Too often I see people fall off of the workout wagon because of the “more is more” mentality, leading to psychical and mental burnout. To make it worse, the symptoms of over-exercising aren’t always obvious!
A mistake I see a lot of people make when starting their health and fitness journey is pushing themselves too hard, too fast.
And I get it. I used to go SO HARD.
If I didn’t burn ‘x’ amount of calories, wasn’t dripping in sweat, or wasn’t able to move the next day, then my workout wasn’t ‘good enough’.
Thanks to the excessive HIIT workouts week in week out, I struggled chronically with digestive issues, stress, and that classic lower belly saggy pouch. When I quit the insanity, only THEN did I start seeing the results I was torturing myself for.
Can you relate?
One thing I teach my clients is how to have a healthy relationship with exercise.
There are certain signs of over-training that show up before your body breaks down and you are literally forced to stop for a prolonged period of time, setting you progress back even more!
A subtle sign that you might be pushing yourself too hard is that you’re always rushing from one thing to the next and feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. It’s not normal to be in a constant state of panic all the time!
And not in a good, “I just had a great strength workout” way. You’re struggling to do simple tasks like climb the stairs, get out of bed, or carry the grocery bags.
While I’m not a huge advocate of relying on caffeine to boost your energy levels, there’s no doubt it can give that “up and go” first thing in the morning. If coffee just ain’t doing it, then your adrenals could use a rest!
You’ve hit a fitness or strength plateau, or even going backwards with your progress.
Waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to go back to sleep is a sign of high cortisol levels – a common symptom of over exercising.
Yes it’s normal to feel tired after a long run or challenging workout routine, but you shouldn’t be trying to just “get through the day” because you are so darn exhausted.
No matter how much you eat, you’re always hungry for more – nothing is filling you up physically or mentally. Even after a well-balanced meal that would usually keep you full for hours, your stomach feels empty again an hour later.
Find yourself snapping at others and easily annoyed at little things? Constantly anxious about the day ahead and sweating over the small stuff that never used to bother you? These a subtle but important hints that you might be overdoing it.
If the workout routine you loved and woke up excited for two weeks ago no longer sounds appealing, it might be time to reassess.
If you’re experiencing any of these over-exercising symptoms – don’t stress! A relaxed mentality around exercise is crucial for sustainability.
Avoid training burnout by finding exercises you love, always look forward to, and can see yourself doing for decades to come! Remember, more isn’t always more when it comes to exercise.
I share my exact (HIIT-free!) home workout routine in my Smarter Not Harder 28-Day Fitness Guide. I’ll be the first to admit I love the gym, but I also love knowing I’ve found a way to maintain my weight and physique without ever having to step into the weights room or a fitness class again.
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