Exercise is obviously a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and with YouTube home workouts, colorful workout gear聽and unlimited #fitspo motivation on Instagram, it鈥檚 easier than ever to get started on a fitness routine. But if you鈥檙e hitting the weight room/pavement/yoga mat hard day in and day out, you might not be giving your body enough time to recover. You might think you鈥檙e working toward harder-better-faster-stronger results, but in reality, too much of a good thing is going to keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Plus, #restdaybestday, amirite?

Resting after training


Say you鈥檙e on an extreme health kick, and you push through tough workouts, even when your body鈥檚 screaming for you to just lie down on the couch and watch聽Gilmore Girls. You could have what鈥檚 known as 鈥overtraining syndrome,鈥 which means you aren鈥檛 giving your body enough time to recover from all those HIIT workouts and barre classes. Overtraining syndrome is聽actually pretty common in athletes that are training for a big race or event. But taking training to the extreme isn鈥檛 good for you.

When you exercise, you boost your immune system. But if your pursuit of swole doesn鈥檛 include rest days, you鈥檒l actually repress it. Your muscles become fatigued more quickly and lose mass, stress hormones are more activated (which can lead to belly fat retention) and you鈥檒l also feel negative mental effects,聽like decreased motivation and confidence and raised anger and tension. Yeesh.聽Here are some of the signs to look out for.



1. Your heart rate is elevated, even when you鈥檙e not working out. The fitter you get, the lower your resting heart rate (RHR) will be. But during periods of overtraining, your RHR can jump back up by 10 or 15 beats per minute. The same thing happens when you鈥檙e about to get sick. So, clearly, it鈥檚 a sign that your body needs you to take a cool down.

2. You鈥檙e SUPER thirsty. Not in like, a Tinder way. If you鈥檙e hydrating like crazy and still can鈥檛 quench your thirst, your body might be in what鈥檚 called a 鈥渃atabolic state,鈥 where it鈥檚 starting to break down your muscle for protein. This naturally leads to dehydration.

3. You can鈥檛 sleep. You would think that crushing it at the gym all day would set you up for a solid night鈥檚 sleep, but when you鈥檙e overtraining, your hormones and central nervous system can go a little haywire. If you鈥檙e experiencing insomnia, take a closer look at your workout regimen.

4.聽You鈥檙e feeling all pain, no gain.聽Normally after a tough workout, you鈥檒l start feeling sore within a day or two and then it goes away. But if you鈥檝e pushed too far without giving your body time to recover, the muscle pain could last up to three or four days. And you could even start feeling pain in muscle groups you aren鈥檛 working.

5. You鈥檙e not hitting all your reps. If you find yourself underperforming in your workouts and you can鈥檛 figure out why, overtraining could be the culprit. And if it happens a couple days in a row, you definitely need to take a break.

How do you keep track of your workouts to prevent overtraining? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)