Fit Tip: Are You Overtraining?
While most people strive to find time for a regular fitness routine, there are a small percentage of people who tend to overtrain their bodies. Overtraining can happen when you are working your body so hard that it doesn't have a chance to recover in time for your next workout.
How can you tell if you're overtraining?
There are a few tell-tale signs:
You have hit a plateau. If you work out regularly but suddenly aren't seeing changes in your results, it may be because you are overtraining. If you aren't building muscle or losing weight, depending on your goal, your body may need some rest in order to get you off the plateau. Your muscles will grow when you give them adequate time to repair.
You are overly sore going into a new workout. If you are incredibly sore from a workout you did one or two days prior, your body may need another day or two to recover before doing the workout again. You don't have to take a day off completely, but it's best to try a lower intensity workout like yoga until you aren't so sore.
You lack energy at the beginning of a workout. If you feel lethargic before your workout has even started, overtraining could be the cause. You should never compromise form for number of reps, and if you can't keep proper form when lifting weights because you are tired or your muscles are sore, you may be pushing your body too hard. Take a day to rest, especially when weight-training and you'll have a more effective workout the next time around.
The lesson here:Listen to your body. There's no absolute overtraining answer that applies to everyone, so it's important to stay in tune with your own body. If you have insomnia, headaches or muscle and joint fatigue that lingers, your body may be telling you to take a break.
Exercising on a daily basis can pay dividends for overall health, but it's important to give your body time to recover by incorporating low-intensity workouts. Remember, rest is the best way to cure overtraining.