Moderation helps prevent overtraining

| January 28, 2011 | 1 Comment

Lisa Young
U.S. Army Public Health Command (Provisional)



ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Exercise is essential for a healthy body and mind, but it’s possible to get too much exercise.

Overtraining can result when people push their bodies too hard and don’t take time to recover with adequate time, rest and nutrition. Aerobic exercises like running, biking or swimming, and resistance exercises such as weightlifting can cause overtraining.

Overtraining happens when exercise volume or intensity exceeds what a person should be doing for an extended period of time.

Training volume can be excessive if more exercises are added, additional repetitions or sets are performed, or the frequency of the exercise is increased for too long.

In contrast, overtraining due to excessive intensity occurs when too heavy a resistance is used for an extended time. These principles apply to elite athletes as well as to individuals who exercise for general health and fitness.

Regular exercise and physical training are healthy habits that should make people feel better, not worse. If people experience overtraining signs and symptoms, they may be pushing too hard. All signs and symptoms of overtraining don’t necessarily need to be present, and the presence of a few symptoms don’t necessarily mean people are overtraining. The true test of whether overtraining is taking place is whether performance is impaired or at a plateau.

The American College of Sports Medicine cites frequent signs of overtraining include the following:

  • Decreased performance in strength, power, muscle endurance or cardiovascular endurance.
  • Decreased training tolerance and increased recovery requirements.
  • Decreased coordination, reaction time or speed.
  • Altered resting heart rate, blood pressure and respiration patterns.
  • Decreased body fat and post-exercise body weight.
  • Increased basal metabolic rate.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Menstrual disruption.
  • Headaches or gastrointestinal distress.
  • uscle, joint and tendon aches and stiffness.
  • Decreased rate of healing and increased occurrence of illness.

People are encouraged to take steps to alleviate and correct overtraining, which include the following steps:

  • Adding one or more recovery days to each training week.
  • Incorporating exercise programs that gradually alter training variables to allow the body to progress in stages and have adequate recovery.
  • Ensuring that training volume and exercise intensity are inversely related.
  • Avoiding monotonous exercise by increasing training variety.
  • Avoiding doing too many exercises, sets and/or repetitions.
  • Avoiding performing every set of every exercise of every session to absolute failure in resistance training.
  • Remembering to take into account the cumulative training effect of different kinds of exercise.

Exercise programs should include regular periods of recovery and reassessments. Done properly, exercise can bring lifelong benefits to mind and body.

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Category: Community, Exercises

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  1. Swimming workouts are the best form of exercise in water to improve your swimming skills and muscles. Whether your a professional swimmer, beginner, athlete or just an ordinary swimmer it is important to boost your muscle strength.

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