Motivation is a fundamental attitude that every sportsman eager to improve must have. However, it can also play a bad joke on it. If we don’t take things slow and take the right time to rest, we can suffer the risks of overtraining.
Why should overtraining be avoided ? When you train, certain phenomena occur in the body which, in order to have positive effects, require a precise recovery time. The more demanding and fruitful the work, the greater the importance of this rest.
For example, when we train in the gym, fibers and tissues break down in the muscles; later, as opposed to this process, a recovery cycle is essential during which muscle mass grows.
Symptoms that may indicate overtraining
- Tiredness and fatigue: direct consequences of the lack of rest between training sessions.
- Demotivation and lack of concentration: Doing something repeatedly, especially if it requires effort, can weigh on our mind. If we train too much, it is therefore normal to lose focus or have difficulty concentrating.
- Loss of performance: as a consequence of the previous points, the performance will not be the same if we train more than necessary.
- Sleep Disorders: Can’t Sleep Because You’re Too Tired? While it may seem contradictory, overtraining can hinder proper rest.
- Bone disease: Overtraining lowers estrogen levels, which can damage bone and joint health following the onset of osteoporosis. It can also cause hormonal changes and amenorrhea during adolescence.
In addition to the symptoms described, which occur more frequently, overtraining can also lead us to lose too much weight, suffer from loss of appetite, anxiety and even depression. The immune system suffers from too much physical effort and this more easily causes the appearance of diseases and injuries.
Tips to avoid the risks of overtraining
It is essential to gradually increase the intensity of the training and not to exceed the limits of your body. Even during the training week it is advisable to follow days with intense physical exercise others with more moderate efforts.
Follow a healthy, training-compliant diet
Food, as always, plays a fundamental role. It is necessary to provide the body with the necessary “fuel” to recover lost energy, as well as offer it the nutrients to rebuild muscles and tissues.
Exercising too much can dramatically increase levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in stressful situations. Its function is to mobilize the mind and muscles to respond in times of danger; for this reason, you burn a greater amount of energy and fat. The downside is that, chronically secreted, cortisol leads to a state of muscle disintegration that predisposes to fatigue and injury.
Know when to quit
If you have noticed any of the symptoms described or feel that you cannot keep up with the pace of your workout, you should stop to prevent possible injury. You can reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of your workouts to avoid side effects.
Start little by little
Overtraining and its consequences are common in those who have been doing sports for a short time. Usually the anxiety to improve makes you lose the notion of your limits, the moment in which problems arise.
The risks of overtraining are not unique to one sport or to professional athletes. They can affect anyone, based on the potential and physical condition of each individual.
It is therefore necessary to be moderate and progressively advance with the efforts and objectives. In addition to protecting our bodies, we will also help our minds stay motivated and satisfied for having achieved realistic, short-term goals.