I have had the unfortunate experience of over-doing my workout a few times, especially when I was just starting out on my fitness journey, but also when I adding something new to my regimen. While most people can get achy after a workout, often the next day, overdoing a workout to the point of it being destructive can present a real problem. Here are some ways to know if you overdid your workout, why it matters and how you can prevent it in the future.
You are unusually thirsty even when you aren’t working out- If you are finding that you are very thirsty even though you are drinking water before, after and during a workout, you may be exercising too hard. This symptom comes from the fact that your muscles may actually be deteriorating rather than building up due to overworking them. You can prevent this by making sure not to push yourself too hard during training and listening to your body.
Muscle weakness or pain more than 48 hours later- It is completely normal to have muscle stiffness and soreness, even a day or two later, but if it is going on 3 days and the pain is still pretty pronounced, you probably overdid it. You could have even torn muscle or over worked some tendons. This can be avoided by listening to your body and warming up as well as making sure to do some stretching after.
You are more exhausted than full of energy- I usually am physically tired after a workout, but I also get internally energized from it as well. This is often what people call a ‘runner’s high’ if they are into that. This energy you should feel is due to a release of endorphins (the ‘happy chemicals in your brain’) and adrenaline. If you don’t have it, and feel absolutely beat after some gym time, you may have already burned through it during your workout.
How to Avoid Overworking Yourself During Fitness Training
Don’t workout too long- Working out too long is super easy to do, especially if you are like me and your workout time is your ‘me’ time. In order to set limits for yourself, set a timer on your phone that tells you when it’s time to quit. You can always come back again the next day.
Make sure to warm up and cool down- These are steps that many people skip and it’s understandable given that they aren’t all that fun ir intense. The truth is, working out requires you get your body ready for it and you help your body slowly come down in intensity after it. You don’t have to do anything elaborate, but try to walk a slow pace on the treadmill for 3-4 minutes after you run on it to help your heart rate return to normal and your muscles relax.
Plan on having some protein after every workout- Protein is important not only for building your muscles but for also helping them recover after you work them. Make sure to include a simple protein snack within ½ hour of working out. This can be something easy like a protein bar or shake too.
Above all, listen to your body- I know I have said it a couple of times here, but it is worth repeating. If your muscles are telling you they are done, listen to them. Sure you can sometimes push past it, but if you aren’t able to in a fairly quick amount of time, it may be your body’s way of trying to tap out for good reason.
Read more by Christine here.