Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Over-training

With the sun shining and warmer weather starting to show its face many of us are getting the fever to move our exercise and training outdoors. Spring is a time when motivations and energy are renewed so take advantage and change your workout up a bit. Exercising can improve our health, help us relax, and consistent exercise prepares our body to adapt to the stress of our future training sessions. One thing to keep in mind is to pay attention to proper recovery in order to avoid overtraining.

Overtraining occurs when exertion is too long or too intense and the body isn’t given proper time to recover. Signs of overtraining include:

  • chronic tiredness
  • decreased performance
  • irritability, depression and/or decreased sense of well-being
  • increased susceptibility to infections
  • changes in resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • weight loss

The best medicine for overtraining is to prevent it in the first place. Here are some ideas to help avoid overtraining.

  • Change up the intensity and length of your training sessions.
  • Make incremental changes in length and intensity of the workout to give the body time to adapt.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Regularly check your diet to make sure that you are getting the right mix of food and fluids to fuel your body and also help it recover after workouts.
  • Make sure you add break days in to your workout routine.

Providing for adequate recovery, listening to your body and incorporating prevention strategies in to your training routine can help you take better advantage of your workouts, avoid overtraining and maintain your healthy lifestyle.

Embrace that spring in your step and enjoy your training.

For more information on overtraining and other training-related materials checkout the online resources at SIRC.

Reference:
Thompson, Dixie L. (2009). Overtraining. ACSM’s health & fitness journal, 13(5), 5.

2 comments:

Mountain Goat said...

Good stuff.

Thomas said...

Lots of people think overtraining is a myth, that it's nothing more than over-exertion. But it does no good to say it's a myth when many athletes suffer long-term consequences from overly aggressive workout volume.

Here's my take on the subject: Overtraining