Samantha Olivier graciously agreed to write a guest blog for Best Body Fitness. I'm honored to share her blog with her blessings.
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Ripped.me, or in a tea shop. She also blogs for the Natural News Blog.
Are You Exercising Too Much?
Some of the most successful people have been able to achieve triumph because they were obsessed with what they did. However, is that level of obsession really good and does it work for everything? In 2015, an article was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology where researchers from Denmark claimed that people can actually undo the benefits of exercise, if they push their bodies too hard.
How can you know whether or not you’re addicted to exercising?
Well, if you skip socializing in favor of exercise, or if you’re so injured or sore that you can’t get the most of taking your favorite class, then you’re a “classic overdoer”. When you don’t take breaks, and rest your body properly, you’re actually reversing the process, and can even pack on some more pounds instead of getting leaner.
Is This Really True?
During exercise, tiny tears are created in your muscle fibers. During your rest, these fibers re-heal, as they are given the chance to do so. If you skip the important recovery period, you won’t see any changes in strength or tone. Overexercising puts a larger stress on the body, which triggers a surge in cortisol (the “stress hormone) and the hormone further prevents testosterone from doing its job – building muscle tissue.
Symptoms of Overtraining
Should you train 2, 3, or 4 days per week? Also, what should be the length of your training routine? Everything depends on an individual’s metabolism, and factors such as current physical condition, experience, and nutrition, so there’s no straightforward solution to the dilemma. However, there are some obvious symptoms that may indicate that you’re pushing your body too hard.
Due to the overstimulation of the nervous system, you may experience increased blood pressure and resting heart rate. It can also lead to a decrease in mental concentration, physical strength, and motivation, as well as mood changes – restlessness, anxiety, and irritability. According to a 2014 research, overtraining can also be the cause for insomnia, so differences in your sleep patterns can also be a clear indicator that you’re overtraining. DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is normal after exercising, while those who are overexercising experience soreness that is intense and prolonged. If it gets to the point of causing muscle tears and strains, you should pause your workout routine and seek medical help.
Psychological Drawbacks of Overtraining
Overtraining can trap you into believing you’ll fall out of shape or get fat if you skip only one day of training. This is the sneaky psychological drawback of overtraining, which causes you to prioritize exercising to other aspects of your life, in order to keep your habit – not giving your best at work, giving up on socialization, and cancelling plans with your partner. The fact is that exercising should enhance every aspect of your life – your job, friends, mind and body.
How to Avoid Overtraining
Quality over quantity. Make each training session count, and after you finish – be satisfied with what you’ve done. Those extra training efforts may lead to injury, steal energy from future sessions, and hinder your recovery.
Set your rest days. Alternating tough days with moderate-workout ones is the smartest workout plan you can set for yourself. Also, it is important to understand that having one true break day is a complement to a good workout, not an alternative to one. You allow your body the opportunity to rebuild, recover, and get stronger and leaner, but that doesn’t require you to turn into a couch potato for the whole day. Any kind of light exercise, such as an easy bike ride or hike, will do you good, as long as it doesn’t stress your muscles. You can use this day to prepare your pre- and post-workout meals, because it’s important to retain a constant protein intake, with the addition of various gym supplements as additional sources of protein.
Missed a workout? Instead of feeling guilty or anxious, do a quick workout – 10 minutes of jumping jacks for cardio and 10 minutes of full-body workout exercises will help you improve your mood and de-stress without tiring your body.
In this case, more doesn’t always mean better. Overexercising can leave you exhausted and reverse the effect of your training efforts, preventing you from building muscle, leaving you exhausted and anxious. If you’re new to physical exercise, don’t embark on a tough training routine immediately, but start off lightly and slowly build up your endurance and strength by making your exercise routine a little harder when required.