized training programs are great to implement in your workout routines. This type of program incorporates different intensities, exercise, timing and variables for each workout. A Professional Fitness Trainer can help you develop this type of programming to help you vary your workout routines. Over time, periodization can help ensure that you are constantly adapting and improving, but not tapping out your limits by exceeding your fitness levels and muscle resources.

Another approach to avoid an overtrained state is allowing yourself to take “active recovery days.” On these days, do an easier workout where you challenge yourself and choose a different part of your body to focus on. Your workout could be more focused on stability or recovery cardio, where it is a less intensity, but you are still burning calories. For example, if you had a hard, high intensity workout one day, you could recover by foam rolling or taking a light walk. Watch a video to learn how you can relieve muscle tension by using a foam roller. The goal with all of these activities is to recover.

By looking for overtraining symptoms, you can learn how your body is responding to past workouts to help you determine your fitness plan, and how you keep your body healthy and strong.

Have a blessed day!

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