Over-training is a concern for all people that are participating in any form of physical fitness, whether it is simply recreational, elite athletes, or people exercising to lose weight and stay in shape.
Before I get into it I should explain what over-training is. So – over-training injuries happen when you are doing more activity or exercise than what your body is normally used to. They can happen to anyone who increases intensity or changes the type of physical activity they are doing.
Over-training Signs and Symptoms
If you experience any of the following symptoms while working hard to meet your fitness goals, over-training may be cause.
– Increased resting heart rate
– Increased blood pressure
– Decreased appetite, upset stomach, insatiable thirst,
– Sleep disturbances,
– Increased frequency of sickness
– Fatigue throughout the day
– Abnormal muscle soreness
– Personality changes
– Decreased ability to cope with stress
– Decreased strength or endurance
– Impaired movement and coordination
Avoiding Over-training Injuries
No matter what activity you are taking part in you need to push yourself in order to see results. But it is precisely this that can cause injuries – which in the end are detrimental to your fitness goals. Here are some tips to avoid over-training injuries:
1. Don’t increase exercise difficulty level too quickly. You need to make sure that you are progressing at a steady pace – so the best thing you can do is follow a plan that increases your activity slowly so that you remain healthy and pain free.
2. Pay attention to your body. This might seem obvious but a lot of people overlook the fact that their body is smart. If it feels like you are over-training then you probably are. Make sure that you take necessary breaks, lessen activity and get plenty of rest.
3. Ease into it. This is important for people that are just starting to train – or those of you who are trying something for the first time. Remember that you need to take it slow – and aim for long-term gains instead of overnight success. It is the people that do too much too soon who end up hurting themselves.
Avoiding Over-training Syndrome
Over-training syndrome occurs when you increase activity faster than your body can adapt – or if you do not allow yourself to properly recover. When this happens your body will let you know by going through a variety of physical responses.
Every active individual is unique. Your pain may be due to over-training, but it also may be due to other health issues. For example, heart rate changes, general fatigue, and other systemic symptoms may be due to a more concerning condition.
Here are some tips to avoid over-training syndrome:
– Take a break. If you have a scheduled rest day in your workout plan make sure that you use it. The fact of the matter is that you need rest in order to stay healthy.
– Get rest. Sleep is important – the bottom line is that you need it. Make sure that you are getting enough rest, 7 hours a night is optimal, especially if you are training hard.
– Eat well. Again this might seem obvious but it is very important that your body is getting the proper nutrition. If you are training it is important not to restrict calories, you need them!! Make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients, including plenty of lean meats, fruits and vegetables.
How will a physical therapist help me meet my fitness goals?
Due to the fact that physical therapists are educated to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions – you can use us to help you determine the seriousness of the signs, and help you plan your next course of action. Since we are movement experts we work with people of all ages, who participate in many different levels of physical activity.
During your visit we will:
– Check your flexibility, strength, and endurance of muscles in order to support your desired level of physical activity.
– Make sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by over-training
– Make sure that you are not making errors in your training that could cause problems or put extra stress on a certain part of your body.
– Help you prepare an appropriate training plan to minimize risk of injury and help you safely meet your fitness goals.
If you suspect you are over-training and have decided it’s time to get help you can contact us through this form, or give us a call at 201-585-7300.