overtraining exerciseI’ve noticed with some guests who have done a week at FitFarms that there’s apprehension at the beginning around the amount of exercise that will be involved and whether they’ll be able to do it all and keep up (the average amount of exercise at FitFarms being 4-6 hours a day), conversely I’ve seen others who are regular intense exercisers who seem to feel they should be spending the week stepping up their usual routine.

ACSM guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, so my question here is this: if a regular exerciser does 1-2 hours of intensive exercise daily, what would be the benefit in increasing it 2, 3 times or more to 4-6 hours? You may be wondering where I’m going with this or if it’s a trick question but what I really wanted to bring up is the subject of overtraining.

Now it’s not something that often gets mentioned in the average fitness setting as it’s more commonly associated with athletes however that’s not to say it doesn’t happen with non athletes.

What are the Signs of Overtraining

Overtraining is pretty much exactly as it sounds -an accumulation of training load without adequate rest that will ultimately cause a decrease in performance, the thing is as an exerciser you may not be aware of a decrease in performance if performance is not something you monitor, so how can you tell if you’re overtraining?

As with any other stress there may be several physiological responses, these include:

  • Increased resting heart rate in the morning
  • Poor appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Severe muscle soreness and stiffness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Lack of concentration.

 

What are the Solutions to Overtraining

If overtraining has occurred the intensity and amount of exercise should be reduced and a plan put in place to prevent it happening in future by:

  • Ensuring good rest and recovery
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Rest between exercise bouts
  • Adequate hydration and nutrition for training
  • Abstaining from training through times of high stress

Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here

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