The Pitfalls of Overtraining

Training is supposed to make you feel great, but overtraining can have the exact opposite effect. For instance, some of the common pitfalls that come along with overtraining may include insomnia, a faster than normal heart rate, troubles with endurance during regular workouts as well as lowered strength, and aching muscles and joints. If you start to feel physically worse, such a feeling may cause you to give up on working out altogether…and you certainly don’t want to do that.

Muscle Warnings

Your body can talk to you in physical ways. It may warn you that you are overdoing your workouts. Your muscles might give you a few different warning signs. One of these might be a heavy-leg sensation. Another may include stiffness and soreness in tendons, joints and muscles.

Emotional Warnings

Just as there are physical warning signs, some of the ‘be more careful’ tips may include emotional changes. A big one of these is losing interest in training. You might find yourself ready to give up. You may also start to feel more nervous than usual. Sometimes, folks start to get depressed and even lose their sense of humor. Other folks become apathetic and just don’t care anymore. In addition to becoming nervous, some people realize they just cannot relax anymore. In other cases, this overtraining begins to adversely affect work and school, where you cannot keep your focus.

General Body Changes

If you’ve been overtraining, your body might just not feel the same. You could start getting headaches, for instance, or lose your appetite. Your overall athletic performance may suddenly decrease. Fatigue and sluggishness oftentimes sets in. Sometimes, you lose weight. There have been instances where individuals developed swelling of lymph nodes in their armpits, groins, and necks. Others have suffered from constipation or diarrhea. In the case of women, there could be an absence of menstruation.

Testing Yourself

If you are experiencing some of the above symptoms, you might want to test yourself to see for sure if you’re overtraining. There’s a simple way to do this: Take your resting morning pulse as soon as you wake up. Take this pulse for a mere 15 seconds and then multiply it by four. If this pulse is greater than seven beats per minute, which is quicker than normal, you need to keep an eye on this elevated pulse and think seriously about reducing your training routine. You might even consider taking a day off from training. If you’re working with a personal coach, let him or her know about these concerns so you can steer clear over overtraining.

Training is only effective if you’re getting positive results. If you’re building up muscle mass and losing weight, as well as feeling good with plenty of energy, you’re likely doing things right. But if you start to feel bad, the training you’re doing is obviously moving you in the wrong direction. By all means, don’t give up on training simply because you’ve begun to overdo it. Just keep it all in balance.


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