Extreme soreness and massive burnout are signs you're exercising too hard. We can push our bodies too far with bootcamp style workouts. They say, "no pain, no gain" but, you may actually be hurting your body if you're overtraining. Over-exercising can lead to muscle breakdown, a paused period and loss of bone mass. Please check yourself before you wreck yourself. Here are seven signs you're exercising too hard and that you should slow down.
1. So Sore
Soreness and joint pain are signs you're exercising too hard. It's totally okay if you're sore for a couple of days after your workout. It's a sign that you're building muscle and burning that fat away. There is however, cause for concern if you are experiencing pain during everyday activities. Are you wincing in pain to sit down on the toilet? Do you get an unexpected bootie cramp while you're pushing a shopping cart in the grocery store? If so, you may need to take it easy for a few days. Soreness can last up to four days after an exercise session. You should go to the doctor immediately if you have any sudden sharp and/or stabbing pains during or after a workout.
2. Beauty Sleep
Exercising every day to get bikini ready can increase your risk for muscle strain and injury. Your body needs a break so it can recover. When you rest, your muscles become stronger. You should have one to two rest days per week. Also, plan on getting at least eight hours of beauty sleep per night for daily recovery. Your muscles will thank you in the morning.
3. Exhausted Vs. Energized
You're probably pushing it too hard if you're ready for some zzzs after you do your workout. When you exercise your feel-good endorphins are going to make you feel energized! If you're ready to crawl into bed before you can hit the showers, then you might be burning far more calories that you're taking in. Don't overdo it by working out too hard or too long. Also, be sure to refuel with water and food after a sweat session to prevent dehydration and tiredness.
4. Head, Mouth & Heart
Keep tabs on your head, mouth and heart during your workout. If you feel dizzy or disoriented while you're exercising, then you need to stop and take a knee until you become alert and focused. Are you beyond thirsty? Post-workout dehydration is a sign that you're not taking in enough fluids. Stay away from power drinks. The best thing is old-fashioned water during and after your workout. During a cardio workout a great gauge of intensity is if you can maintain a conversation. If you're having trouble breathing and/or rapid heartbeat, then it's time to take it down a couple of notches.
5. Workout Woes
There are many days that you may be unmotivated to go to the gym. However, you find that once you complete your workout you feel really good about yourself! This type of extreme workout woes is a significant decrease of motivation and not your usual trying to play hooky. If exercise becomes a big obstacle in your day, you may have the exercise blahs. It's time to chill and relax. Try taking up another physical activity like yoga to find your inner Zen and get your groove back.
6. Heavy Limbs
You're probably suffering from muscle fatigue if your legs feel like lead just to walk to your car or your arms are straining to hold your purse. Easing into your workout, tweaking to a moderate routine and having a cool-down might help. You may need to consult your doctor if you continue to feel like a bag of rocks after a week of light exercise and rest.
If you're thinking about working out all of the time or you find yourself avoiding plans with friends in order to fit in your workouts, these are signs that you may be exercising too hard and too much. Exercising should be a healthy habit and not an obsession.
It's great to stay in shape while keeping the momentum going. In order not to over exercise, or fall off the bandwagon, you should maintain a good balance between cardio exercise, strength training, stretching and rest. Focusing on quality over quantity will keep you healthy, happy and looking good. What do you do to maintain healthy exercise habits?