The term 'overtraining' simply means reaching a
physical and mental state where any further exercise (be it cardio
or weights) would have a negative impact on your health.
So how much training is too much? Unfortunately, there is no precise formula to help us figure out whether we are training too much. This is because everybody has a different body and different fitness levels so it needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. There are a number of early warning signs that may suggest that you are overtraining, such as:
- Frequently getting sick
- Sore joints
- Decreased performance
- Feeling strung out
- Apparent plateaus (stagnant progress)
- Decreased interest in training
If you only notice one or two of these signs, they could be stemming from other areas. For example, feeling strung out due to your work schedule. If you notice yourself relating to more and more of these symptoms, it may be an indication that you are overtraining. If you notice these warning signs and try to push past them, you risk putting your body (and mind) through unnecessary trauma. These more severe symptoms can be conditions like:
- Muscle tear
- Complete lack of energy/constant fatigue
- Ligament damage
These symptoms are much more serious because they require a lot more time and attention to heal and recover from. They can also reduce your ability to exercise effectively. This can not only halt the progress towards your health & fitness goals, it can actually be taking you FURTHER AWAY from it!
In order to avoid overtraining, we need to allow time for recovery. We can essentially compress all recovery into two categories; Passive Recovery and Active Recovery.
Relaxing on the couch or having a nap is considered Passive Recovery. This form of recovery is the less efficient of the two, as the body is not stimulated to heal in the same way as Active Recovery.
Active Recovery can promote blood circulation through
the muscles & joints, which in turn, increases the
effectiveness of the body's healing ability. Being active on a
recovery day also gives a great psychological boost and can improve
your mood. It's a good opportunity to do activities that
focus on keeping your body in the best shape it can be to continue
along your path to achieving your goals! Foam rolling is a
fantastic option as it simulates massaging the muscles. This helps
to keep the blood moving throughout the body, effectively reducing
the recovery time and helps get rid of that common feeling of
stiff, tight muscles. Doing mobility exercises, going for a walk,
light yoga/pilates, getting a massage and swimming are all great
options for active recovery which will have you feeling energised
and ready to continue smashing your weekly goals!!!
If you'd like some more information on active recovery or have any questions, please don't hesitate to talk to one of our trainers.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.