Exercise is a marvelous thing and has so many benefits for health; so much so that it’s crazy not everyone partakes.

On the other hand you have your exercise junkies that take it to the max day in and day out like true born “Exercise Warriors!” I commend these modern day gladiators of the gym, but are these chronic Exercise-aholics doing too much? In this article I want to give you my take on how to know how much exercise is too much

The Danger Zone: Overtraining

Avid gym goers and elite athletes alike I’m sure have pushed themselves to the dangerous realm of overtraining; but how do you know when that is?

First let’s lay the definition out there of what exactly it means to over-train

The definition in the most simple sense is when you exercise soo much that your body does not have time to recover. Now the body is a magnificent thing and it can adapt to almost any stressor you place on it; so actually knowing and recognising the signs of overtraining maybe difficult if you’re not in tune with the subtle differences the body shows you.

Athletes usually have a better sense of their bodies and generally can figure out when it’s time to take a break, but your Average Joe obsessed with having the perfect body may have blinders on to the warning signs.

So let’s talk about some of the symptoms exhibited by an individual who has pushed their body to the brink

Some of the common symptoms one presents with when they are overtraining are as follows: chronic muscle soreness, chronic fatigue, increased resting heart rate, decreased immune response (which shows because you’re frequently sick), increased incidence of getting injured, insomnia, depression, lack of focus, decreased motivation and lack of gains.

Now I know, it’s a laundry list of symptoms and hey whose not experiencing a few of those here and there; but when you present with a combination of these above symptoms for a prolonged period of time, it has to be your red flag to STOP and re-evaluate what’s happening.

Also take a look at 9 signs you are out of shape

In my humble opinion, one of the most important things you can monitor now to give you insight to see if you’re doing too much is

Monitoring your heart rate

One of the easiest ways to do this is to wear a heart rate monitor throughout the day to establish your baseline resting heart rate; if that resting heart rate is becoming higher than normal on a sustained basis, then it’s worth looking into and monitoring yourself for some of the other signs.

Or if you’re so inclined to have access to an HRV (heart rate variability) machine, you can see if that reduces in anyway and that can tell you as well that maybe it’s time for a break.

I am sure there are other high-tech ways to monitor the presence of the overtraining syndrome through various blood tests or other lab work, but starting with heart rate to me is the easiest and most cost effective.

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Anything good for you is worth doing or trying out, but also anything good for you in excess can be detrimental; it’s all about balance in life. My advice to anybody working out is a primal approach, JUST LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

Generally your body knows best and it never steers you wrong, all you have to do is listen and be one with it. Trust me you’re not a soft cake if you got to take a day off from the gym. If you’re body is showing you the signs and calling out, “hey dummy give me a break why don’t you?”

I’d say you probably should plop your butt on the couch that day or in the bed to allow it to do its thing and recover. Heck, I’m sitting on the couch right now in recovery mode writing you this article and you know what, I’m loving it!

So basically I am here to tell you to do nothing every once in awhile, you might just like it and I am more certain that you body will love you for it! Kick back, relax and have an off day from the gym; I promise you the weights will be there tomorrow.

See how to fight with other consequences of overtraining with these Effective solutions for muscular imbalances

Wish to achieve a balanced lifestyle? Try a Balanced Diet And Workout Plan

Lead image by greg westfall, internal image by midiman.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans