Make no mistake about it, regular exercise is probably the biggest factor in living a long and healthy life, (not discounting healthy eating). But with boot camp-style workouts, triathlons, marathons and even ultra-marathons becoming increasingly popular, more athletes — both professionals and weekend warriors — are at risk for overtraining.
Here are several ways to tell that you’re working out too hard. The first five are acute, short-term symptoms, while the second group comprises more uncommon long-term consequences of overtraining.
Here are the obvious ones:
+ Trouble breathing or maintaining a conversation
+ Disorientation, foggy mental processing
+ Rapid heart beat
Here are some other not-so-obvious signs that you’re training too hard:
+ Disrupted or skipped menstrual cycles
+ Myocardial fibrosis
+ Withdrawal symptoms
+ Hormonal imbalances
+ Immune function
Last but not least, overtraining is marked by cumulative exhaustion that persists even after recovery periods.
How much is too much? Everybody is different, but the American Heart Association currently recommends that adults stick with 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity. Stay within that zone and you’ll likely avoid any symptoms of overtraining.
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