You’ll soon feel if you’ve been overtraining. You’ll be fatigued beyond the natural tiredness that follows a good workout, you’ll find yourself picking up strains and sprains at an accelerated rate, and you won’t feel the benefits that normally come with exercise. It doesn’t stop there, however; overtraining can have long-term implications for your physical and mental wellbeing (https://longevity.technology/lifestyle/what-are-the-long-term-effects-of-overtraining-on-your-body/).

Any good personal trainer is going to stress the importance of recovery to you. You need space between exercise sessions for your body to heal, entire days of minimal activity where your muscles knit themselves back together, stronger than before. Of course, when things feel like they’re going well and you’re enthusiastic about your progress, it can be easy to forget this and push yourself too far.

What happens if we overtrain? We receive more injuries. One sprain may not be too bad in the long term, but repeated damage could lead to chronic pain as we grow older. The more pressure we put on bones, the more likely they’ll eventually fracture. Joints that are overstressed develop inflammation that may turn into tendinitis or similar conditions. Meanwhile, the strain starts to show in your heart rate and your blood pressure.

The tiredness from over training won’t just go away with a good night’s sleep. That deep-seated, energy-sapping fatigue can also become chronic, leaving you unable to carry out even your most basic daily activities. You may experience stomach problems. Even your immune system could become weakened, leaving you to catch every cold and virus that passes by. Not only do things go wrong more frequently, but healing will be a slower, harder process when they do.

We haven’t even reached the psychological consequences yet. Physical exhaustion and mental exhaustion often go hand in hand, with burnout a likely result. You could become short-tempered and irritable, or experience mood swings. You’re more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. An excessive focus on exercising, or performance tracking, to the extent you ignore the rest of your life, can be considered unhealthily obsessive behavior and may lead to poor self-esteem. All of this can be both a consequence and a cause of disturbed sleep, which makes all health problems worse.

Once you’re aware of the signs of overtraining and how dangerous it can be, it’s much easier to avoid it and ensure your body has enough recovery time.

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