Overtraining happens when the body cannot handle the amount of exercise applied to it. Overtraining is a serious problem in more ways than one. Signs and symptoms of overtraining include fatigue, muscle soreness, mood swings, feeling burned out and a lack of muscle growth. It also predisposes the person to infections because it depresses the immune system. Some even manifest tremors, anxiety and restlessness. It is not easy to diagnose overtraining. Other illnesses must be ruled out first before a diagnosis of overtraining can be made.
Exercise is a form of stress. Training at the gym is a stress that serves as a stimulus for muscle growth. It is with rest and adequate nutrition that the muscle develops. In some cases, people believe that muscle growth happens when you train and so, they overdo it. Thinking that more is better, they train up to the point of extreme exhaustion. Don’t try to compete with anybody’s training regimen. You are a different person than your gym buddy. Setting realistic goals will give you realistic expectations. You are more likely to achieve what you set out to do without causing harm to yourself.
Eat, sleep, get a massage. The reason why most people exercise is to have a better physique. Exercise stimulates the muscle to grow. But without adequate rest and food, muscle growth will not happen. No matter how hard you train. For some, this problem is compounded because their goal is to lose weight. They therefore limit their food intake. Too much exercise and too little food and rest equals overtraining. For people who exercise, the quality of food is key. Simple carbs should be avoided if possible. Whole grains, proteins, a little fat, fruits and vegetables should make up your diet. To avoid overtraining, you should rest and sometimes pamper yourself. If you can, schedule a weekly massage. It’s the ultimate anti-stress indulgence.
Everybody experiences stress. If you have other stressors in your life, make exercise as enjoyable as possible. Exercise should not add to your burden. Actually, it should help you alleviate stress. And keep in mind that although exercise is a good kind of stress, it still contributes to your overall stress. When you have other stresses in your life, try to make your training less heavy. You will be prone to overtraining if you are stressing over other concerns. Overtraining when you have other problems may lead to burnout and eventual abandonment of your fitness plan.
Muscle overtraining is not something to scoff at. It can sabotage your total fitness program. It can even change your attitude towards fitness. You can avoid it if you know how to listen to your body and heeding the signals that it gives you.