Exercise is a great thing. It lifts your mood, gives you purpose, and improves your health. In challenging times, it also provides a sense of control when other factors in life are unknown. Sometimes you can be so focused on achieving those feel-good attributes that you push yourself too hard. Not surprisingly, symptoms of overtraining are similar to the feelings you experience when you’re going through tough times. Asphalt Green personal trainer Abby shares signs you might be pushing yourself too hard and how to shift your mindset.
You’re fatigued. After a workout, you should feel like you have done work, but you should also feel energized. If your workouts feel impossible to get through or you're dizzy, agitated, or moody, you may have pushed too hard.
You’re sore for days. After a tough, strength-focused workout, you might experience some muscle soreness the next day, but it should not last the whole week. Soreness is normal, particularly if you are working on building muscle mass. Make sure you are alternating leg days, arm days, and back days to minimize soreness and give your muscles time to recover.
You can’t remember the last time you took a rest day. Your body needs to recover. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not giving the body enough rest between workouts. Make sure at least one day per week is dedicated to recovery. If you’re wired to keep moving, use recovery time to work on mobility. Take a yoga or foam rolling class.
You’re injured. No pain no gain was a common mantra in the fitness industry for years, but professionals have shifted their mindset. Sharp pain is never something you should push through. Get to know your body and understand its different sensations. Some discomfort is expected— mild pulling, stretching, and burning—and even desirable depending on the activity. However, sharp, stabbing, sudden pain is a clear indication to stop.
You’re dehydrated. Take the weather conditions into account when determining workout intensity. Outdoor workouts in hot, humid summer weather can lead to heat exhaustion if not approached properly. On particularly hot days, take the intensity down a notch and make sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise. A good rule of thumb is one ounce of water per pound of your weight (150 pounds would translate to 150 ounces of water daily).