How to Deal with Overtraining
If your enthusiasm's gotten the better of you, and you are exercising without resting or eating right, you're inviting trouble through overtraining. Overtraining is a reality and a danger for those of us who love working out. Instead of ignoring signs of overtraining, it's best to learn how to read the signals. Here are some ways to deal with overtraining. But first, how do we avoid it all together?
Don’t try and be a superhero: You can’t do everything at once. You are only human, so don’t even try to be a marathoner, power lifter, and a sprinter all at once
Eat enough food: Food is fuel. So eat well, especially if you are working out a lot. Nutrition is important to eat a good combination of carbs, proteins, and fats, and supplement well too.
Avoid too much stress: Some kinds of stress is important. For example, exercise itself is stress: the muscles exert themselves and the body repairs the muscles. But avoid chronic stress – the regular mundane stressors that we face.
Get plenty of sleep: Though sleep is so precious, we do not get enough of it. Growth hormones are released during sleep. Lack of sleep increases cortisol production, an excess of which increases body fat and eats lean mass. Your immunity also suffers and these are all trademarks of overtraining.
If you haven’t avoided it in time, here’s what you should do once you experience the signs...
Take a week off: Yes you heard correct. An entire week! It’s not going to bring back the belly fat, nor are you going to forget how to do pushups. If you can’t get rid of the guilt, then understand this: Overtraining will set you back much further than resting for a week ever will. Your body is telling you something and our advice is to always listen to your body.
Learn from your mistakes: Once you realize that you have been taking on much more than you can handle, it's time to step back, examine what went wrong and change it. It seems simple enough, but many times, you may not want to acknowledge that your body was not able to handle all that work. But it’s time to put the ego aside and your body first. Maybe you need to cut down on weights? Reps? Reduce the number of days in the week? Same goes for nutrition. What are you eating wrong? What do you need to introduce into your diet?
Reset, get set, go: Once you’re back after you’ve closely examined your mistakes, redesign your schedule, change things up, ease up on your self and then go for it. Make sure you pay more attention to your body this time around so that you enjoy your workouts as much as you should.
Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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