Can’t Stop… Should Stop: Signs You’re Over-Exercising

workout concentration

At Studio SWEAT onDemand, it’s pretty much our job to be pushy: “just a few more reps”, “only a couple more hills”, or sometimes even, “don’t kid yourself, you’re not even close to being done!”. Yeah, the job of any good fitness trainer is to get you out of your comfort zone and into that place where dreams are made, and calories are slayed. But what happens when our fit-fanatics are a bit too good at finding their motivation? What happens when they push themselves as hard as possible, for as long as possible, and then, perhaps, even a little beyond?

The answer is: BAD THINGS. Overtraining is a real issue, and it can lead to some nasty little side effects, like overproduction of the stress hormone, cortisol; rhabdomyolysis, or the breakdown of muscle tissue; insomnia, fatigue, and much, much worse. Sounds nasty, right? So how can you tell if you’re overtraining? We’ve pulled up a list of the most common signs of overexercising. But remember, each of these symptoms, on their own, do not necessarily indicate you’re overdoing it, but when experiencing a few together, and it may be time to pump the brakes.

Extended Muscle Soreness

muscle massage

Look, if you’re pushing yourself to the max, and really going after those gains, some muscle soreness here and there is perfectly normal and should be expected. Not just normal, it’s actually pretty good as it can indicate the success of your workouts. But the soreness should go away after two or three days. If it goes on longer than that, it may be time for some recovery.

Immunity Issues

A solid fitness routine is one of the best things you can do to avoid being sick. That’s because all that increased oxygen and blood flow is super beneficial for your immune system. But if you’ve been working out hard, and find yourself continually coughing up a storm, getting sunk by back-to-back colds, sniffles, and sneezes — that may indicate that your body is being pushed beyond its limit. 

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Depression & Irritability

If you’ve been experiencing mood swings, bouts of uncontrolled anger, or prolonged feelings of depression following intensive exercise, you might be stretching yourself too thin. That’s because one effect of overexercise is a chemical imbalance, most notably with your stress hormones: cortisol and epinephrine. When these get out of whack, your emotions can be the first to go all topsy-turvy. 

Fading Performance

bike workout

If you’re a regular worker-outer, you may probably have a pretty good handle on your abilities. For instance, you may know that after about 30 min of a HIIT class, you’ll be bushed; 40 minutes on the stepper, it’ll be time for you to start stepping down; and that approximately (5) chest supersets will have your pecs screaming. But when done gradually, you may notice your performance dropping, which may be a tell-tale sign that you need to pause and take a break and catch your breath. 

Wall-to-Wall Blahs

We all experience different kinds of tiredness sometimes, whether we were up a bit too late, or have been burning the midnight oil at work. But when you experience a deep bout of fatigue, especially one that affects you all over your body, it could be a sign that your body is pulling from its own energy stores, resulting in physiological exhaustion.

Insomnia Insanity

We already mentioned that overexercising can result in an overproduction of your stress hormones. Well, that also can affect your sleep in a big way. When you have too many of those fight-or-flight hormones flowing through you, you may get some pretty serious sleep interruptions, or superficial, non-REM sleep. And as any doctor will tell you, there ain’t that much worse for your overall health than a lack of ZZZs. 

Here, at Studio SWEAT onDemand, we believe that our fitness journey should always be pointing toward the broader goal of health and wellness. If you’re not feeling your best after reaching your goals, then they may be the wrong goals! That’s why we offer tons of fitness classes for every skill level and body type — so you can find workouts that work for you. And all of them are led by passionate trainers who’ll get you where you wanna go, the right way. If you wanna get started, sign up for a 7-Day Free Trial today. And sweat safely everybody!

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