Are you OVERTRAINING?  It is common to think that the more you workout the better.  It’s easy to forget that we can overdo it when working out. You get in the gym groove, put your headphones on, and go crazy lifting weights or doing cardio. Many people will reach a plateau when it comes to gym progress. This is a good sign that you may be overdoing it.

overtraining

Many athletes overtrain and do not realize.

So how do you know if you are overtraining? A good indicator may be that you seem to be getting sick more often. Or, as I said before, you have hit a progress plateau. Or you seem to be retaining a layer of fat on your abdomen.

When you work out excessively, the body will continuing releasing cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) and will not have time to clear it properly. Excess cortisol will result in getting sick more often and fat gain. You may also notice that you are waking up in the middle of the night. It may express itself differently in different people. Cortisol is inflammatory and taxing on the immune system.

Now what constitutes working out excessively? Lifting weights, getting sore and then not waiting until you are not sore to lift again. When you tear your muscle apart during a heavy lifting workout, cortisol is produced. Waiting until the soreness goes away is your indicator that you are ready to lift again. (People do this and can still look great, but it may catch up with you after time because it is taxing on your insides.) Another huge problem, especially with females, is too much cardio! The longer your cardio session, the more muscle destroying cortisol you will produce. Exercise is NOT about calories in versus calories out. We are trying to be efficient with our exercise, so the least amount of exercise that makes us the healthiest is the goal. Running for an hour on the treadmill every day is going to increase cortisol levels. Please keep cardio down to under 30 minutes per session. This can be done every single day if you wish, however it doesn’t hurt to take a day off!  Check out Hormone FIT for more information!

If you’re not at this gym obsessive point yet, remember that your body does need rest and honor it. It’s ok to skip a day of working out.  It’s not in your hormonal interest to be overtraining. For more info check out Hormone Fit!

My love,

Dr. Kristin