Hard weekly exercise sessions can be brutal on the body and mind, but the results are always worth it, right? Not necessarily say experts who warn of Overtraining Syndrome – aka OTS. But you can keep your health and happiness in check by watching out for these warning signs.
Your performance starts to decrease
The first sign that you’re overtraining is your overall exercise performance starts decreasing. This is because muscles need rest to get stronger. When you exert them, you cause micro tears that help them to build, but they also need that rest just as much as the workout to meet your fitness goals.
You heart rate changes
An altered resting heart rate is the normal result of an increased metabolic rate to meet the demand of training, but if your resting heart rate starts to feel unusually low or high (especially in the morning) it could be a red flag. Investing in a heart monitor will let you keep an eye on things – or see a doctor if you’re really concerned.
You’re constantly thirsty
An insatiable thirst coinciding with a period of intense workouts can be a warning that you’re entering a catabolic state where the body starts to consume its own muscle for protein – and this naturally causes dehydration. To beat this, take things a bit easier, get much more sleep and drink plenty of water.
Ongoing muscle soreness
Muscle soreness the day after a hard workout is normal, soreness for days on end is not. Continuing to hit the treadmill or lift weights while your muscles beg for relief won’t help you reach those fitness goals, it’s just likely to lead to injury. Take a break.
You start to lose motivation
Even if your fitness routine is tough, it should bring you a sense of wellbeing and positivity. If exercise doesn’t feel fun anymore and you feel listless, maybe even a bit depressed, it could be a sign of OTS. That’s a good indicator it’s time to take a proper break or do a less intense form of exercise for a while.