In today’s society, training has become more intense than ever, but how much is too much? With classes like CrossFit and extreme HIIT workouts, it’s possible that individuals may be reaching the point of overtraining.
Rest days are extremely important. Overtraining can result in decreased performance, restlessness, high blood pressure, extreme muscle soreness, and illness. Your body needs time to recover, destress, relax and heal. This way, you will prevent injury, increase your performance level, and repair your immune system.
Along with the physical toll overtraining can have on your body, psychologically you may endure setbacks as well. Burnouts are common and mental fatigue can be detrimental to your well-being. Sleep will help you recharge and reenergize you.
Olympic medalist and long distance runner Meb Keflezighi explains “when I have aches and pains and I am sick I take a day off.” When it comes to skipping your workout, Keflezighi believes you should rest “one day longer than you think you should so you don’t relapse.”
Therefore, if you are experiencing any of the signs below, it may be wise to give your body a break and consider taking a rest day.
1. You are extremely tired
Fatigue is a sign you may be over training. Exercise is supposed to wake us up and put us in a good mood. However, overtraining has the potential to put your mind and body in a state of anxiety. This in turn will make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep impairs your judgement, makes you forgetful, and lowers immunity. Take a day to rest, catch up on some sleep, and hit the gym the next day.
2. You’re always sore
If you have been training hard and are constantly feeling sore it may be a sign to take a day off. Working out through pain can lead to serious injury. Instead, skip the gym and let your muscles relax. Stretch, drink protein, and hydrate to be ready for the next day’s workout.
3. You’re in a bad mood
Although exercise is supposed to give us a feeling of satisfaction, it has been proven that overtraining can cause you to become cranky, which can potentially lead to stress and anxiety. This could be due to lack of sleep, discomfort, pain, and bad eating habits. Take a day to rest and get your mind and body back on track.
4. You’re sick
Believe it or not working yourself too hard can actually make you sick. It puts a strain on your body and can be harmful to your immune system. According to Active, “although moderate exercise may help protect athletes from sickness, training for too long at too high an intensity appears to make athletes more susceptible to illness.”
5. You’re injured
If you feel an injury coming on or if you have recently suffered from an injury, such as a strained or strained muscle, broken bone, or concussion, it is definitely a sign you need a break from the gym. Keflezighi says it’s important to know your limits, and not push when you’re on the brink of injury. Exercising will only prolong your injury. You must rest to heal properly.