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No Pain = BIG Gain

Is Your Exercise Program Wearing You Out?
  -- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
We’ve all heard that a combination of diet and regular exercise is the best way to lose weight and keep it off long term. 
 
For some of us, common sense dictates that the more you work out—and the higher the intensity—the better. But that’s not necessarily true. Even if you’ve gradually increased the intensity, duration and/or frequency of your workouts, you can still run into problems. 
 
Have you noticed that your workouts suddenly feel harder than before, even though you haven’t changed anything? Do you feel like you are losing ground, even though you’re working hard? If so, you may be overdoing it.  
 
The cause of overtraining is simple. You’re not resting enough to allow your body time to recover, or you’re doing the same exercises too much. Here are some common symptoms of overtraining:
If you have been overtraining, it’s not too late to get back on track! Follow these three steps:

1. Your first priority should be rest. Just a day or two probably won’t do it. Depending on how severely you’ve been pushing yourself, three to five days should give your body enough time to recover—both physically and mentally. 
 
2. Get plenty of sleep and make sure you’re eating well, particularly during this recovery period. Focus on getting adequate amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, and lots of fruits and veggies.
 
3. When you are ready to return to your exercise routine, start off slowly. Most research shows that it is okay to return to that same level of intensity, but you may need to cut back on the length and frequency of your workouts for the next few weeks. After that, you should be able to resume normal activities.   
 
Here are some simple things you can do to avoid overtraining and burnout: 
Exercise should make you feel refreshed and energized—not exhausted. If it’s causing fatigue, soreness, or a feeling of utter dread, listen to your body! It may be time to make a change.