by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
The upcoming months are filled with reasons to get fitter. Racing events, vacations, and swimsuits are just a few. Keep fitness efforts at a healthy pace. Avoid overtraining …
Many function under the misguided theory that more is better. Unless a philosophical reference about life and love, this is not necessarily true. Working out six hours weekly at the Center may feel great. That does not always make 15 hours weekly even better.
With so much to accomplish at the Center, limiting your time may seem unfair. After all, you can never overstay your welcome. However, there is time that might best be spent in the sauna room, at the cafe, or in a nutrition seminar. Here’s how to avoid overtraining, even when that marathon is coming faster than your latest treadmill speed.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Schedule rest time into your fitness program. Dedicate one or two days to easy stretches and low-impact activities. If you need your daily workout fix, keep it varied.
- Spend one day on strength training and one day on cardio.
- Vary the equipment used on the Exercise Floor.
- Change things up with an aquatic workout to give joints a rest.
- Alternate intensity levels, with high-intensity only every other day.
Daily exercise can be a safe, effective part of a healthy lifestyle. Simply keep routines consistently inconsistent. Added bonus: Lack of boredom.
Meet with a Personal Trainer
Take advantage of the Center’s fitness professionals who are readily available. If you are training for a competitive event or sport season, team with them to build a training program appropriate to your unique needs. Many trainers specialize in sport specific training, including the season’s upcoming racing events. Check out their biographies via the Center website. You may connect with your athletic mentor!
Use your free personal training evaluation to learn how to challenge yourself without pushing too hard. A trainer can advise how to safely increase your workout to reach goals, without risk of injury. Everything from timing to intensity can be calculated for you. Maximize your workout without unhealthy overexertion.
To recover from a workout, the body craves a healthy diet. Carbohydrates and protein are sources that deliver needed post-workout energy to make the most of your efforts. To train consistently, the body needs adequate stores of glycogen. This is especially true for endurance trainers who benefit greatly from this energy source.
Pair carbs with protein, and consume within 30 minutes of exercise. This increases muscle glycogen storage. Protein contains the amino acids needed to rebuild muscle tissue, which is effected by prolonged, intense exercise. A sports drink can be a portable, convenient source that simultaneously aids hydration. Remember to replace lost fluids after every workout, along with proper nutrition.
A healthy workout yields restful sleep. Muscles are tired and stress is released. The body and mind are ready to welcome slumber. Give yourself adequate sleep, especially between the hours of 10:00pm and 2:00am, which is believed the time when physical restoration occurs. Allow your muscles to reap the benefit of their work with strong growth, possible only during rest.
Struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep may be a sign of overtraining. When your system is overloaded, rest can be difficult. Monitor your sleep and workout patterns to determine how they are linked. Excessive training may be to blame. Remember, all things in moderation.
Listen to Your Body
Once we become mindful, our true capacity can be realized– both for greatness and for the need to rest. If motivation cannot be rallied 15 minutes into your workout, and fatigue and soreness creep in, cut it short. You will know if you have done too much. And, the best action for that day is probably no action at all.
“12 Signs You’re Overtraining,” by James De Medeiros at mensfitness.com
“The Cure for Overtraining,” by Paige Waehner at about.com.
Whirlpool jet: flickr.com/photos/youasamachine/7916903098/
Peanut butter: flickr.com/photos/mrsdkrebs/7104016311/
Resting feet: flickr.com/photos/jvtfotos/3397575091/