Most of us are trying to exercise more, but whether you are a professional athlete or determined to lose those holiday pounds, it’s also important not to exercise so much that you get overtraining injuries. According the American Physical Therapy Association, overtraining injuries are musculoskeletal injuries that occur from significant increases in your frequency or intensity of exercise, or changes in the type of activity. Overtraining syndrome includes overtraining injuries, and also general fatigue.
What does overtraining look like?
- Physiological signs: increased resting heart rate and/or blood pressure
- Physical signs: upset stomach, decreased appetite, insatiable thirst, poor sleep, increased rate of infections, fatigue and difficulty throughout the day, abnormal soreness and pain
- Behavioral signs: decreased motivation, concentration, self-esteem, or ability to handle stress
- Performance signals: decreased strength and endurance, impaired movement and coordination, increased heart rate and technical errors
What to do?
You must push yourself to achieve results, but pushing too hard can actually slow you down. Sore muscles are a sign you are strengthening, but injuries will set you back. Taking time for proper technique may not always be fun in the short term, but it’s the only thing that will keep you in the game for the long term.
Your body is giving you signals – it’s your responsibility to listen to it and give it the rest and recuperation time it needs to stay healthy and strong. Every body is different, and some of us recover more quickly than others. This may be due to genetics, age and conditioning, or a health condition.
When you try something new or step up your routine, take it slow and give your body time to get comfortable and stronger. If you begin to feel the fatigue associated with overtraining syndrome, take a break, get some rest, and make sure you eat a healthy diet to give your body the fuel it needs to recover.
If you become concerned you may have an injury, get checked out by a professional. A small amount of time and expense now may help you prevent a chronic, painful, and possibly expensive condition down the road.
Absolute Wellness Center in Eugene, OR provides sports medicine, chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and more. If you are interested in improving your fitness safely, managing an existing sports injury, or preventing a future one, we can be helpful in getting you started and keeping you going strong. Contact us or give us a call at 541-484-5777.