If you're ramping up your fitness training for spring, here are a few subtle clues that you may be pushing your body too hard.
While for most healthy people, exercising for up to 90 minutes several days a week is usually a good thing, you'll still need to take into account your fitness level and how your body responds, reports blog Fit Bottomed Girls this week.
But overzealous training can be counterproductive to your overall health, weakening your immune system and increasing risk of injury and illness. For weekend warriors or amateur athletes, studies show that "excessive exercise" can make you sick, not healthy.
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Here are a a few clues that you may need to ease off the exercise:
1. You feel exhausted, rather than energized. If you leave the gym ready for a nap, that's a sign you've gone overboard, writes Fit Bottomed Girls.
2. You get sick a lot. Fit Bottomed Girls also adds that if you're overtraining, your immune system becomes suppressed, making it harder to fight off cold viruses.
3. You have an increased resting heart rate - Check your pulse when lying down and if it's higher than normal, ease up a little to give your body a rest. Men's Health writes that an increase of 10 percent or more in your resting heart rate (taken every morning) can signal that your body needs time to recover.
4. Your legs feel "heavy." No spring in your step? If your legs feel like lead, you may need to give them a rest. A few ideas to speed up recovery time include stretching, self massage with an arnica anti-inflammatory oil, and warming muscles with heated pads, advises blog FitSugar.
5. You're sore all the time. Muscle soreness is usually a good thing, but if you stay sore for more than 48 hours after a workout, you've overdone it, writes Fit Bottomed Girls. Ease into exercise, and add distance or intensity slowly over weeks instead of days.
If you're working toward a fitness goal, such as to complete a marathon or lose a few kilos, keep a training diary and record each workout. If you aren't seeing any progress, rather than ramp up the intensity, ease off a little, advises Men's Health, adding that in order for your muscles to grow stronger, they have to recover. Take at least a day or two off, and see how your body responds.
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