Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Are You Exercising Too Much?

The Facts About Overtraining

Most people these days are worried about getting enough exercise. But, there are plenty of people who may be getting a little too much. Too much exercise may lead to overtraining which can make you susceptible to injuries and illnesses. How do you know if you're doing too much? If your workouts suddenly feel harder than usual, or you're losing ground despite the fact that you're working hard, you may be experiencing overtraining. If you're feeling the pain, it's time to do some analysis on your workout routine.

The typical signs of overtraining include:

  • Insomnia
  • Achiness or pain in the muscles and/or joints
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Elevated morning pulse
  • Sudden inability to complete workouts
  • Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy
  • Increased susceptibility to colds, sore throats and other illnesses
  • Loss in appetite
  • Decrease in performance

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's a good idea to visit your doctor to make sure nothing more serious is going on. If it is simply overtraining, what causes it and what can you do to avoid it?

The cause:

The cause of overtraining is simple. You're not resting enough and/or you're doing the same exercise too much! Your body needs time to recover and, don't forget, you muscles will grow when you give them enough time. Doing the same workout day after day can also lead to overtraining, boredom and possible injury. If you've determined you're a candidate for overtraining, read on to find out how to avoid it.
Rest! Your body needs rest after lifting weights to allow your muscles to recover and grow. When strength training, don't work the same muscle group two days in a row. Allow at least one day of rest before working the same muscle group again. For cardio, you may be wondering if it's okay to do it every day. That will depend on your intensity and the activity you're doing. It's not a great idea to do the same workout everyday as that can lead to both overtraining and repetitive stress injuries. You also shouldn't do intense and difficult workouts every day of the week, since that will also eventually cause problems. If you want to exercise every day, go for it. Just make sure you schedule low-intensity workouts as well. For example, if you usually run and bike every day, try to take a couple of days to go for a walk or do a light swim. These 'recovery' workouts will help you stay fresh and the cross-training will help you avoid injuries.

Doing too much too soon can also lead to overtraining and injuries. If you're a beginning runner, don't attempt to run too much your first time out. Start with a walking/running program and slowly build up your running time each week. For lifting weights, you want to progress each week, but you don't want to add so much weight that your body can't handle it. There are a few other things you can do to avoid overtraining:

  • Warm up before your workout. Proper warm-up can help prevent injuries.
  • Fuel up after exercise. Your body needs energy to recover and that comes from food. A combination of carbs, protein and fat will give your body the energy it needs. Check out About's Nutrition site for more info.
  • Stretch. Tight muscles can often cause other muscles of your body to overcompensate, which can cause injury over time.
  • Schedule recovery days into your weekly routine. Listen to your body. If you're 10 minutes into your workout and you're feeling tired and unmotivated, go back home and rest or do a light yoga workout.
  • Get adequate sleep. Need I say more?

The most important thing you can do for yourself when you experience overtraining symptoms is to rest. It's better to take a week or so off from exercise and come back fresh than to permanently injure yourself!
From Paige Waehner




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