Have you experienced a decrease in performance, persistent muscle tiredness or perhaps insomnia and more? These are some common signs of over exercising and they must be addressed. While regular exercising is good for both your physical and mental health, for some it can become addictive and this can lead to health issues.

If exercising is starting to take over your life rather than form a positive part of it, it is important to re-evaluate your training routine to ensure you don’t continue to overdo it. Overtraining occurs when the body is no longer able to recover from the stresses and strains placed upon it by exercise.

If you are concerned that you could be overtraining, here are the main symptoms to look out for:

Decrease in Performance: This is often accompanied by a loss of enthusiasm for training e.g. time to run 1 mile gets progressively slower, struggling to maintain the intensity of a workout or get to a training session or class at all.

Feeling Tired and Low: You may feel drained, have low energy levels, excess fatigue and a lack of motivation that could lead to burn out. Over training can also cause a low mood and irritability, which over time may lead to anxiety and depression

Persistent Muscle Soreness: Exercise may result in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is normal and may result in discomfort for 24/48 hours, however overtraining may cause pain to last for 4 or more days.

Insomnia: It is possible that elevated levels of stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol impact on our sleeping patterns. When we over exercise the body sees this as a stress hence the elevation of these stress hormones and reduction of melatonin which then can have an impact on the quality of our sleep.

Headaches: Possibly caused due to blood sugar imbalance, dehydration, poor sleep quality or burnout.

Catching Bugs Easily: Over exercise can result in a suppressed immune system and an increase of infections and illness.

Appetite Changes: Alterations in appetite you could experience an increased appetite caused by stress and cortisol which tends to increase the production of insulin and leptin resulting in increased fat storage, hunger and cravings. Or a decreased appetite possibly as a result of elevated stress hormones and their side effects.

Decreased Muscle Mass: Muscles incur tiny tears as we train them, and it is adequate nutrition, fluids and rest that enables these tears to repair and the muscles adapt to the exercise and become strong. However, if we do not allow the muscles recover, they may become weaker, more prone to tears and muscle mass could reduce.

Elevated Heart Rate: Especially first thing in the morning can be an indicator of overtraining and/or illness.

If you feel compelled to exercise and aren’t allowing yourself a break, it is important that you seek some advice to help you recover from overtraining. You will benefit from some much-needed rest and recovery. Simply look to reduce the intensity of your workouts or stop for a few days and rest.

To help you recover you will need to hydrate and boost your diet with a mix of complex carbs, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to support the repair of the body. Book an appointment with a nutritionist to ensure that your daily diet is providing enough energy and nutrients required to fuel and repair your body to support your training regime.

Treat yourself to a well-deserved sports massage which will help your tired body to relax both mentally and physically. And most importantly – seek the advice of a fitness professional here at Charterhouse Club to rework your training program to ensure you are training effectively and get adequate rest in between your workouts going forward.

To arrange a one-to-one session with one of our professional personal trainers to discuss your exercise routine, please call 01483 239600.