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There’s no better feeling than running that extra mile or hitting a new PB in the gym. 
All that hard work and countless hours spent training can help you achieve your goals. However, too much training without enough rest can in fact hinder your progress. It can result in a decline in performance. 
Training stresses the body and in turn, breaks down muscle. The repair and recovery of the muscles after exercise is what makes us fitter, rather than the exercise itself. So, the more you break your body down without sufficient recovery, the slower you will be to improve fitness and gain strength. 
As humans, we associate exercise with those feel-good endorphins and when we exercise, our brains trigger a stress response within the body. This is done by spiking our stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Many people don’t know, however, is the body requires rest for it to recover, which is especially important before your next bout of high-intensity exercise. 

Signs you are Overtraining 

Motivation. Are you lacking motivation? Struggling to go to the gym? When exercising stops being fun, take it as a hint from your body to take a rest. This is normally the first sign that you are pushing your body past its limit. 
Ask yourself the following questions - 
Do you feel like you’ve stopped progressing? If you feel like your progress has been hindered and you’re unable to lift heavier or run that little bit further than you may have potentially hit a plateau. 
Have you noticed a change in your heart rate? When you’re in a state of overtraining your heart rate will not have the same variability as what it did before. So, if you’re doing a HIIT session and you’ve noticed that your heart rate isn’t dropping in your rest periods then it’s a sign that your body isn’t as resilient to stress. 
Do you feel stressed? Overwhelmed? Maybe even moody, sad, depressed or anxious? These are all common symptoms of overtraining. Due to your body essentially breaking down, your hormone balance and mental health will start to decline. 
Are you more achy than usual? Or have you noticed that your old niggle may have started to flare up? Exercise causes inflammation and when there’s no recovery period to help reduce inflammation then the aches, pains, and injuries are more likely. 

How to Recover 

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of overtraining, then you should try to stop exercising and rest. This is easier said than done in most circumstances. However, by setting aside a couple of days or maybe even one to two weeks, this will allow your body to heal itself. 
You’ll be surprised by the results of slowing it down and resting. 
It’s as important to plan recovery days as it is to plan your workouts. 
On average it’s recommended that taking a rest day every three to five days in-between workouts allows your body to recover. However, if you have overtrained then it is recommended to have three days minimum rest. 
There are many ways to relieve tension and stress. These include: 
- Yoga 
- Hot baths 
- Meditation 
- Massages (Yes, you can pop in to see one of our therapists who will be happy to help) 
We hope that you’ve found this blog useful and that the take home message is to know that it’s OK to take time off from exercising and working out. 
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