It’s great to have ambitious exercise goals, but it’s also important to pursue them realistically. We’ve got tips to help you avoid overtraining injuries.
Anyone can overdo it while pursuing fitness goals. Whether you are a seasoned athlete, a recreational exerciser on the weekend, or someone using exercise as part of a strategy to lose weight and stay fit, too much activity too soon can result in an injury.
Overtraining injuries are musculoskeletal damage resulting from doing more than your body is used to or changing the type of exercise you do. Be alert to the following symptoms that can be triggered by overtraining:
- An increase in your resting heart rate or in your blood pressure.
- Decrease appetite, upset stomach, or intense thirst.
- A feeling of fatigue through the day and/or sleep disturbances.
- Increased frequency of sickness and infections.
- Abnormal muscle soreness.
- Decreased motivation or lack of concentration.
- A change in your ability to cope with stress.
- Increased heart rate during activity.
- A drop in strength or endurance.
- Impaired movement and coordination.
- Multiple technical errors as you train.
You need to push yourself in order to improve your fitness level, but if signs of overtraining begin to appear, it’s time to take a break, rest, and reassess your exercise plan. Exercise should progress steadily at a gradual pace. If your body begins to signal the overtraining symptoms of distress, scale back the intensity of your routine, and take it slow.
Your goal should be long-term consistency, not an overnight transformation. Trying to do too much too soon can result in an injury or frustration. By building a bit more patience into your exercise goals, you’ll have a routine that can carry you safely to fitness success.