Overtraining: Are You Exercising Too Much?
Contrary to popular belief, you won't necessarily experience better results by exercising more frequently. Statistics by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over half of all U.S. adults fail to get enough aerobic exercise. A lack of aerobic exercise, of course, increases the risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments. But exercising too much can have a negative impact on your health as well.
What Is Overtraining?
Also known as overtraining syndrome, overtraining is a condition that occurs from exercising too much. It's common among athletes, bodybuilders and other physically active individuals.
If you exercise regularly, you should be conscious of how much time you spend exercising. Overtraining may occur if you exercise too much. This otherwise common condition involves exercising to the point where you exceed your body's ability to recover.
Symptoms of Overtraining
How do you know if you are suffering from overtraining exactly? You may experience muscle soreness that doesn't seem to go away. Muscle soreness is normal when exercising. If you perform strength-training exercises, such as lifting weights or doing push-ups, your muscles will inevitably feel sore. But this soreness should go away within 24 to 48 hours. If it remains after a 48-hour period, you could be suffering from overtraining.
Fatigue is a common symptom of overtraining. You may feel tired after exercising for a prolonged period. And sleeping alone may not be enough to fully restore your energy levels. Rather, you'll have to wait for your body to recover from the exercise.
There's even some belief that overtraining can increase the risk of infections. It may suppress your immune system. Your immune system may become weaker due to overtraining. A weakened immune system, of course, may struggle to fend off infections.
Tips to Prevent Overtraining
There are several things you can do to prevent overtraining. Taking breaks between strength-training exercises, for instance, will lower your risk of overtraining. You shouldn't perform strength-training exercises on multiple consecutive days. Instead, you should space out your workout sessions by at least 48 hours. If you perform strength-training exercises on Tuesday, wait until Thursday to perform them again.
Changing your exercises can lower your risk of overtraining as well. If you perform the same type of exercise over and over, you may succumb to overtraining. By switching up your regimen with a variety of different exercise types, you'll be better protected against overtraining.
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