Are you Over-Training?
By Russ Zalkin, Personal Training & Fitness Manager
The idea may seem ridiculous, if not ludicrous, that many of us are or have been guilty of over-training. When beginning an exercise program we become excited and very enthusiastic, which is normal. But when that enthusiasm turns into obsessive behavior and you can’t take a break… you could be over-training. It is important to understand the signs and dangers – as well as the cure.
Exercise is meant to enhance our lives, not control it. When exercise controls our lives it will often backfire, the human body can only take so much physical strain before it begins to breakdown. When this happens, we become vulnerable to injuries as well as sickness. So what are the signs of over-training? Insomnia, joint pain, fatigue, low energy are the most common. Other symptoms include headaches, high resting pulse rate, appetite loss and an increase in colds. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should first consult your physician. Once you have been cleared of any medical reason causing these symptoms… over-training may be left as the reason. So….what’s the cure?
The answer is really very simple…REST. The most important part exercise recovery is actually the time spent resting. Giving your body the time to recover from any type of exercise is vital. It is better to take a week off from exercise then to risk permanent injury. Understand that you will not completely lose your fitness level by taking a week or two break. You will come back refreshed with more energy than before.
Here are some hints to help avoid over-training. Make sure you are doing a variety of different intensities. The human body CANNOT tolerate high-intensity training every day. The higher the intensity, the more rest the body needs. Proper warm up, nutrition and stretching will help prevent injury. Schedule recovery days into your exercise program. Listen to your body… it always tells you everything you need to know, you just have to listen.
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