4 SIGNS OF OVERTRAINING
THAT MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF INJURY
Exercise and persistent training is critical if you want to reach new heights and improve your performance. However, it comes with a caveat…overtraining. Overtraining can have a diminishing impact on your performance, moods, and overall health, and can even make you more susceptible to experience an injury.
This would not only put you back in your training, but would likely cause even MORE frustrations than trying to combat various symptoms of overtraining.
The four signs/symptoms of overexercise that may increase your risk of injury include...
- Decreased Performance
- Delayed Recovery Time
One early sign of overtraining is decreased performance. This can show up in many ways, whether it is simply decreased strength, decreased endurance, or discomfort which is limiting your abilities.
There is a time and place for pushing yourself, but pushing through pain is not one of them. If you continue to push through the roadblock of pain, discomfort, or decreased performance it may eventually lead to burnout and disinterest in exercise and sports all together.
DELAYED RECOVERY TIME
Is your muscle soreness lasting longer than it use to? This is a sign that you are overtraining.
If our body is not receiving ample time to rest, rebuild, and recover you will live in a constant state of physical breakdown. This will not only limit your body’s ability to gain muscle and lose excess body weight, but it will also increase your chances of experiencing an injury.
If muscle soreness lasts for days, you should really take more time to rest. Replace your typical workout with something light, that can help provoke recovery like a walk, bike ride, or an easy swim.
It may come as a surprise to you that being restless during the night is actually a sign of overtraining.
The ability to fall asleep and stay asleep relies a lot on regulation of various hormones. However, training too hard/long/often can cause disruption in the hormonal balance needed for a good night's rest.
Poor sleep can also exacerbate the next symptom of overtraining...fatigue.
Are you feeling run down? Or exhausted, both physically and mentally? Or maybe you are finding yourself reaching for coffee, pre-workout, and other stimulants more often than usual to give you an extra pep in your step. It could be your body telling you it is being overtrained.
Athletes often times recognize that exercise gives them an energy boost. However, if you are overexercising the boost will be temporary, followed by increased grogginess.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you are experiencing any of the four signs listed above, there are things you can do to improve the efficiency of your rest days. Doing so will help you get back to feeling great, and performing at your best.
TIPS FOR REST DAYS:
- Actually take rest days…whether you want to or not. Your body and performance will reap the rewards.
- Practice light activity on rest days (i.e. walking, light bike ride, easy swim, or an easy-to-medium hike).
- Proper warm up & cool down before and after exercise.
- Incorporate recovery-boosting techniques in your routine, like utilizing a foam roller and taking warm epsom salt baths.
- Improve your sleeping position & develop a bedtime ritual. This will help you sleep more soundly through the night, and help you avoid pain from an odd sleeping position.
- Nourish your body with nutrient-dense food in its whole form so you get the nutrients needed for proper recovery and peak performance.
- Drink more water! It is simple and can make a profound difference on your physical and mental performance.
If you suspect that you are on the verge of an injury, or have already experienced an injury we recommend reaching out to your Physical Therapist. The therapists at Elite Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Leawood can both guide athletes to recovery, and teach athletes how to properly train and prevent injury.
PS - Want a graphic to reference tips for an effective rest day? CLICK HERE!