Effects of overtraining and how to avoid them

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In any physical activity to improve health, excesses are negative. Find here how to avoid the effects of overtraining.

Man lifting weights

Far from helping the body progress, overtraining makes it fatigued and ill. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Moises Campos

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Leer en español: Efectos del sobreentrenamiento y cómo evitarlos

When you want to achieve a fitness-type body or excel in some sport, some make the mistake of thinking that success will depend on training as much as possible or, in other words, overtraining.

Overtraining is bad for your health

Far from helping the body progress, overtraining makes it fatigued and ill. The symptoms that a person is overtraining are visible:

Muscle pain: this discomfort is completely different from what you feel when you have worked a muscle with weights in the correct way. When there is overtraining, the pain in the muscle continues for several days, indicating that there was no cell regeneration and that possibly the tearing of the muscle fibers was abrupt and exaggerated. Since there was no recovery, if the person continues training, they will damage the muscle more to the point of suffering a more serious injury.

Exaggerated fatigue: it is one thing to be exhausted from a training session and another to have fatigue that prevents you from getting up to simply walk. This type of fatigue is reflected throughout the body as if it were a general lack of energy at the cellular level. The person feels that his legs and arms are weak to the point of wanting to be in bed all the time.

Problems falling asleep: although it is true that when a person has performed intense physical exercises during the day, they can sleep more deeply due to fatigue, when this is due to overtraining, the effect is the opposite. Muscle exhaustion is so high that the nervous system feels inflamed, which will prevent sleep due to discomfort and body aches. In addition, even if sleep is achieved, the next day, the brain will reflect the same discomfort as if the amount of sleep had not been enough.

Depressed immune system - This is one of the most serious negative effects of overtraining. The body's defenses are generally strengthened by the individual's physical exercise, but in cases of overtraining, not. The body's effort to get rid of inflammation exceeds limits and there may even be other discomforts, even at the digestive level.

Loss of muscle mass: this happens a lot to those who want results from one day to the next. Overtraining makes them look physically without muscle because what little they had or have now achieved has been lost. An over-trained muscle won't grow, it can shrink. Excessive caloric expenditure could cause someone who is already thin to lose body weight or cause someone of average weight to overeat and gain weight.

Also read: Is it Time to say Goodbye to Reinaldo Rueda?

How to avoid overtraining

Many people get carried away by unsubstantiated theories that the trading system wants to fill their heads with ideas to sell you something. But the reality is that to train the body as it should be done, it is advisable to seek information and learn.

The first thing is to understand that cellular nutrition is the most important thing. When any sports activity is carried out, the cells of the body need energy and, in some cases, to be renewed.

The joints, the brain, the muscles, the blood, and even the eyes, are involved in the practice of physical activity, so nourishing yourself is something that should not be taken lightly. Demanding physical performance from the body and not providing it with the necessary nutrients for energy is a big mistake.

Rest is the most important thing because it is in this process that the body recovers. Sleeping at least 8 hours is recommended, although perhaps someone sleeps 7 and says they feel fine, but less than 6 hours is already a serious problem to recover physically.

In general, to start with, the WHO recommends about 150 minutes a week of physical activity. At the muscular level, as has been published in world-endorsed sports magazines, certain muscle groups should be worked once every eight days and the rest between trips to the gym should be at least one day.

This means that a person can go to train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, each day a different muscle group. The amount of time would be distributed by low repetition routines. The time covered would be from about 45 minutes to one hour.

In the case of those who run or walk, they must verify that the footwear is scientifically designed for this purpose. There are recognized brands that include elements in these shoes that cushion the impact of weight when running or walking. This will mean long life for the knees and other joints and even for the lower back or back.

For those who practice with a stationary bike or elliptical, it is best to learn how much is the maximum that you can do this type of exercise without hurting your knees or back.