We all want to get into shape as fast as we can, and many of us think that more is better. This is simply not true. Consistently overdoing workouts can have a serious negative impact on you. Sometimes you might not recognize the symptoms, so we have made a list here of things to watch for. If you are working out 3 to 5 hours a week split into 2 or 3 days, this is probably not an issue. One of the things that people don’t realize is that working out too much isn’t about your muscles recovering; it’s about your nervous system recovering. It needs time to recover or your body fights back.
You get sick
If your nervous system is overworked, then there is a much higher chance of getting sick. If you push your body past the limits of what it can do, then your immune system can’t keep up and you are much more likely to get a cold or the flu or something even worse.
You have no energy
When you work out you are supposed to have more energy, but if you find the opposite is true, then perhaps you are doing too much. Your body is trying to recover and it is screaming at you to let it rest. Having no energy is how it screams. So take a break for a few days and see how it makes you feel. Learn to listen to your body.
It’s normal to have sore muscles, but they go away after a bit. If you have sore muscles all the time, or even 3 days after you stop exercising, it is a good chance that you have overtaxed yourself. Take things slower and take longer breaks and let your body catch up.
You keep getting injured. Your shoulder hurts, or your leg, so some other part of you. You didn’t used to get injured like this and can’t understand why these days you always have something wrong. This is also a good way to know if you are working it too much. Your body needs time to recover. Sometimes the muscles and tendons that stop overstraining can get weakened by overuse and it becomes much easier to have a problem. Don’t work through injuries, let them heal.
Loss of concentration and fuzzy
If you find your thinking fuzzy and can’t concentrate well, it is definitely a bad sign, whether it is from working out or something more serious, you need to look into it. If you are overdoing it at the gym, slow it down to an hour every other day for a while. Double check your hydration and make sure you are getting a balanced diet. If it continues, seek medical advice.
Your body is a complex set of chemicals and hormones. If you overdo it your body can decide that it will not run its best. This can come out in personality changes. You might not recognize them in yourself, but your workout partners, family, and friends will. If they tell you are acting different, listen to them. It is by working out, you need to take a break from it and set a more realistic schedule. If not from working out, then again, definitely seek medical attention and find out what’s going on. You can be depressed, irritable, apathetic, or anxiety can roll out of control.
If you find yourself always thirsty, it can also be a sign of working out too much. You could be breaking down too much protein and muscle tissue. As a side note, do not drink too much when working out. Unless you are sweating profusely, only drink when you are thirsty. If you over-drink when working out it can actually be dangerous in some cases.
You can’t sleep at night. You are tired, but can’t sleep. That is your body over the edge and trying to fix things, and not letting you rest. Try and work out on a reasonable schedule and try working out earlier in the morning for a while. Anything that taxes your body you need to recover from. The best recovery is sleep, and if you’re overdoing it to the point you can’t sleep, then you really need to back off a bit.
An increased heart rate when you are not exercising is a really good indicator that you are overdoing it. Your body is stressed and trying to fix itself and that gives you an increased heart rate. Ideally, your resting heart rate should be lower when not working out, but if higher, there is definitely something wrong that you need to look into.
We know you’re in a hurry, and want to work out harder to get there. But that’s not the best way to do it. As an example, working out 1 hour a day every other day will give you far better results than working out 3 hours a day every day. Hard to believe but it’s true. Your body and nervous system need time to rebuild you. So work out on a reasonable schedule, eat healthier with an increase in protein, and get extra sleep and you will see a definite difference.