When your performance begins to fall or stops improving, it can be time to ease up off of your training routine. Easiest to pick up in people preparing for an endurance sporting event like a marathon or cycling race, decreased performance is one of the first signs of overtraining.
Disrupted menstrual cycle
Ladies, when your menstrual cycle suddenly goes AWOL without warning, you may want to review your exercise routine. Exercising excessively can cause body fat levels to drop too low to sustain menstruation and cause your body to go into survival mode, shutting down any function unnecessary to keep you alive. The good news is that backing off your activity level should return your cycle to normal.
Going from a hardcore exercise enthusiast to showing little interest in exercise and being increasingly burned out is one of the sure signs of overdoing your workouts. Give your body and your mind a break to get yourself mentally back in the game.
Increased recovery time and soreness
Some muscle fatigue and soreness are normal for the first little while after exercising. However, when you find yourself staying sore and fatigued for longer than normal after a sweat session, it’s time to dial down your routine or else your risk injury.
Though your body is crying out for rest when you overstrain, sleep disruptions and insomnia are signs that you are exercising too much. When your body goes into overload, sleep disturbances are common.
When you over exercise, your body and mind beg for extra rest. Although your instinct may be to try to work out through the fatigue to get the temporary energy boost from exercise, ignore it. You need the time to mentally and physically rest without stimulation.
Plateau and fat gain
When you are exercising with the goal of fat loss or weight loss, seeing your progress plateau or even regress is a sure sign that you are exercising too much. The body responds to the increased stress from overworking by releasing extra cortisol, a hormone that causes your body to produce and hold onto excess fat.
A decrease in appetite signals that your body has gone into survival mode and is slowing its metabolic process. Normally, a low appetite goes hand in hand with excessive fatigue in your body’s attempt to get you to reduce its workload.
Moodiness, depression, and irritability are all signs that your body is physically overworked. The excess levels of stress hormones such as cortisol cause the mood swings and anxiety. Moodiness will abate when you dial down the intensity and your body has a chance to recover.
Increased resting heart rate
Working out too hard places excessive stress on the body and makes your heart work harder. When your resting heart rate increases, it is a sure sign that backing off the exercise and getting some rest is just what you need.
Reduced immunity results from too much exercise. Exercising too intensely can cause more than a weakened immune system that leaves you getting cold after cold. It can also cause chronic inflammation that can lead to bigger health issues such as cancer and diabetes. Make sure to give your body the nourishment and rest it needs between sweat sessions to avoid these risks.
Not only does exercising too much lead to disease-causing inflammation, but that same inflammation also causes overuse injuries. When your body’s muscles and bones don’t have time to properly recover from excess stress, injuries such as pulled muscles and stress fractures are much more prevalent.