You’ve finally gotten off the couch and into the gym. Now instead of spending hours in front of the television, you’re spending hours at the gym sweating off pounds and conditioning your body. But how are you feeling?
If you’re constantly sore, stiff, uncomfortable and tired, you might be overtraining and injuring yourself.
Too much high-intensity exercise can harm your body, so it’s important not to overtrain. Here are some warning signs that you might be overdoing your workouts:
• Constant pain or soreness. A little bit of soreness after exercise is normal, and it means you pushed your muscles just enough. But that soreness should pass in a day or two. If your muscles are constantly sore and your joints ache with pain, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.
• Difficulty during workouts. If you are struggling to do exercises that were once easy, it’s time to ease up on the workouts.
• Increased heart rate. Your heart rate should go up during exercise, but if it is increased even when you’re not working out, that’s a concern. People who overtrain may also notice that their heart rate takes longer to get back to normal after exercise.
• Can’t sleep, can’t eat. Too much exercise can make you lose your appetite and also make it difficult to sleep, particularly if you exercise within two hours of bedtime.
• Changes in menstruation. Women who overtrain may notice that their periods become irregular or stop completely.