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Working out is a big part of your life — but could you be working out too hard? Is there even such a thing?
Turns out, yes. Overtraining is a real issue that can lead to big problems for you later down the road, including injuries. Here are five signs you’re overtraining, so you can stop this dangerous habit in its path and get back on track to a healthy workout routine.
1. Unusual heart rate
If you suspect you may be overdoing it, start measuring your resting heart rate before you get out of bed in the morning. If your heart rate is unusually high, it could mean that you’re not getting enough time to recuperate between hard workouts. If, however, your resting heart rate is unusually high or low and you don’t think it’s due to overtraining, you likely need to see a doctor, just in case.
2. Continual lethargy
If you’re constantly tired now, you might be working too hard in the gym. While some tiredness is normal and sore muscles are likely the day after a hard workout, if your muscles are always sore and you’re always feeling tired, sleepy and sluggish, try to take a few days off.
3. Compulsive need to train
It is possible to develop a psychological depending on training. If you feel a compulsive, almost unbearable need to get in the gym, you might want to take a quick emotional inventory to gauge if your feelings are normal or average. Losing a day at the gym (or even a few days) won’t make that much of a difference.
4. Frequent illness
Are you getting more colds than normal? Do you manage to catch every illness that you’re around? Your immune system could be compromised by your overtraining. Get some rest, lay off going to the gym until you feel better and make sure your diet is rich in nutrients.
5. Lack of progress
While you may be pushing yourself to get better and better, you might actually be doing yourself more harm than good. If you’re seeing a lack of progress in your results, you could be overtraining and creating a block for yourself, which will only go away once you get back to a healthy fitness regimen.
If you think you could be overtraining, at first see if you can get back on track by yourself. But, if you feel your symptoms are too large to tackle on your own, talk to your trainer or even your doctor about your next steps.
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