There are times that the positive aspect of pushing yourself can cross over the line into the danger zone.
Pushing yourself is good. It gives motivation to keep progessing, and reveals what you are capable of. But, there is a point in which you are pushing yourself too far. When is that? To find the answer, you’ll need to know your own body.
When you are doing a normal workokut, you will feel some "pain," but there are different types of pain. For instance, when your muscles start burning, pain sensors go off signifying that something is wrong. If the pain is sudden and sharp -- Stop! Do not push through it. Pain like this is our body’s way of telling you to chill out a bit. Take a breather. You went too far.
Some signs to watch for:
- If you have pain either during or after your workout that inclues either muscle strain pain or joint pain
- If you have extreme fatigue that does not seem to let up with regular rest
- If you are getting aggitated easily
- If you have an elevated resting heart rate
- If you are feeling sick more frequently
- If you have an inability to keep your exercsie levels up
The last one can often, but not always, be the first sign you see. So watch out for it. You will start to see a decrease in your exercise ability, too, when you’ve overtrained or pushed yourself too far. Even though you may have a great workout, the the next day you won’t be quite as energetic and your muscles won‘t feel quite as strong. If this is the case, you’ll need to work back up to a more intense routine again. Yet, remember to give your body a chance rest and recuperate first.
What Should You do When You Catch Yourself Overtraining?
Take a couple days off. As aforementioned, let your body rest. While doing this, you may need to look at how you are training. Do you need to lighten your workouts? How and which ones? What about taking a day of rest between sessions?
If you are doing intense exercise Monday through Friday, then you may want to put some less intense days in between. Pushing yourself to see what your boundaries are and pushing through them is a great thing, but you still want to be smart about it. You do not want to push yourself so hard that you injure yourself.
If your body is overtaxed and you need to take a rest day, but can not handle sitting still, then you may want to do something light. Consider light walking, swiming or biking. This will still provide the movement you need while going easy on your body. Also, changing the type of exercise you are doing can help as well. If you do running a lot, then a bike ride would give your body a break from the impact of your regular routines.
Maintaining a proper diet is also a helpful tool in preventing overtraining. In fact, having a healthy diet promotes constant healthy repair in the body. So, make sure to have a proper amount of healthy protien, carbs, vegetables, and fats. The balance of these nutrients is different for everyone. However, no matter what ratio of nutrients you eat, you should eat a high-quality source regularly throughout the day.
If you are doing intense exercise, you may want to look into doing some other recovery techniques. Massage therapy and ice do wonders on sore, inflamed muscles.
Remember, every body is different and at different levels of fitness. One person may be doing something that seems too light to overtrain them, but it may have just been too fast of a progression for their body. Pushing your boundaries to see what you are made of can be fun and rewarding, but again, you must learn to balance it. Always pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you do, you will recognize the signs of overtraining, and learn how to prevent injuries and overexhaustion.