Blog, Health & Wellbeing

Are you Overtraining?

What is overtraining and is there such a thing as too much exercise? Some of us are working out a lot more and are choosing to participate in quite intense, extreme forms of workouts. Many people train up to six or even seven days a week. Not only are they training more but often training harder than ever before.

Some of the causes of overtraining can be an increase in exercise frequency or duration, intensity of sessions and not allowing your body sufficient time for recovery and rest. It is very difficult to know if you are overtraining or when you have reached that point.

Overtraining signs can include complete exhaustion, physical tiredness, fatigue – or you may have trouble sleeping and even reach a point where you feel you lack motivation to exercise.  

Symptoms of Overtraining include:  

– Lack of Motivation.

– Tiredness, Restlessness.

– Joint, bone & limb Soreness.

– Decrease in performance.

– Increase in injuries.

– Elevated blood pressure.

– Decreased strength.

– Decreased endurance.

– Decreased max heart rate.

– A change in menstrual patterns.


Lack of Motivation.
Lack of motivation and drive can be a sign that your body needs rest and recovery from physical activity. So if you suddenly go from training 6 to 7 days a week to not wanting anything to do with the gym then it’s time to listen to your body – and take time out to recover and rest.

Joint, bone and limb soreness.
This is the soreness that is different from the usual soreness after your workout. It will often last longer than a few days and possibly can be more painful too. This can be very common in beginners or those who are new to exercise and is often due to doing too much too fast and too soon.

You stop seeing results.
Studies show that working out too much can actually cause you to lose muscle and gain fat! Hormones play a large role in this. Overtraining causes the body to produce inadequate amounts of testosterone – but will produce the hormone cortisol (the stress hormone) in higher levels.

You are sick more often.
Continually training combined with a lack of sleep, poor diet, mental stress could lead to feeling ill. This can be a sign of overtraining and your body telling you that something maybe wrong with your immune system from the increased training volume.

If you notice the signs of overtraining it may take the body a few days, weeks or possibly months to completely recover. You may also have to take time off your training.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid the effects of Overtraining;

Sleep is important for your body to recover, rest and to see results.

Correct Nutrition and the intake of proper nutrients is also essential for recovery.

Manage your stress levels. Try yoga, meditation or massage.

Recovery & Rest. Take some time out of your workout and schedule rest, relaxation and recovery time.

Now you are aware of how to spot the signs of Overtraining – train smarter and not harder!

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Dal Dhaliwal is a health and wellbeing expert, educator and special advisor on physical activity. She is also an active professional speaker and TV/ radio presenter. Dal helps entrepreneurs and professionals with their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. She consults and presents for some of the UK's leading businesses and organisations within the wellness, sports and business arena.