You’ve chosen a great training program, bought that stylish workout outfit, and even found a
workout buddy. But your enthusiasm can quickly turn to dread if you fall prey to overtraining.
Knowing how often or how much you need to recover can be tricky, but these five warning signs
can tell when it’s time to rethink your recovery strategy.
- Your appetite is decreasing.
Overtraining can increase stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can slow down digestion
and lower the hormones that cue hunger. Eating good lean protein, colorful fruits and
vegetables, and whole-grain carbohydrates can help with the stress on your body from training.
And stay hydrated.
- You’re moody.
Since your nervous system is affected by overtraining, so is your emotional regulation. If you’re
having trouble getting in the right mood for a workout, add something fun like juggling, doing
handstands, or anything out of the norm to shift your focus.
- You’re not sleeping well.
A lack of sleep compromises your metabolic and nervous systems, affecting your mood and
ability to focus, increasing the risk of injury. So be consistent with bedtime, avoid screens right
before bed, and follow other often-suggested sleep hygiene recommendations.
- You’re excessively sore.
Aches come with training, but that pain should feel good. There are two kinds of soreness that
need extra attention:
Delayed onset muscle soreness. A walk or light bike ride can help carry nutrients
through the body and flush out waste.
Knots or tight muscles. Use a foam roller or lacrosse ball to roll over sore spots without
burrowing into them. Breathe.
- You’re low on energy or don’t feel like training.
Sometimes a workout is the last thing you want to do. That’s because when your nervous
system is depressed, your body feels lethargic. Hydration can help. A simple formula is to drink
one-half to one ounce of water per body weight in pounds.
If any of these warning signs are popping up regularly, talk to one of our coaches about how to
find a better recovery routine.