Healthy eating and exercising regularly are the two best things you can do to help you live a long and healthy life. Most of us concerned with our health closely watch what we eat but we don’t always recognize the less obvious signs that we are overtraining. We usually recognize these obvious signs of overtraining:
- Trouble breathing or maintaining a conversation
- Disorientation, foggy mental processing
- Rapid heart beat
But what about the less obvious ones? Many dismiss these four as nothing when in fact they are your body telling you something:
1 – Withdrawal Symptoms
Exercising can be as addictive as drugs. About every 8 weeks or so, exercisers should take a week off for their body to recuperate and heal. If you find you cannot go that long without exercising and you start to experience withdrawal symptoms, you may be suffering from exercise addiction. Get some professional help.
2 – Hormonal Imbalances
Overtraining in women can lead to hormone imbalances that manifest themselves in skipped periods. If you don’t have a period for six months in a row, see a doctor as you might be suffering from amenorrhea that can be caused by excessive exercising.
High intensity exercising over a long period of time can also cause excess levels of cortisol in both sexes. Elevated levels of the “stress hormone” can manifest itself in decreased testosterone and a weakened immune system.
3 – Weakened Immune System
Our immune systems are slightly depressed right after exercising, but soon recover. However if you are overtraining, your immune system stays depressed which increases your risk of getting sick more often than you should. If you often experience flu-like systems, but don’t develop the flu, it could be a sign you are overtraining.
4 – Chronic Fatigue
Are you always tired or getting progressively more tired as time goes on, even after your recovery period? It could be caused from overtraining. That is why fitness professionals recommend taking one week off of training approximately every two months. If you are still chronically fatigued even after taking a week off, see your healthcare professional.
If you are training a lot, then you need to be especially vigilant for any of the above signs of overtraining. Many can lead to serious health-related problems if not corrected quickly. Don’t be afraid to go to your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. Don’t be a victim of your own training.