Avoid Over-training and Work-out Burn-out…

ch fitnessOnce you’ve shifted your lifestyle and incorporated a challenging workout routine into your daily activities, the one thing you must avoid is “burn-out” caused by over-training.

Over-training or “excessive exercise” is just as big an risk as under training, presents its own set of problems and can lead to injuries and hormonal issues with females as well as emotional and mental difficulties.

Proper exercise should stress muscles enough that they get stronger. However, if you don’t allow your muscles the proper rest and adequate recovery time they require in between they end up with fatigue, in pain and poorly functioning. When ligaments and tendons are exposed to too much weight or too many reps, they become inflamed.

This inflammation is a real motivation and enthusiasm killer and at worst can cause serious injury.

Most issues with over-training are not real obvious at first and can easily be blamed on other things.

Some physical signs that you may be experiencing if you are over-training are:

Physical fatigue: Loss of enthusiasm is often one of the first symptoms that appears when you are “over training.”

Loss of appetite and extreme rapid weight loss

Elevated resting heart rate or blood pressure

Frequent bouts of colds and other infections

Musculoskeletal injuries

Increased cortisol levels

Decreased Bone Density: Not only does over training effect your moods, but it results in physical problems too such as a loss of bone density. Estrogen levels are negatively affected when you are exercising excessively which puts you at risk for osteoporosis. Females who over train will often mess with their menstrual cycles and experience missed periods (amenorrhea; the absence of menstrual cycles).

Altered immune function

Behavioral Signs of overtraining:

The “I can’t miss one day” of exercising mentality

Dissatisfaction and self-criticism

Mind depression, anxiety or irritability

Disrupted sleep patterns

A good way to avoid over training is by varying your workouts each day. If injuries or workout burnout have occurred you may have to reduce your intensity and frequency to get yourself back on track.

Steps to avoid overtraining:

Schedule your workouts: when scheduling your workouts make sure you schedule in one or two days a week of rest. 5 days of exercise is more than enough.

Skip days: Weight training causes tiny tears in your muscle fibers. Using the same muscles two days in a row to perform your resistance exercises puts them at risk for injury. Without your rest day in between sessions your muscles cannot heal properly.

Change it up: Using the same muscles to train leaves other muscles weak and at risk. It’s better to cross train yourself by participating in a variety of sports. If you are a swimmer, spend time biking or running.

Another way to prevent over-training is to monitor your resting heart rate as you can detect an increase in your heart rate before other symptoms show up.

Bottom line is this: Over-training is the result of not allowing your muscles to fully recover sufficiently before performing your next workout. Training for a special event or getting your body in shape does not happen overnight. It takes patience, dedication and determination.

Combine patience, dedication and determination with planning ahead, and listening to your body’s signals along with proper nutrition and rest (your heart and lungs need rest as well as the muscles and bones you just worked) for the perfect balanced workout formula.

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