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5 Signs You're Training Too Hard

04-18-2016

5 Signs You’re Training Too Hard

Whether you’re in the early stages of training for theCaroMont Health Community Challenge or you’re starting to increase the intensity of your workouts, it is important to know when an exercise routine might be pushing you over your limits. Sure, giving it all you have and committing to your fitness is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but your health and safety should always come first. Think you might be overdoing it? Read the five signs of pushing yourself too hard below and talk to your doctor about constructing a plan tailor-made for you.

  1. You’re consistently sore.Sure, a little muscle fatigue is to be expected, especially when you’re just starting out or are trying new exercises for the first time, but constant muscle pain could be a sign that you’re doing too much, too soon. If your focus is on cardio, like jogging or biking, cut back on the mileage or duration of activity and consider taking breaks throughout your workout. If your effort is in strength training, mix up which muscle groups you’re working out, making sure to never focus on the same muscles back-to-back days, and consider using lighter weights or doing fewer reps.
  1. You have to modify every exercise.Does a 60-second plank turn into a 30-second plank? Or a 30-minute jog into a 20-minute walk? If you find yourself modifying every exerciseeach time you workout, it may be time to reconsider the intensity of the plan. There’s nothing wrong with starting slow. The key is to start there rather than jumping in at an intensity level that is too high for your state of fitness.
  1. You’re not sleeping well.A study from the National Sleep Foundation found that people who exercise at least 150 minutes a week sleep significantly better than those who do not; however, exercise that is too intense can have the opposite effect. A study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that in some cases a high-intensity workout can induce cardiac stress, which in turn can hinder your ability to fully recover before falling asleep.
  1. Training is consuming your life. Fitting in a 30 to 60-minute workout can be tough for anyone with a busy schedule. But if you start to feel as though working out is crucial to the success of your day, you might be relying too heavily on physical exercise to determine your happiness. Don’t be afraid to take a recovery day (or two). Your muscles and your mind need time to relax, recharge and be ready for your next workout.
  1. Your heart rate is too elevated.Checking your heart rate or pulse during physical activityis a great way to gauge the intensity of your workout. The most basic method to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. So for example, if you’re 42 years old, subtract 42 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 178. According to the CDC, for moderate-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be 50 to 70-percent of your maximum heart rate. Monitoryour pulseregularly during exercise to ensure it’s staying in a healthy range.

Exercise, when done properly, brings a multitude of benefits to your overall health, but it’s important to listen to your body and be aware of your limits. If you feel like your workout routine is bringing more harm than good, consult with your doctor before continuing the program.

Do you have your workout routine locked in and ready for your next fitness challenge? Sign up for the CaroMont Health Community Challenge on May 14 and join your community on the road to health.For more information and to sign up to participate, visit www.caromontcommunitychallenge.com or contact Meghan Marr at meghan.marr@caromonthealth.org.