Working out, whether through cardio or lifting weights, is one of the best ways of losing weight and getting in shape.
Staying fit is a little more complicated than just hitting the gym every morning and eating a healthy diet.
Many people assume that if they work out more, they will lose weight or build muscle faster.
But overtraining is a serious threat to your workout goals and can easily do more harm than good.
Below are five ways of determining whether overtraining is sabotaging your workout goals..
#1 Do You Feel Sluggish And Drained?
Working out usually releases endorphins, which gives people energy and a general sense of well-being.
Feeling sluggish and drained after a workout, therefore, is not a good sign and could be an indicator of overtraining.
Chronic fatigue caused by too many hours spent at the gym does havoc to your body’s hormones, causing testosterone levels to plummet which further inhibits muscle growth and weight loss.
#2 Are You In The Gym Everyday?
The most important step in muscle growth is not lifting weights but getting adequate rest.
Muscles need 24-48 hours to rebuild after being put through their paces.
Exercising the same muscle group two days in a row is essentially denying those muscles the chance to rebuild and grow.
Furthermore, the entire body needs at least a day or two of rest a week, meaning no cardio or weightlifting.
#3 Are You Gaining Weight?
For many people, working out is about losing weight.
Weight loss, however, is not as simple as hopping on the exercise bike every day and reducing your caloric intake.
Overtraining can cause cortisol levels to rise, which make it harder to build muscles and easier to gain fat.
When people who are overtraining find that they are gaining weight, their immediate reaction is often to train even more.
The better answer, however, is usually to take a rest for a day or two in order to let the body recover.
#4 Trouble Sleeping?
Sleep is good, not just for your mental well-being, but for effective workouts as well.
Unfortunately, working out too much can lead to sleep problems.
Working out stimulates the body, which is usually a good thing since it leads to higher energy levels.
Working out too much, however, can lead to the body being in constant workout mode, meaning it can be difficult to relax and fall asleep at night.
In the morning that lack of sleep can in turn lead to the fatigue described above, further sabotaging your workout results.
#5 Are You Feeling Unwell?
Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, does wonders for the immune system, strengthening the body’s defenses against aches, pains, and illnesses.
Getting sick frequently may be a sign of too much time spent in the gym, especially for those who otherwise are leading healthy lifestyles.
Likewise, although joint pain can be caused by poor exercise form or people simply being new to working out, it can also be an indicator of overtraining.
The immune system, like the body as a whole, needs time to recover and a few days outside of the gym may be just what the doctor ordered.
While it can be tempting to spend hours in the gym each and every day and expect to lose weight and build muscle, the fact of the matter is that when it comes to working out, more isn’t always better.
Pushing the body too hard is not only a waste of time and energy, but it can end up negating whatever health benefits may have otherwise been gained.
So keep these 5 signs in mind if you workout regularly and if any of them start to creep up on you it may be time to take a refreshing break from exercise for 2-5 days before getting back to it!