Without a doubt, regular physical activity is important for the proper functioning of all your body parts. And training regularly is great for you because it improves your metabolism, helps manage your weight, enhances your heart health, and enables proper functioning of your thyroid. But did you know that overtraining could be just as bad for your health as not exercising at all? Here are a few symptoms you are likely to experience if you have been overtraining:
- Mood swings
- Increased fat retention
- Chronic fatigue
- Disturbed sleep
- Digestive problems
- Reduced cognitive function
- Anxiety or depression
If you’ve experienced any or all of these symptoms and are wondering what you’re doing wrong, watch out for these 4 common mistakes that result in overtraining.
4 Common Mistakes That Lead To Overtraining
1. Straining Beyond Capacity
More often than not, people assume that more is better while exercising. This is especially the case if they’re looking to lose weight. They tend to strain themselves more than they can handle and end up experiencing a burnout. And like with everything else, your workout needs to be smart instead of long and hard. Also, if it’s a routine you’ve been doing for a while, your body is bound to pick up on that and use lesser calories to do it. Adding on more sessions to your workout routine obviously means unnecessary stress on your body. Higher stress, in turn, increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which might cause you to gain weight and defeat the purpose of your training.
2. Reduced Low-Intensity Training
Low-intensity training, which includes activities like jogging and light cycling, is crucial for engaging your aerobic energy system. This system uses fat as the primary source of energy and triggers the functioning of slow-twitch muscle fibers, which can function for a long time and are important for endurance activities.
It’s important for those who train to be patient with their low-intensity training and to practice it for a while before moving on to high-intensity training. Without a strong base in low-intensity training, the chances of overtraining are significantly higher.
3. Excessive Lactic Acid Training
Lactic acid training increases the levels of the growth hormone, making it extremely beneficial for those looking to gain muscle while losing excess weight. A common mistake that people who train make is switching to lactic acid training from low-intensity training too soon and spending way too much time on it. And because lactic acid training involves high-intensity workouts, doing too much of it is highly likely to result in overtraining and cause a burnout. It also causes high stress levels and increases your craving for sweets and sugars. This increases your caloric intake, which is what you were striving to decrease all along.
4. Minimally Engaging Alactic System
The alactic system is often neglected during training. It’s quite crucial because it improves the functioning of your fast-twitch muscle fibers and exercising these fibers is perhaps the quickest way to lose weight. That said, you shouldn’t over exercise them either. People often tend to neglect alactic training because they’re worried they might get too bulky. On the contrary, alactic training makes you leaner and stronger. When you neglect alactic training and focus on lactic acid training for the most part, you overtrain and feel fatigued.
How To Prevent Overtraining
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent overtraining.1
- You know your body the best. So, train as much as it can take and watch out for indications of exhaustion that it’s likely to be giving you.
- Eat a healthy diet with sufficient proteins and carbs so you don’t experience fatigue easily.
- You are likely to get more tired than usual when you start training. So, ensure that you get enough sleep.
- Give yourself breaks between your training routine. This gives your body enough time to recover from intensive workout sessions.
- Mix things up and include different kinds of workouts while training. This prevents the same muscles from being exercised all the time, preventing fatigue and keeping you fit.
Watch out for these mistakes and prevent overtraining to benefit from your workouts.