Are you spending a lot of time working out but seeing minimal results?
Now that 2017 has started, many clients are coming to me with their New Year’s resolutions, and one resolution that I’m hearing often is getting to the gym or studio or hitting the pavement more often.
We all know that having a regular exercise routine is important not only for your physical health but also for your mental health. I definitely believe that regular exercise is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. However, it is possible to get too much of a good thing, and that includes too much exercise.
Getting too much exercise is referred to as overtraining, and when you overtrain, you can actually do more harm to your physical and mental state than good. For example, overtraining causes chronic soreness, dehydration, and believe it or not, mood disturbances.
Before you put your New Year’s resolution to exercise more into action, take a look at the five signs that you might be overtraining described below:
1. You’re Eating Healthy but the Pounds Stay On
You’re following a healthy meal plan while working out and noticing that you have not been able to shed the pounds. Why? Your body needs fuel to burn fat. When you’re overtraining, your body goes into fight or flight mode and holds onto whatever fat is has stored in order to keep you healthy.
If you skimp on your food while overtraining, your body won’t give you the “break” of letting go of stored fat. That’s why it’s important to be cognizant of what you’re fueling your body with, preferably water, healthy fats, good grains, vegetables/fruits, and protein.
2. You Don’t Like Exercising
If you don’t want to train or go to the gym or exercise classes, that means you dread moving your body. This is a classic sign that you’re working out just to shed the pounds.
Notice what type of workout you’re doing. Is it the latest fad or what all of your friends are doing, but you don’t like it at all? Your body is a living organism, and when you have negative feelings about what you’re doing, your body won’t agree to do its job.
Keep in mind, exercise is a choice, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself and choosing activities to move your body that you can have a positive attitude about. Try different classes and workouts, and most importantly, get outside!
3. You’re Dehydrated
Thirsty? You might not be drinking enough water. In fact, dehydration could be a key reason why your muscles are sore.
Don’t forget to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Going back to #1 above, if you’re overtraining, there is no way you’re getting enough replenishment in your cells!
4. You Think You Have to Be in Pain to See Results
Do you believe you have to feel pain to have a beautiful body? No way!
Again, some soreness is to be expected. However, if you’re continually sore, you’re not recovering or repairing properly after your workouts. Or should I say, you’re not giving yourself the time your body needs to recover and repair.
One way to repair is hydration (see #3 above). Another way to recover is by limiting your really high intensity workouts to just two to three times per week. This gives your body the time it needs to repair between workouts.
Finally, sleep is the key to repairing and recovering your muscles. You should be getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night. Pay attention and note when you’re overtraining, not getting enough water, and sleeping less than seven hours per night. The results of these three things are a tired body, mood swings, and major food cravings – exactly the opposite of what you need to keep your New Year’s resolution.
5. You Prioritize Exercise over Loved Ones
When your desire or need to train becomes your top priority, then you need to take a step back. You’re likely overtraining.
Remember, part of living a full life includes nourishing all areas of your life, not just your physical health. Your family and friends are an essential component to maintaining your health and happiness, so don’t forget them in your quest to get healthier physically.
Moderation and balance are the keys here. We seem to trade one thing for another in life. For example, your New Year’s resolution to exercise more becomes extreme when you start overtraining, which takes you away from living a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies, minds, and souls cannot live on extremes!
Find Your Balance and You’ll See Better Results
“I can eat that because I did an hour spin class.” Does that sound familiar? It’s a dangerous mindset.
We eat to nourish our bodies, and we workout to keep our bodies healthy. Overdoing any one thing will keep you in a vicious cycle where you’re chasing the perfect body but never attaining the perfection you seek.
Stop thinking in extremes and follow the tips I’ve given above. I promise you’ll be on the right track to keep your resolutions this year!
If you’re like me and information on food, nutrition, recipes, and lifestyle feeds your soul, you can purchase my ebook full of delicious breakfast recipes here. Want to go even further? Let’s work together!