As a someone working in the Health Industry, I’m excited to see so many great workouts posted; people running marathons, competing in triathlons, as well as, eating healthy meals and weight loss stories. But, how do you know when it’s too much??
Most of you know that there is such a thing as eating too little, or loosing too much weight, but may not consider over exercising. It can to sneak up on you. You may think, that can never happen to me. Over training only happens to people who work out twice a day for hours… Well, yes burnout can happen to them. And yes, it can happen to you. It happened to me.
Sometimes I’m a black and white individual, there’s a time for work, a time for relaxation, time for eating healthy, and then a not so healthy meal. I’m always striving to find a balance, let it happen naturally you know? When it comes to working out apparently, I go from light workouts to extreme. Maybe I’m more competitive then I realize? Or, I have a fear of gaining back unwanted weight. All I know is I love working out for so many reasons.
Mtn. biking in Sedona
During my over working out period initially, I had difficulty falling asleep at night. This was very unusual, since typically I fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. Then I had periods of heart racing in the morning or night, along with feeling sore and fatigued all over, everyday. The all over fatigued lasted all day long… My diet changed as well, first intense sugar cravings, then no appetite at all (also very strange for me).
At first I think I was in denial, thought I was just busy at work and after work activities. Then I started looking closely at the changes in my body and finally put two and two together. To get out of it I increased my carbs, and cut back on my workouts drastically for a week. The following week increased the sweat sessions to half of what I was doing. I immediately felt the difference, and my symptoms disappeared.
So what? You can handle a little fatigue and soreness. Well if you are training for a important race or competition this is different. You have built in recovery time after it is over (but still important to avoid over training if you can). However, for those of us without racing “seasons”, the long term effects of over training can take it’s toll on the body.
You can be more susceptible to fractures due to decreased bone density, you are also at more of a risk for injuries. And, your heart has to work that much harder. Not mention you feel miserable, and experience emotional changes.
To avoid over training, or working out too much, build in recovery or rest periods. Especially after races or competitions. Make sure to eat enough calories to help your body recover. Cycle through workouts, and cross train. Try different and new types of ways to workout. And, keep an eye out for any of the symptoms mentioned above.