Nowadays we read everywhere about how healthy it is to play sports. And that is true. However, regular heavy physical exertion coupled with a lack of adequate recovery can quickly lead to the so-called overtraining syndrome. It’s not just about temporary fatigue – the consequences are much more lasting and diverse. Therefore, if you regularly go to the gym, it is important to know the symptoms of overtraining syndrome and how to avoid them. Here we explain in detail what experts advise.
In order to feel good and stay healthy, it is important to avoid overtraining
Overtraining is most common among professional athletes, but it can also happen to anyone who trains frequently
What is Overtraining Syndrome?
As mentioned, exercise is generally beneficial, but at a certain point it can do more harm than good to the body. The first phase of Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is overreaching called. This is the time when athletes experience more muscle pain than usual, but continue training without a break. After overreaching, a decline in overall performance is observed and many people take this dip as an opportunity to train harder. When this limit is reached, however, the overtraining syndrome begins. It happens when you train too hard without enough recovery time between workouts, or when your body isn’t getting enough calories and nutrients.
If you keep exercising while your body is going through OTS, you will need longer to recover afterwards
Do I have overtraining syndrome? This is how you know if you need a break
There are several signs of overtraining syndrome that should not be ignored. They include both physical and mental health and general well-being. You should pay attention to this:
1. Physical symptoms
Physical symptoms for OTS include:
- Increased muscle soreness that gets worse the more you exercise
- Inability to train at the usual level
- decline in athletic performance
- Excessive sweating and overheating
- A feeling that muscles are heavy or stiff, especially the legs
- Repeated injuries such as sprains, joint pain and others
- No desire to train
OTS can lead to frequent injuries and should not be underestimated
2. Health related symptoms
Overtraining syndrome can also affect overall health. Symptoms observed include:
- Recurring illnesses such as colds or respiratory infections
- Digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation
- Elevated blood pressure or heart rate at rest
- Irregular menstrual cycle or complete absence of menstruation in women
- Negative changes to the skin, hair and nails
- Sudden weight loss, loss of appetite or eating disorders
3. Lifestyle related symptoms
These symptoms of OTS include:
- Poor sleep or insomnia due to not being able to relax
- Constant tiredness, exhaustion, or low energy levels
- Decreased motivation or low self-esteem
- Increased feelings of anger or confusion
- inability to concentrate
Pay attention to these symptoms to take measures in time
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How to recover from overtraining syndrome?
Because overtraining syndrome is associated with overexertion, rest is the most important requirement for recovery. This means that you have to limit or even stop training for a certain period of time, which can take between 4 and 12 weeks depending on the type of sport or training practiced. At this time, you can still do some low-intensity aerobic exercise to stay fit and healthy. Once your symptoms are completely gone, you can resume your usual exercise schedule.
Important: Returning to training will be a slow process as you don’t want to put too much stress on your body after OTS. Experts recommend starting with 50% of your normal training load and adding 10% more intensity every week.
To recover from the OTS, you need to take a long break
Preventing Overtraining Syndrome: The Tips of the Experts
There are steps you can take to prevent overtraining. Experts recommend the following:
- Adequate rest: The most important protection against overtraining syndrome is adequate rest. This may include not engaging in physical activity for at least one day each week to allow your body to rebuild. If you have excessive muscle soreness, never train the same muscle group.
- Hydration: Adequate hydration is important for both post-exercise recovery and prevention of OTS. The human body needs at least 4% of its own weight in the form of water every day. For people who play sports, this need is higher.
For example, if you weigh 60 kg, you need at least 2.4 liters of water per day
7-minute workout with the most effective training plan at home!
- Nutrition: In order to support your muscle recovery, you need to consume enough proteins and carbohydrates. Proteins are the main building block of muscles and carbohydrates give the body the energy it needs.
- A variety of workouts: Combine strength training with yoga, Pilates, walking or cycling to give your overworked muscles time to rest and improve tone and form.
- Sports Massage: Research shows that sports massage is also a useful method for muscle recovery after intense exercise.
- Relaxation Techniques: Stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises can further improve and speed up your recovery, both physically and mentally.
Rely on a varied training
And if you don’t see improvement within a week of using these measures, or if your symptoms worsen, seek your doctor’s help.
Because overloading should by no means be underestimated…