Why you shouldn’t overtrain
While working out regularly is key to improving your fitness, you can exercise too much. There is a difference between pushing through boundaries and overtraining, so you need to know when you’re guilty of the latter so you can avoid it.
You should vary the intensity that you work out in order to improve and trigger better muscle growth, you also need to recover. This means balancing your workouts with rest days to avoid going too far.
Here’s why you should avoid overtraining and ensure you rest up enough:
Can cause damage
Overtraining doesn’t allow your muscle tissue to recover, which can cause pain and more damage. Although your muscles do suffer some damage during working out – you want a bit of an ache rather than a lot of pain – as this will help to stimulate growth, working through the damage will make it worse.
Performing the same muscle exercises every day will make the damage increase and could lead to serious injury. To avoid this, mix up the areas you are focusing on, have rest days and try low-impact exercises – like swimming – for active recovery.
You might think that pushing through the pain will allow you to achieve better results, but this isn’t the case. Overtraining can actually decrease your overall performance because your body gets tired out and is physically unable to achieve the same levels as when you are completely healthy.
If you are tiring yourself out by exercising too much, you won’t be able to maintain the same levels of performance, which can make you want to work harder. Instead, give yourself a break and you’ll find that you do better each session.
Affects other areas of your life
Overtraining doesn’t just affect your workouts, it can start having an impact on the rest of your life. You may find that you’re more irritable, aren’t able to eat or enjoy food, have low energy and struggle to sleep.
The more you overtrain, the worse these and other symptoms can become, which can make the physical results of working out worse too. For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body doesn’t have the energy or time to heal, while it will also affect your mental state.
If you find that you are too tired and lack enthusiasm, maybe it’s a good idea not to head to the gym and instead take it easy.
May result in permanent problems
You could injure yourself permanently and seriously if you continue to overtrain. It can result in joint problems, very damaged muscles and a number of other issues that will stop you from being able to work out in the future.
This is why you should rest, hydrate and get sports massages if you experience pain as a result of working out.