With the health and exercise craze at an all-time high, health care professionals have begun to worry about the possible effects of overtraining.
While a healthy amount of diet and exercise is recommended, it is possible to exercise to excess, which causes harm to the body.
Studies have shown several harmful bodily reactions to overtraining. When you increase your normal amount of exercise, make sure to watch out for these six danger signs, as they are likely to cause detriment to your overall health and well-being.
An altered mood state
Exercise is proven to increase endorphin levels and increase energy. After a good workout, you should feel more enthusiastic and have a sense of wellness. Feeling the opposite of this is a bad sign. One indication of overtraining is an increase in fatigue and a general lack of interest in daily activities. If you feel sluggish and overly lethargic, chances are you should decrease your exercise level. This can be especially true for endurance athletes who train for endless periods of time.
Decrease in exercise performance levels
Have you found that you cannot perform at the level you once could? Do you get tired more easily or feel weak during your workout? It is possible that you are overtraining. Of course anyone will feel fatigue when they increase their workout, but when you are overtraining, even the most basic exercises will feel overwhelming to you. If this is the case, make sure to get plenty of rest before exercising again.
An increase in cortisol levels aka the “stress” hormone
When overtraining occurs, the body is not able to rest at the state at which it normally does, which is often known as athletic “jet lag.” Because of the inability of the body to rest, excessive exercise only makes matters worse. In turn, the lack of rest results in an increase in stress levels. This can cause a person to be unable to properly perform regular functions at home and work. In addition, the rise in stress levels can alter your sleep patterns, and you can become restless and unable to get a good night’s sleep as a result. This can also cause changes in your immune system, which is another danger of overtraining.
Decreased testosterone levels
Along with a change in cortisol levels, which can increase stress and restlessness, overtraining can also cause a decrease in testosterone levels. This can cause a high level of fatigue as well as an inability to lose body fat. Chronic fatigue is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. Therefore, maintaining normal testosterone levels is important. If you feel your body overcome with fatigue, make sure to rest and consult your doctor about your daily routine.
Changes in immune status
You might be doing all of the right things to keep your immune system properly functioning, except maintaining a healthy exercise routine. While a good night’s sleep and the appropriate intake of healthy vitamins play a large role in your immune system’s health, excessive exercise can contribute negatively to the status of your immune system. If you find yourself doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy, but you find yourself getting sick, it is possible that you are overtraining. Make sure to monitor your health, and if you regularly find yourself with an unwanted cough or stuffy nose, you might want to reconsider your workout habits.
If you find that you are burning more calories than you consume, but you are not losing weight, or even gaining weight, chances are you are overtraining. When the body exercises to excess but there is not enough fat stored in the body, the body reacts by breaking down muscle tissue and storing sugar. This actually causes a hormone imbalance in the body, and your body will react by becoming more insulin resistant. In addition, there will be an increase in fat deposition, which will cause you to be less lean, especially in the midsection.