Overtraining often occurs due to misinformation, or an unhealthy fixation to lose weight or achieve some other physical fitness goal. Training for too long, too hard or without proper rest ultimately hurts your body rather than help it.
How Overtraining Starts
When people first begin exercising, they commonly forget to take part in necessary research before they set out to achieve their goals. This scenario happens very often. A person will join a gym and show up raring to go on the first day. Workouts last several hours, every single day of the week. However, the initial fervor quickly dwindles and ends abruptly as a burn out.
The burning desire to shed unwanted fatty tissue and build a slimmer figure may lead you to believe that you need to stay on the treadmill for three hours a day. These prolonged training sessions do help, but only to a certain point. Eventually overtraining hurts the body in a severe way.
Possible Side Effects
If you continue to exercise vigorously and forget about resting or proper nutrition, the effectiveness of your body to perform to its full potential diminishes. Commonly referred to as fatigue, your body simply does not have the ability to perform strenuous physical activity without having required downtime.
Running, exercising, or other physical activity for long periods of time breaks down muscle tissue and depletes nutrient reserves. With intense workouts, your body is subjected to vigorous wear and tear. The process of tissues and other components breaking down into simpler metabolic components is a catabolic process. If this process is prolonged, the body has excessive tissue breakdown and starts reacting to the additional stress. Stress surpresses growth hormones, the digestive system, immune system and other bodily systems. Overtraining is one way to prolong this catabolic process.
Other byproducts of overtraining include fatigue and lack of energy. The combination of exercising too much while eating too little results in an unfavorable balance of energy. Your body will not possess the necessary ability to exert the force required in most exercises by eating salad and water. If you intend on spending multiple hours of the day at the gym or running at home, you must balance that workout schedule with the proper consumption of calories from a variety of healthy sources.
Overtraining Affecting Your Fitness Goals
Typical fitness goals usually include building muscles, stamina, endurance, avoiding illness, maintaining a healthy weight and generally living a healthy lifestyle. Anabolic processes- the constructive building, repairing, and effective synthesis of body tissue- play a large part in reaching fitness goals. This is achieved through rest, sleep and proper nutrition. Because exercise is a catabolic process, it must be counter balanced by anabolic processes.
Overtraining doesn’t allow for anabolic processes and, therefore, actually provides the opposite effect of what you’re trying to accomplish with your fitness goals. Remember, overtraining works more as a depletion mechanism rather than a physically beneficial activity. Too much exercise and not enough rest will cause fatigue, but overtraining paired with a poor diet often leads to harmful nutrient deficiencies and illnesses stemming from a weakened immune system.
Adequate rest and proper nutrition are essential in helping the body rebuild, repair and recover. In the long run, allowing yourself time off in between workouts will give you more efficient workouts, avoid burn out and allow you to stick to your fitness goal for a longer period of time.