Once you get the fitness train rolling you don’t often want to slow it down. Totally get it! Who would want those high vibes and gains to stop?! However this is something that if you are not careful, will slow down on its own accord. To continue to see progress and stay physically fit & healthy you need to manage the outlay of stress on your body. There is certainly a level of stress needed to help you see progress however this can be tipped and hinder your goals if not managed.
Here are 6 signs to help you identify when your body may be needing rest or a turn down on the dial to continue to see the results you are after;
1. Increased perceived effort during workouts
This is a sign of your body not being able to manage your usual routine as easily. Things you can look for to help identify this as a sign of overtraining are; increased heart rate (HR) during rest periods, a faster elevation of your HR when working out and feeling like you need more rest between sets or after your workouts to bring your HR back down.
2. Excessive fatigue or prolonged muscle soreness
You should not be pushing for PB’s during every session and not every session will leave you struggling to sit on the ti=oilet the next day. This does not mean that it was not a worthwhile workout. If you are constantly sore and feeling like you are just not recovering , this is a telltale sign that you are overtraining and your muscles, nervous system and potentially mind needs a rest and time to rejuvenate.
3. Agitation or moodiness and a lack of concentration
Overtraining significantly affects the level of stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine. This imbalance can cause moodiness and agitation with mood swings throughout the day. Unusual irritability and inability to concentrate on tasks are common signs to look for.
4. Insomnia or restless sleep
Sleep is to give the body time to rest and recover but as mentioned above, if you are overtraining this can increase over-production of the stress hormones making it harder to wind down in the evening. When you are unable to relax it is hard to fall into a restful state.
5. Lack of progress
If you are no longer seeing the progress you are wanting, this can be an indication of overtraining and your body being in a stressful state, also known as the sympathetic nervous system which is not a place your body can work efficiently as this system activate the fight or flight response leaving little time for restoration as your nervous system is more often ON and the fight or flight response is heightened. Living in that state is very emotionally and physically draining and can be the reason your progress has either slowed right down or stopped.
6. Chronic pain or nagging injuries
If there is a nagging injury that keeps coming back or actually never goes away, this is certainly your body trying to tell you that you are overdoing it on some level. It is always recommended that if an injury is not healing or you are experiencing a lack of movement/ functionality of specific limbs or muscles you seek advice from an allied health practitioner. This treatment can be sought out by either a Physiotherapist, a Chiropractor, Remedial massage therapist or Myotherapist. Get on to it, so you can get back to it!
Stay fit, stay healthy and stay well.