Vu swinging a kettlebell

Exercise is great for you – YES but like anything in life, too much of something places stress on our bodies and that is NOT good for you.

Poor nutrition coupled with little exercise does not lead to a positive result, it can leave us overweight, stressed, unhappy, unfit and the list goes on but over training can have a similar affect with too much exercise placing stress on our systems leading to a range of health problems.

Overtraining occurs when we do not allow our bodies to rehabilitate following our workouts. This doesn’t just include physical rest and recovery but also proper nutrition to provide the fuel our bodies need to repair muscles as well as staying hydrated. Overtraining not only affects our physical training but also has impacts on our mental and emotional wellbeing.

So what are some signs of overtraining?

  • Fatigue – constant feelings of tiredness day in / day out.
  • Elevated resting heart rate – higher resting heart rate, particularly in the morning.
  • Low immunity – are you getting sick more frequently?
  • Decreased performance – difficulty in getting through a session, slower at performing exercises or unable to lift as heavy.
  • Difficulty sleeping – even though you are fatigued during the day?
  • Chronic muscle soreness – constant muscle soreness despite stretching and maintaining good nutrition.
  • Plateau in weight loss or even weight gain – overtraining can inhibit your weight loss or even lead to weight gain. This is due to the impact that overtraining has on your cortisol levels (stress hormone), increased levels of cortisol significantly impact body composition progress.
  • Low mood/depression – lack of motivation, increased mood swings.

Avoiding the above symptoms is as easy as taking a break from training. I’m not saying do not train for weeks at a time but have 1-2 active rest days from training where you allow your body to recover. On these ‘rest’ days do some lighter activities such as walking, yoga, stretching or even get a massage, which will all benefit your training and progress. Always remember to supplement your training with wholesome nutrition and enough sleep. Most importantly, listen to your body it will tell you what it needs.