Exercise promotes good health by building immunity. Exercise releases endorphins into your blood stream which makes you feel joyful and positive. The balanced mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercises performed regularly at the right intensity, when combined with proper rest, yield lasting results. However, overdoing can be counterproductive.

Reasons for overdoing

Of late, continuous high intensity workouts at the cost of one’s health have become common place. The setting of unrealistic goals and the obsession with achieving an athletic build in a short time-span has created many a gym rats. The Gym, being a social environment, adds to one’s lack of focus and fuels the desire to show off one’s strength.

Here are some signs you are overtraining.

Dehydration

Working out too much makes you lose a lot of body fluids. This is caused by hyper catabolism, i.e., the breaking down of your body’s proteins into amino acids. Hence, you feel thirsty all the time.

Abnormal heart rate

The Normal resting heart rate for an adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Over exercising causes profuse sweating and electrolyte imbalance which increases your pulse rate. A higher resting rate for a sustained period indicates that you’ve overdone your workout.

Hormonal Imbalance

The right amount of workout produces hormones which stimulate cell production and regeneration. However, when you work out too hard, your body produces more of cortisol, the stress hormone. This adversely affects blood sugar and blood pressure.  Further, hormonal overload messes up normal menstrual cycle in women.

Sleep Disturbance

Proper sleep is important for those who work out in the gym because their body mends itself during that time. Strenuous workout over stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and causes sleeplessness.

overtraining

Muscular and Joint Pain

After exercising, it’s common to experience soreness in the muscles for a day or two because of the delayed onset of muscle soreness. However, chronic pain in the muscles, elbow and knee joints that disrupt your normal functioning, strongly indicates workout strain.

Injury

Frequent fresh injuries or aggravation of your old injuries occur if you push yourself too hard. If you do high intensity workout every day sans the recovery period, you are tearing up your muscles, weakening your body and making yourself prone to stress fractures.

Frequent sickness

While regular moderate exercise makes you resistant to infections, everyday intense exercise leads to loss of muscle mass which weakens your immune system making you fall ill often.

Exhaustion

Burn-out represents a state where you feel drained both physically and mentally even after your recovery period. You feel tired, sulky and depressed. You even become disinterested in your work-out routine. Such persistent mental boredom and physical fatigue is the consequence of a strenuous workout.

Therefore, to avoid strain, alternate between high intensity cardio/weightlifting and yoga/stretching. Keep yourself hydrated, consume protein-rich foods, take vitamin supplements and give your body time to recuperate. Change your fitness routine frequently to avoid hitting a plateau. In short, remain aware of your body’s signals and respect the same.