Overtraining: Why rest is important.

I think we've all been there a time or two. You've given yourself a deadline to meet where you want to reach SOME point of fitness or aesthetic.

Maybe you're heading out on a beach vacation, or you're getting married. Maybe you signed up for a 5K with some friends that you are SO not ready for!

Whatever the reason for your diving headfirst into workouts, you may have pushed yourself too far, too often, leaving you discouraged because you didn't reach those goals you set out for yourself.

If this has happened to you in the past, chances are you were overtraining.

What is overtraining?

Overtraining is when you don't leave enough time between workouts sessions for your body to repair itself. Rest is when your body goes to work to repair and build your muscles and replenish your energy. Not giving your body time to do this hinders the effects you're looking for and will leave you wondering why you put the work in in the first place.

Why is overtraining bad?

Overtraining syndrome can affect you by lowering your fitness level, affecting performance, and causing injuries. Too much of any type of fitness training will cause burnout, especially if you're not fueling yourself properly as well as getting adequate rest.

Signs of overtraining.

Here are some signs and symptoms of overtraining. If you're feeling any of these and suspect you may be overtraining it's best to wait until your body is feeling better.

  1. Soreness, strain, and pain

  2. Fatigue

  3. Reduced appetite and weight loss

  4. Irritability or agitation

  5. Persistent injuries or muscle pain

  6. Loss of performance

  7. Bad sleep

  8. Decreased immunity

  9. Weight gain

  10. Loss of motivation

One way to prevent overtraining is to schedule in rest days that last from 1-2 days between working each muscle group. Also, take rest during your workouts sessions. Rest can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the intensity of your workouts.

You can also do active rest days that incorporate low impact movements like walking, yoga, or swimming. These movements can help stretch your sore muscles and keep you balanced outside of your usual fitness routine.

Also eating a balanced diet full of healthy fats, protein, carbs, and fruits and vegetables will help you fuel your body to make sure you're giving it adequate enough energy to repair itself. Making sure you're getting enough calories is key when it comes to training.

Liz xo

Next blog post: Why is a warm up important?

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