Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Exercise Freak ???? Ever heard of OVERTRAINING!!

Do you sleep, dream, eat, drink, walk, talk about exercising?? Do your discussions start and end with how much and what exercise you did today, yesterday, the day before, the day before that, and so on??????
Welcome to this new breed of people, who seem to be obsessed with a certain type of body figure, which may/may not seem attainable, many a times idolizing TV or film personalities. Needless to say, that teenagers and adults between the age of 20-35 yrs form a major chunk of this breed.
The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science and Medicine defines it as “a combination of signs and symptoms of over training which typically causes the sufferer to feel mentally fatigued in absence of physical fatigue and causes deterioration of performance”.
No doubt exercising must be an integral part of your daily routine, but becoming obsessed with it, can have its own dangerous consequences. Just like you need breaks at work, your body needs rest, in order to maintain good health.
Exercising places a positive stress on your body, and the body trains itself to adapt to it by making the body stronger, thus improving health.
However, for this adaptation to take place, the body needs rest. When the body is over-stressed, repeated stresses are placed before any adaptation can take place, which confuses the body.
For example, consider the case of men lifting heavy weights for the same body part everyday, with an aim to look like Hrithik or Salman quickly, and find that they have hardly gained any muscle over the previous months.
Please remember, that our body muscles need anything from 24-48 hrs of rest.
Moreover, the growth hormones are secreted while we are sleeping, which is why there is need of a good sleep (6-8hrs) daily.
The classic symptoms of overtraining are
Ø Depression, mood swings, difficulty in concentration
Ø Chronic, Persistent Fatigue
Ø Increase in the Resting Heart Rate
Ø Dehydration
Ø No gains in Health Status
Ø Increased/Decreased appetite
Ø Lowered bodily immunity i.e. increased susceptibility to infections
Ø Increased risk of overuse joint injuries
Ø Muscle pains & Joint pains

Factors like depression and fatigue also lead to over-eating, in many cases which may actually lead to increase in weight, thus causing further depression in people trying to lose weight by exercising heavily, everyday.
The only way to get out of this is to decrease the frequency of exercising or take a complete break and rest for a few weeks or change the activity to a less intense one.
This might mean hitting the gym every alternate day instead of everyday, altering the workout schedule, trying out other modes, just as an example.
Apart from the general population, sportspersons and athletes who over-train are more prone to overuse injuries like
Ø Tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis),
Ø Swimmer’s shoulder (Rotator cuff tendinitis and impingement),
Ø Runner’s knee, jumper’s knee (Patellar tendinitis),
Ø Shin splints.
In fact, the main problem for a coach is to know just how much to ask of an athlete without pushing him or her into a state of failing adaptation or overtraining.
Don’t just decide your workout schedule for yourself. Get a professional opinion, or better still, get it designed from an expert.
Moral of the Story is that : Too much of anything is bad..
Use common sense while applying the “No PAIN No GAIN” formula. A slight discomfort is the word!!
Listen to your body. Enjoy Training!!!!!!

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