While it may sound contrary to my lecturing on consistency, periodically you need to take a break from working out and take a day or two off. You have to give your body a breather occasionally and avoid the problem of overtraining. Whether you’re hoping to get your body competition ready, just want to look great or are training for any type of athletic endeavor, such as a distance run or a mudder, taking time off gives your body time to mend the micro-tears that came from working out and makes them stronger.
A high resting heart rate is one indication that you might need to take a rest.
Track your heart rate. If you have a FitBit, heart rate monitor or other tool, it can be beneficial to know your normal heart rate. It’s important to take it in the morning and establish a normal for you. If your heart rate goes up to higher than ten beats a minute more per minute, it’s elevated. Some doctors suggest that having a heart rate that’s higher than five beats a minute more means you’re overtraining.
Do you feel exhausted all the time and have trouble sleeping?
Another way to identify overtraining is difficulty falling asleep or inconsistent sleep for several days in a row where you wake up frequently. Overtraining can cause a change in your normal sleep cycle that should alert you that you need a few days off from training. Two days off may be enough to reset the cycle and get back to normal.
If your body is always sore, there may be a problem.
You can expect some soreness, especially if you are a beginner, but there’s a problem if it’s constant. You may not be taking enough recovery time for your muscles to heal. Delayed onset muscle soreness can last as long as 72 hours, if the soreness lasts beyond that, you may be overtraining and not letting your muscle heal. Always let your training know if you’re having problems recovering, so he or she can help you take the recovery protocols that work for you.
- You might need a break from working out if you find you’re more susceptible to colds and illness than normal. While exercise boosts your immune system, too much can actually harm it and lower your immunity.
- You may be overtraining if the quality of your workout diminishes. Everyone can have a bad workout, but two or more in a row, where you didn’t perform as well as previous ones, may indicate you need a rest.
- If you’re losing muscle rather than gaining it and have less endurance, flexibility or strength, you may need to take a few days off and give those muscles a chance to heal. You’re probably overtraining.
- Listen to your body. You’ll know when you aren’t feeling your best or doing your best. I want clients to let me know when there’s a problem. Taking a day or two off is better than losing ground or getting sick.
For more information, contact us today at JarFit