You might be surprised to know that “working out” is a double-edged sword! Yes, we know that we have been telling you about how exercise is good for your physical and mental health, and we still insist that it is a life-changer; but what about over-exercising? And when should you put the brakes on?
So, if you feel that you are over-exercising, this blog is for you!
What is over-exercising?
Over-exercising is a state that occurs when a gym-goer turns into a gym addict. In other words, it is when an athlete turns a deaf ear to his body and continues to work out hard even when sick, injured, or in pain. Moreover, over-exercising appears when an athlete prioritizes “exercise” over anything including his personal life, health, work, and social life, and experiences guilt and irritability when unable to work out.
However, don’t mix things up. Exercising on daily basis doesn’t necessarily mean that you are over-exercising. You know that you are over-doing it when:
- Muscle soreness lasts more than 4 days: experiencing muscle soreness after an intense workout is totally normal. But more than 4 days?!
- Your resting heart rate increases: this is an alarming sign especially since exercise should lower your resting heart rate. However, when you over-exercise, your heart rate becomes stuck in “workout mode”.
- You are frequently injured: are you getting injured frequently even though you are maintaining a proper form? If so, you now know why!
- You are getting sick more than usual: studies have shown that over-exercising can negatively impact your immune response.
- You toss and turn in bed: exercise is supposed to relax your muscles and help you doze off quickly. So, you know that you are over-exercising when your muscles are tense and you are unable to sleep.
- Your performance is decreasing: surprisingly, decreased performance is a sign of overtraining. Some people believe that overtraining can improve their performance and help them reach their goals faster. However, it can do the complete opposite!
- “Sorry, I’ve got plans”: and your only plan happens to be “working out”! canceling plans to exercise is a sign of over-exercising.
- You experience mood swings: exercise triggers “happy hormones” and fights mental illness. But if you are feeling anxious, depressed, moody, and cranky especially when you miss a workout, it is time to hit the “pause” button. You are overdoing it!
- You are constantly drained: if you are experiencing constant fatigue after and during your workout, it means that you are not giving your body enough time to rest and recover.
How can you stop over-exercising?
Now that you are familiar with the red flags, if the above symptoms apply to you, it is time to scale back and follow the below tips!
- Take some time off
It is highly recommended to take at least two weeks off from the gym. Give your body some time to rest, recover, and repair, and notice how you will power up and readjust your mood. We know that it is not going to be easy, and you might be tempted to work out but remember that the “time off” is temporary, and it is for your own benefit.
- Sleep is the best medicine
As we mentioned above, over-exercising can cause insomnia. Hence, the first step towards recovering from overtraining is getting enough sleep. Trust us, you need it!
However, even after returning to your workout routine, make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
- Stay hydrated
Never take hydration for granted. Over-exercising causes excess loss in electrolytes, so drink water as much as you can! Did you know that water can ease muscle pain?
- Stick to a healthy diet
Your body needs nutrients especially while recovering. So, make sure to fuel your body with proteins and vegetables to speed up your recovery.
Now that you are ready…
- Seek help from a personal trainer
After recovering from over-exercising, you might need a personal trainer. Our certified personal trainers at PowerHouse Gym will help you avoid compulsive exercising and customize a workout plan for you. Our professional personal trainers will also set realistic goals and help you achieve them in healthy and reasonable ways.
- Start slowly
Even though you have been resting for two weeks, this doesn’t mean that you can return to overtraining. Our certified personal trainers will help you listen to your body and tell you how to ease back to exercise with moderate physical activity and intensity.
Over-exercising should be taken seriously as it can cause severe mental and physical damage with time. However, if the above overtraining symptoms persisted even after taking weeks off from exercise, it is better to seek professional help.