We all understand how important exercise is for the body, mind, and spirit. What many do not realize is that if you are chronically ill, injured, sleep deprived, on a caloric restrictive diet, it’s possible for you be overtraining at a much lower level of physical activity. The consequences can have a profound impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Who it affects?
From the competitive runner, cyclist, exercise enthusiast that does Cross Fit, weight training, high intensity interval training, or the weekend warrior participating in a tough mutter all are at a potential risk for overtraining. It doesn’t take much to be on a downward spiral. It is estimated that 61% of all serious runners go through a period of over training in their career.
If you are overtraining whether you are an endurance athlete, avid Cross Fit enthusiast, or weekend warrior you can experience one or more of the following:
- Increased time needed to recover
- Chronic fatigue and lethargy
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased performance
- Sore muscles and joint pain
- Brain fog and difficulty focusing
- Low sex drive
- Absent menses
- Depression or anxiety
- Frequent injuries
- Increased incidence and recovery time for colds/flu
Physical exercise is an allostatic load for the HPA-Axis. Overtraining can cause a decrease in performance associated with the above signs and symptoms. It is called overtraining syndrome (OTS). This is a stress related heath condition consisting of altered physiology of function and adaptation to performance, impaired psychological processing, and immunological dysfunction and biochemical abnormalities. Overtraining can produce muscle and skeletal trauma. This generates a local inflammatory reaction with a systemic inflammatory response and intern causes impaired function of the HPA-Axis.