When people think about problems that have to do with training, they often think about people that do not train at all. Sedentary behavior brings to mind health concerns associated with a population that doesn’t get enough physical activity. This is certainly a problem that exists and needs to be addressed. But it may surprise you to learn that people can also have overtraining syndrome that involves people who overdo training. Too much training can be detrimental to a person who gets into the habit of training too hard and too often. Find out more about overtraining syndrome versus sedentary behavior and what can be done to achieve a better balance for optimum well-being.
What is Overtraining Syndrome?
Overtraining syndrome is when a person trains so often that they are damaging their body by training as often as they do.
Exercising faster and harder than their body can repair itself means that rather than helping their body become stronger and better, they are damaging it at a rate that can’t be naturally fixed. This strain can cause undue stress on the body that can eventually start them on a path of losing the strength and fitness that they’ve worked so hard to attain.
Types of Overtraining
Experts believe there are two types of overtraining. Knowing the difference can help people make necessary changes.
One is where a person follows the same routine over and over in a repetitive program with the same motions and movements over time. This can create a plateau in the person’s performance as their central nervous system is not getting the stimulation it needs.
The second type of overtraining is when someone works out with an intensity that is beyond intense and high volume while not giving his or her body time to recover before resuming exercise again. Some people confuse overtraining with over-reaching. Over-reaching is when people undergo extensive training, but they give themselves the time that their bodies need to recover from the intense workout before continuing with their training program.
People that overtrain might even develop an addiction to exercise that can be just as negative as other addictions due to the damaging psychological and physiological effects.
Building a Tolerance
They build up this tolerance to the feeling and effect that exercising used to give them and need to work harder in the gym to get the high that they would feel from training previously. This is believed to be chemically addictive just like what happens to individuals who get addicted to drugs.
Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome
There are some symptoms that can be devastating to a person who deals with overtraining syndrome.
Mentally, the person can start to feel anxious and confused. A person may develop depression along with being irritable and disinterested. The victim might have a lack of appetite and competitive desire. The person may be unable to sleep or have mood swings. This can also cause them to have a hard time concentrating.
Physically, a person suffering from overtraining may have elevated blood pressure in the morning, and the rate of their pulse when walking might also elevate. This can alter the way that the person’s central nervous, immune and endocrine systems work. Someone who overtrains may feel tired all of the time and feel a loss of strength. The person may suffer from headaches, and feel tremors in muscles. A victim can get sick easier with the flu or colds, and deal with getting infections easier than before. Someone’s muscles and joints can ache, and they may suffer from feeling stiff.
Injuries and Dehydration
Ironically, someone suffering from overtraining may injure themselves while exercising. A person could even be dealing with dehydration or feeling as though they can never quench their thirst.
Not Training at All?
On the opposite side of the spectrum is not training at all. Someone who is involved with not training at all does the bare minimum to get around in life.
These people are often the person that will drive around looking for a close parking space, wait for an elevator or looks for the first available seat. This means that they are not doing anything to maintain a fitness level, and may lack in health and wellness. A recent survey in 2015 by the CDC found that only 49 percent of adults over the age of 18 met the aerobic physical activity guidelines, and only 20.9 percent meet both the aerobic physical and the muscle-strengthening activities.
Any Activity Matters
In the United States, it’s recommended that a person should avoid inactivity and that any physical activity is preferable to none. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise at a moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of exercise at a more vigorous intensity. This should be in at least 10-minute intervals throughout the week. Someone should participate in muscle-strengthening activities two or more days in a week. These are the minimum amounts that adults should receive in a week.
Benefits From Exercising
Exercising is beneficial in that it helps to improve the immune system, strengthens muscles, helps with the aging process, makes the cardiovascular system run efficiently, aids in weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight, and can make a person feel good. Exercise may help with depression, stress, a better night’s sleep, positive attitudes, and self-esteem. Exercise is also beneficial in that it prevents diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure and other conditions.
Consequences of No Training At All
Most people are pretty familiar with the consequences of not training at all in life. It can have a negative impact on weight. Even if when you were younger you were able to eat whatever you wanted without worry over gaining weight, there’s a good chance that weight can be an issue with the lack of physical activity. Lack of activity can have a negative effect on your blood pressure, and this is dangerous because, for some people, there are no symptoms of this condition. It’s called the silent killer for a good reason.
Consider Your Bones
You may be aware that lack of training can damage your muscles in that they aren’t being strengthened, but no training can also play a role in your bone strength and whether or not you have brittle bones later in life. Lack of physical exercise can make even the easiest chores seem like a never-ending battle because this habit has decreased your energy and endurance. This avoidance of exercise can also create mental health issues to make you depressed, create a problem with sleeping, change the way that you deal with stress and create other issues. Also, there are numerous conditions that can be exacerbated by the lack of exercising, such as diabetes.
What Should You Do?
There’s one buzzword that’s always being used that fits this perfectly: moderation. As with most things in life, it’s all about moderation. You want to be able to get up off of the couch and feel good about moving around. It’s good for you to get up and exercise, and can help you to avoid all of the negative consequences that come from being a couch potato that doesn’t get the recommended amount of physical activity in their life.
Moving Feels Good – If You Don’t Overdo It
You may find you feel good once you get up and start moving, and that makes sense considering exercising feels so fantastic that people can get addicted to it. On the flipside of this coin, you also don’t want to get into any of the negative patterns that can cause damage to your body by overtraining. It’s a shame that you would work so hard to become healthy to only hurt yourself in the long run. People who find themselves in this situation should seek some help to get them back on a healthy path.
Getting Professional Help to Reach a Healthy Place
No matter what end of the spectrum on which you fall, there’s nothing wrong in talking with someone who can get you on the path to the right level of exercise for you. You certainly don’t want just to start exercising at an extreme level when you are first starting out, and you don’t want to fall into the trap of overtraining or continuing to overtrain.
Follow Smart Advice
Finding the right professional to help you is an excellent first step. A medical professional or professional trainer can help advise you on the best way to move forward to becoming the “you” that you desire to be with your health. One of the most important aspects of speaking with a professional trainer, physical therapist or other professional is that you feel comfortable talking with them about your goals and your current situation. This allows you to be completely honest about what’s going on, and your honest assessment gives the person the best chance to help you. Another thing that you have to do when you seek the help of a professional is to give it a chance before you decide to stop for whatever reason.
At the end of the day, it’s all about being the healthiest you. That may mean you need to slow down and give your body a rest because you’ve gotten too involved with training. You may also need to start getting up and moving around. Your body is your temple, and unless the future brings the possibility of full body transplants, you need to do your best in honoring that temple. Moderation with training and exercise is the best thing that you can do for yourself. Have fun with it, and try to be the healthiest version of you that you can be.
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