What are the warning signs telling you to take a break from the gym?

By Christelle Tolisora

Not only is exercise good for the body, it also keeps the immune system strong. However there are people who find exercising addictive and tend to overtrain themselves, which results in the opposite—a deteriorating body condition.

Overtraining can lead to several physical and even psychological downfalls. Your killer workouts should not literally kill your muscles. Just like any other workout routine, you should know when to step back or take the day off. Your body has its limitations, too. No one (even your trainer or gym instructor) knows your body better than yourself, so learn to listen to what your body tells you. Here are some signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard at the gym and ways on how you can avoid it:

You Do Hardcore Training Every Day

Back-to-back heavy workout sessions are the most obvious but also the most unnoticeable signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard. The motivation and determination to train on a daily basis is good, but you shouldn’t train all out to the extent of pushing your body more than what it is capable of or else you’ll end up with an injury. Our body needs at least 24 hours to recover from heavy training. Give yourself some time to rest or alternate heavy and light workout routines.

You Feel Extra Tired

Scientifically, exercise releases high levels of endorphins during and after workout that make you feel good and energetic. But if you feel exhausted and just want to lie down in bed after training, then there is something wrong. Exercising shouldn’t make you feel worse. If it does, you probably need to lessen or scale down your workout’s level of difficulty.

You Feel Excessive Pain in Your Limbs and Joints

Lifting weights can make your body sore the day after but not to the point of having excruciatingly painful limbs and joints for a long period of time. This probably means that you’re continuously doing your lifts improperly or with a poor form, which in the long run, may lead to injuries. Immediately ask assistance from your trainer or instructor to guide you to avoid further damage to your limbs and joints.

You Can’t Sleep Properly

Sleep deprivation causes poor immune system and makes your body vulnerable to illnesses. Difficulty sleeping means that your sympathetic nervous system is functioning continuously even when you’re asleep. This case is commonly caused by high levels of stress. Some people tend to overtrain themselves to escape the stress they face on a daily basis at work, home, or school. This in turn causes one to strain themselves during workouts, which add to the stress their body is currently experiencing. Remember that overtraining is never the answer to your problem, so train in moderation.

You’ve Developed Rhabdomyolysis

If you’ve heard about cases of workouts that led to kidney damage, then that’s probably rhabodmyolysis. Rhabdo, as it’s commonly called, is the worst symptom of overtraining. It is a syndrome developed due to direct or indirect muscle injury that causes muscle fiber contents to flow into the bloodstream. Kidney damage prevents your body to excrete waste and urine. If not treated immediately, it can cause death. It’s never too late to change your training routine and avoid rhabdo. Have your fitness level checked to ensure that you’re exercising properly. Keep yourself hydrated at all times and take a break from the gym—your body will thank you.

Pushing yourself too hard in the gym will only do more harm to your body. Gradually increase your workout routine and take breaks in between. Listen to what your body tells you and remember that a well-balanced workout routine is key to a healthy and holistic body condition.