Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/13/2013 -- Long-term fitness enthusiasts love to engage in as many activities as possible. While physical activity is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, too much physical activity can harm the body more than help it. The fitness industry coined the term overtraining for situations where well-performing athletes suddenly experience a drop in performance, or increased fatigue during daily life.
The University of New Mexico Exercise Science department explains Overtraining Syndrome occurs as a result of an overactive training schedule sustained for long periods of time, or performed at a high intensity without sufficient recovery time between sessions. Though the phrases “Give 110%” and “Go Hard or Go Home” are meant to motivate, recovery and rehabilitation time is necessary to sustain and improve athletic performance. The problem in recognizing overtraining symptoms is they show up very gradually, and can mimic the symptoms of other problems. There are, however, a few trademark signs the body exhibits when too much activity is combined with not enough rest.
- Frequent illnesses resulting from an exhausted immune system
- Decreased performance (becoming weaker or slower than one had been)
- Recrrent injuries which take longer to heal
- Chronic fatigue
- Rapid, unexpected weight loss
- Amenorrhea in women (absence of periods)
- A steady increase in resting heart rate
When experiencing these symptoms, individuals must ensure they are getting proper nutrition to aid in recovery, and back off the training schedule to allow for rest. Lung, heart, and muscle function decrease during periods of high demand without adequate rest, putting the individual at risk for injury or long-term performance reduction. Training intensity can be monitored by testing the morning heart rate. Increased morning heart rate may indicate the body is working too hard, and a return to a standard rate or a decrease in tempo will indicate when the individual is on the road to recovery.
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