Bright Side

7 Signs Your Intense Workout Actually Harms You

So, you decided to get your dream body and going to spend every spare minute at the gym to get results faster. But don’t rush, over-exercising can be even more harmful for your body and health than under-exercising.

This Bright Side article will help you understand the symptoms of over-exercising so that your enthusiasm to achieve your dream body doesn’t lead to negative side effects.

1. Your performance levels decrease

Not all days are the same, so if you see yourself under-performing, that might be normal. But if not being able to achieve your set goals becomes the norm, then you’re probably hitting your limit. If you are over-exercising, you will also feel exhausted and lose endurance. In such a case, you’ll feel your grip strength weaken and additional pain in your joints. Your stability may also take a hit.

2. You feel sore for longer than usual

It’s natural to feel sore if you’ve just begun exercising or have switched to a different exercising style. But if you’re a regular and have not altered your training style, yet you’re experiencing an unusual soreness that lasts longer than normal, you’re probably overtraining. This feeling might be very similar to the feeling you had when you first started weight-lifting.

3. You lose the motivation to exercise

If after enthusiastically going to the gym every single day you suddenly seem to have lost motivation, it’s a warning sign that you might have over-stretched yourself. Eventually, this lack of motivation can even lead to depression. And in such a case, you’ll find it extremely difficult to understand the reason for feeling depressed.

4. You feel sick all the time

7 Signs Your Intense Workout Actually Harms You

If you’re training regularly and leading a healthy life, yet you fall sick regularly, then it might be because you’re over-training. Catching a cold or having a fever might be other reasons as well. However, if it happens regularly and some of the other signs of over-exercising are also visible, you’d better take a closer look at your training regimen.

5. You lose muscles

If you’re over-training, your body doesn’t get the rest that it needs to heal and then rebuilds stronger muscles. As a result, there’s more muscle breakdown than muscle-building. This leads to muscle loss and in extreme cases, injury. In some cases, it can also give you a bloated look due to excess water retention.

6. You get chronic injuries

7 Signs Your Intense Workout Actually Harms You

These are injuries that keep reoccurring or don’t go away. This is because when you overexercise without giving your body time to recover, more muscles remain unhealed than can actually develop. However, injuries can also occur due to pattern overload, which means that you’re repeating the same exercise for a very long time without making any changes.

7. It’s hard for you to fall asleep

7 Signs Your Intense Workout Actually Harms You

Over-exercising can cause an over-production of stress hormones. This can make falling asleep harder. But your body needs a proper amount of sleep to heal the broken muscles and replace them with stronger ones. Therefore, over-exercise gives rise to a vicious cycle.

Bonus: You can offset over-training

  1. Eating healthy: It’s very important that your meals have the proper combination of both micronutrients and macronutrients. Also, it’s a huge mistake to concentrate only on proteins. You should also take sufficient amounts of carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body that is required to rack up muscle mass, and fats help in the release of testosterone and other growth-related hormones.
  2. Get enough sleep: Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep because while you’re sleeping, the body works to repair the damaged muscles and replaces them with healthier and stronger ones.
  3. Lower your stress level: If you’re going through a phase of emotional stress, it’s better to compensate for it by going lighter on physical training. Instead of heavy lifting, doing yoga or lighter exercises would be a better option.
  4. Take a week off every 6-12 weeks: Taking a break allows the body to heal and get stronger. You will be surprised to see that after the week off you will feel stronger and more motivated.

Have you experienced any of these symptoms? Let us know in the comments.

Illustrated by Marat Nugumanov and Yekaterina Ragozina for Bright Side