IS IT POSSIBLE TO WORK OUT TOO MUCH??
Hitting the gym almost daily and still not seeing results? Here’s how to tell if you’re OD’ing on this healthy habit and working out too much—and what to do instead.
Are you working out too much?
We all know that regular exercise is essential. It can help you keep your weight in check, improve your mental health, and reduce your risk of developing certain cancers. Research even shows that vigorous workouts could help you live longer.
That said, it is possible to get too much of a good thing; It’s called overtraining, and it can show up as everything from chronic soreness to mood disturbances. Tune in to these symptoms warning you that you’re overdoing it, then learn how to tweak your habits for even greater sweat success.
Your killing yourself but nothing changes.
Spending hours in the gym but seeing limited results? Constantly enduring long hours on cardio equipment. When you spend hours in the gym doing the same exercises the body becomes very efficient, lazy and you stop seeing changes. Look to change your routine every 6-8 weeks. But don’t just change the exercises. Also consider manipulating sets, reps, tempo etc.
Maybe swap out a few of those long cardio sessions for a session at the weight rack. Hit opposing muscle groups (e.g., biceps and triceps), alternating all-out effort with short rest periods. The payoffs: decreased gym time, higher calorie burn, and a more toned physique.
You think pain is just the price to pay for a better body
Some achiness (aka delayed onset muscle soreness) is normal, but this symptom shouldn’t be chronic. If you’re always sore, your body isn’t repairing properly. Recovery only happens when your muscles and nervous system get the nutrients and rest they need to adapt to fitness.
In other words: all pain, no gan. Try reducing your high-intensity days to two or three a week, using the others as low-impact aerobic fitness and recovery days.
You’re suddenly dragging
Exercise should boost you up, not bring you down. So if you’re feeling lethargic, “you’re burned-out,”. You might even need a full week off so your body can rest and readjust. Fatigue can lead to irritability, depression, reduced appetite, and sleep issues—all of which can compound your low-energy woes. When you return to fitness, ease in with a restorative workout, like yoga. You’ll be surprised how well your body and mind respond and how much your energy levels improve.
You can’t remember the last time you actually enjoyed your workout
Yes, you want to feel tired, sweaty, and challenged, but you don’t want to dread the gym. We advise adding playtime (think kindergarten!) to active recovery days, which helps your body heal as well as keeps fitness fun. Play a game like tag with some friends. It’s really a series of interval sprints, but when you think of it less as a chore and more as play, it’s a total game changer.
Make the most of your rest days
Help your body recover with these self-care strategies.
- Eat well and hydrate: You should be feeding your body nutrient-dense foods, like lean proteins and veggies. And be sure to drink plenty of water.
- Use a foam roller: Imagine knots on a rubber band—trigger points are like that, and exercising can inflame them. Rolling out breaks them up so you can move better.
- Walk around: Long walks help increase blood flow to the muscles, bringing oxygen to fix damaged tissue.
- Don’t binge on junk food: A rest day is not a cheat day.
- Don’t stay up all night: Sleep is key for your body to recover, repair muscles, and reset the brain. Not getting enough can increase food cravings and push your body into chronic stress mode, making it harder to meet your goals.
- Don’t train—duh!: Sounds simple, but it can be challenging. Proper rest optimises the body for future workouts. And don’t worry: “No gains will be lost in one or even two days,”