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Thread: Overtraining

  1. #1
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    Overtraining

    In yoga class recently, I was attempting to contort myself into a pose that my body just wasn’t having, when my very astute instructor gently spoke the words “more is not more” into my ear. While my mind wanted to do the pose exactly how the Gumby-esque teacher had demonstrated, my body brought me right back to the level of which I was capable.
    Our bodies have a funny way of keeping us in check, don’t they?
    But our minds live in this fast-paced, competitive universe where we’re taught to extend ourselves to the greatest lengths to achieve and to stay in a certain level of fitness. When we live in a perpetual state of training and never take a step back to rest and re-evaluate, our bodies will be forced to do the talking for us.
    The last time I was wretchedly overtrained was about four years ago. I was training for yet another half marathon, grudgingly logging about 30 miles a week. It is worthy of mentioning that I had fallen out of love with running years prior but ignored my body’s signs that I should hang up the running shoes. I was teaching several classes a week in addition to my full-time job managing a gym and I clung to the notion that I would fall apart if I didn’t kill myself at the gym six days a week. I was working out for vanity, not for health, and my body finally let me know it was on to me. I showed all the signs you’ll see below (and then some!) but shrugged off all of it and stood firm to my “no pain, no gain” mentality.
    I went on like this for about six months before I finally decided to go to the doctor. After another few months of trying to figure out what all of my symptoms meant, I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease, which is caused by a hyperactive thyroid. We moved very quickly with treatment as my condition had progressed at a rapid pace.
    My arrogant need to work out to the point of sickness had a high price; it cost me several months (if not years) of confusion and frustration, exactly one vital organ, and the necessity to take one pill a day of synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until about two years ago later after doing my own research and refusing to buy into the medical community when they told me “we have no idea what causes autoimmune diseases” that I realized a huge correlation between running myself into the ground and Grave’s Disease.
    My case is extreme. I tell you this not to scare you, nor to offer the assumption that if you overtrain that you will be stricken with an autoimmune disease. Over-exercising was, I believe, one of the many causes of my condition. But this disease was a wake-up call for me. It served as a catalyst for me to listen to my body, figure out how to eat like a real human and not a processed one, and train the way I am supposed to train.
    Are you overtraining? Here are a few ways to tell:
    1. You are constantly tired. We’ve all got stresses and issues keeping us up at night. But if your fatigue is extreme and you can barely keep your eyes open during the day, you may need to re-think how you’re exercising.
    2. …But you can’t sleep at night. At night, our bodies are meant to slow down the production of hormones that we need during the day to stay energetic, and increase the hormones that help us sleep. Overtraining can cause your body to confuse the two. If you have that “tired-but-wired” feeling when you lay down at night, your body may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. This article has a very knowledgable perspective on this syndrome.
    3. You’re always sore and/or injured. Our bodies are not meant to be in a constant state of disrepair. We don’t actually build muscles in the gym (or on the road), we tear them. We reconstruct our muscles and allow them to grow through sleep and a proper diet. If you’re always limping around and ignoring your body’s signs that you need a rest, you’re likely overtraining.
    4. You pretend to love your workout, but you actually dread it. This adage ties in to what I said before about working out for vanity purposes rather than health reasons. I once heard a fitness expert whom I greatly admire say that “health should be the priority, being hot should be an accident”. For some reason, this really struck a chord with me and it was one of the things that really helped change my mentality. I remember working out because I thought I had to; way too many times I reluctantly dragged my tired, sore, sick butt to the gym for another grueling workout when I should have just rested. If you find yourself feeling like this (and you used to enjoy your workout), then it’s time to rest.
    5. You’re often sick. When you overtrain, your immune system can become compromised. When you are constantly breaking down muscles and not giving your body the time and energy to heal, your body will tell you it needs rest in the form of a cold or the flu or sometimes worse. When you combine overtraining with the other demands of your life (work, family, etc.), your body will lack the energy it uses to keep you on your feet.
    These are just five of the many symptoms of overtraining, and I wish I had a quicker prescription other than rest and re-evaluate, but while there is no easy way out of this, there is a simple way to deal with this. While you’re enjoying a little more sleep and maybe a little more time with your family, change your thought process. I can’t tell you exactly how many days or weeks it will take for your body to repair itself as we all have varying degrees of injuries and illnesses. Take this rest phase as an opportunity to re-establish your goals and really understand and listen your body. It has a tendency to tell us exactly what we need.
    Just like my yoga instructor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Byronsbog
    quoted text

  2. #2
    Overtraining is the result of giving your body more work or stress than it can handle.It occurs when a person experiences stress and physical trauma from exercise faster than their body can repair the damage. And also can lead to exercise addiction which can lead to negative physiological and psychological effects,craving for physical activity is shown to lead to extreme exercise whilst building up a tolerance to the exercise then needing to go further levels to achieve the same high.
    Podiatrist near University of British Columbia
    westsidepodiatry dot ca

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