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Lifestyle

Are You Over-exercising?

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While most people struggle to find time to exercise, some of us are at risk of overdoing our workouts. Here are the signs to look out for.

Do you feel a bit too sore to continue with your current exercise routine? Perhaps you have been putting in the hard yards in order to lose weight or tone up, yet now you have niggling aches and pains that are holding you back.

If this sounds like you, there is a good chance that you could be exercising too much. If left untreated you could be at risk of serious injury. It also compromises your chances of reaching your goals, so it’s important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

What are the signs?
Unlike the soreness experienced after a vigorous workout (which normally goes away in a day or two) a constant pain is a sign that something is wrong. For instance if your ankle hurts all the time, or your hip aches whenever you run, you may be training too much or even overtraining.

Some people may find that they are constantly tired, have regular headaches, or catch every cold going around, which you may think is diet related. But exercising too much is taxing on the body, and you should consider that this may be the cause of your issues.

Ignoring your symptoms won’t make them disappear, so take the steps now to make some changes before they get worse.

What do I do next?
First, take a break from your current exercise routine. If the pain is serious, a trip to your doctor, physiotherapist or masseuse might be required. If it’s a smaller issue, try switching up your training for a while. This might mean laps of the pool instead of a jog; or pilates instead of interval training.

Why should I rest?
It’s important to allow for rest days within your week to give your body a chance to recover While most people struggle to find time to exercise, some of us are at risk of overdoing our workouts. Here are the signs to look out for from previous training.Without rest, the muscles can become strained as they don’t get a chance to repair from the small amounts of damage that occur when you exercise.

How can I avoid burnout?
If you keep doing the same exercises each time you work out – such as a 5km run or the same exercise DVD – your body can get used to it.You might find that your results stabilise, meaning you have to push yourself very hard to ‘feel the burn’. For this reason it’s a great idea to mix things up so your body doesn’t get stuck in the comfort zone. 

Stay active, keep your body guessing, and you will soon see the results you are after.