In most cases, exercise is a healthy activity. But just like anything, too much of something can be a bad thing and can lead to extreme or dangerous conditions if one isn't too careful. One can get addicted to exercise. This one hits home for me because I feel that there was a time in my fitness journey where I experienced a brief period of exercise addiction. For me it was around the time I was trying to maintain an "off-season" bikini competitor body. At the time I didn't realize I was on the road to burn out, but by the end of 2015 my body did and minor injuries began to be an area I needed to be better about managing.
Here are 7 signs that might tell you to cut back just a little bit:
1. Exercise leaves you exhausted rather than energized. The right amount of physical activity gets your blood and endorphins going. It gives you that rush you need to get through your day. However if you feel the opposite after finishing a workout, it might be a size that you'e overdone it or you need to revisit your exercise routine and scale back a little.
2. You get sick too easily or it takes a long time to recover from a common cold. When you strength train you are essentially tearing muscle fibers and your body is an incredible bio-machine that repairs it on its own. This is how your muscle grows. The anabolic process of muscle growth requires a lot from your internal system. Over-exercising can lead to a break down in the immunity system.
3. You're irritable or extremely moody. When hangry goes beyond the time frame when you're needing food and the little things seem to set you off regularly. I've been there and man does it suck! I remember being there during the times I competed and had a terrible coach who had me on a very demanding exercise routine that didn't have enough planned out for rest and proper fuel. Sadly, I had plenty of fights with my husband over the smallest things during this time.
4. You can't seem to ever get enough sleep or you're always tired. I know we joke around in this society that we're always tired, mostly because work/life balance in America is such a struggle to find. But if you're getting adequate amounts of sleep, between 7-8 hours a night for an adult, and you're still waking up struggling, you may want to check to see if you're overdoing your burpees and jump squats.
5. You have "hungover legs" for days at a time. Heavy legs is a sign of fatigue. If you feel as if your legs are just dead weight and you can't move with ease, it might be a sign that your muscles haven't had enough time to fully recover.
6. You are sore for more than 2-3 days at a time. Oh the DOMS. Delayed onset muscle soreness isn't a terrible thing. But when you've done all the things you need to do to help the muscles recovery such as foam rolling, manual release therapy, and an epsom salt bath and you're still feeling that way, it can be a sign.
7. Your workouts become a chore or cause you to have the "blues". PTSD with over-exercise can be a thing, I believe it. I've seen the blues in many different forms with from different people with different experiences. Some people experience the blues after planning a wedding or large event, after completing a 12 week workout program or competition prep, or even on a rest day. Over training has been linked to decreased energy and mood. So make sure that you're scheduling a rest day and honor it, something I'm working on this year.
I'm beyond guilty of getting to the breaking point of exercise addiction and after trying to figure out why, I couldn't pinpoint a particular reason except that I have a strong passion for improving myself. But because of that, I've put my body into a bit of a shock and have caused minor injuries along the way. Although these injuries haven't required any surgery or major periods of rest between exercising, it has resulted in hungover legs, feeling unmotivated to move, and not getting enough sleep. Pre-workout can definitely help push me through another day of training, but its just a band-aid solution.
Since starting nutrition school, I've been learning a lot about holistic healing and thousands of nutrition theories. A few things that continue to stick out to me are ancient healing such as Chinese medicine and repairing the body with natural remedies like bone broth, beef gelatin, and collagen.
For almost a year I've used a different form of muscle/tissue repair supplement called glutamine. Which was working out amazing in the beginning over time I think my body was just over it, so it was time to move on. I recently discovered Vital Proteins and have been intrigued on it since its been gracing my feed left and right from all the fitness accounts I follow. I decided to bite the bullet a month ago and give it a try. Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissue such as your muscles, tendons, and even your digestive system. It also stops producing in our bodies after 25 years old. FUN TIMES! I've been dealing with shoulder and hip joint issues and after a month of using Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins for a month I've found that along with the mobility exercises I've been having to do from my coach, its been really helping heal my body naturally. I use the Vanilla and Coconut Water Whey, Collagen Peptides, and still on a hunt to find the best way to use Beef Gelatin aside from swapping it out for the cornstarch in my stir fry or throwing it into the Bolognese sauce for the family's dinner.
I've been pouring my Collagen Peptides into anything I can blend, sip, or shake. The unflavored Collagen Peptides is truly unflavored and can be easily masked in anything you drink. So one of my favorite forms is to actually put it into my coffee in the morning or afternoon.
As you go into 2017 strong with your heart and intentions set on getting fit and exercising like superman, make sure to be mindful of balance. We all lose sight of it and that's perfectly ok, just keep these 7 things in mind to make sure you're not over doing it. Drop me a comment and let me know if any of these resonate with you.
This post was sponsored by Vital Proteins and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own.