How did we get to April already!?
Did you look at the calendar and realize you are 3 months into the year, but you really didn’t follow through on your New Year’s Resolution?
You may be frustrated and feel you need to push yourself more than ever to make up for those days you didn’t quite follow through. However, before you push too far, read the tips below to make sure you are not overtraining – and actually doing more harm than good!
Let’s first define overtraining and its most common symptoms. Overtraining is exceeding your body’s recovery capacity causing excessive fatigue resulting in impaired performance – fatigue in both physical and mental states. Symptoms include excessive muscle soreness, lack of sleep, increased injury, and low self esteem.
The guilt or stress you feel of not meeting your resolution should not be put into excessive workouts and extreme dieting to make up for lost time. You actually do yourself a disservice by overtraining.
Here are some tips to keep your fitness goals on track without overtraining:
- Give yourself Grace. Take into account getting into shape and/or staying in shape can be difficult. For some it is even more difficult than others. You must put things into perspective and if losing weight, gaining weight, getting stronger or whatever your fitness goal(s) are you must put them as a top priority. I suggest you list your top 3 priorities and from there create a set of rules you’ll follow to assure you keep them as a priority.
- Reduce the number of days or length of time you are training. A couple good rules of thumb are: When lifting weights, give your muscles 48-72 hours to recover. If you are more of a cardio person, then have one longer than normal session 1-2 times a week and cross train. Foam Roll and perform dynamic stretching before and after workouts. Progressive overload when lifting (start with lighter weight and higher reps and as you go heavier in weight go down in reps).
- Take note of the stressors in your life and work on eliminating, automating or delegating them. Keep in mind your body does not know the difference of an intense (stressful) workout and a stressful situation. Your body just knows it’s under stress. Work to get those stressors out of your way.
- Journal your days. I suggest you use a journal to track how you’re feeling, whether or not you worked out that day, how you ate, how you slept and overall how you felt. A great way to make this more visible is to use a different color for how you felt, how your workouts were, how you slept and how you felt. To keep it simple, use the following colors and a scale of 1-10. 8,9 or 10=Blue, 5,6 or 7=Green, 3 or 4=Yellow and anything lower is RED.