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Many of us are aware of the benefits of exercise; it improves our cardiovascular fitness and reduces our resting heart rate, it gives us more energy and helps us sleep better and it can be helpful for relaxation, as a way to reduce stress and anxiety. NHS guidelines recommend a minimum of 2 hours 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week; or approximately 30 minutes of exercise on 5 days of the week. This is the minimum recommended levels for health. Many people will exercise at levels above and beyond this, but where do you draw the line between enough exercise and too much? When does training become overtraining?
Fatigue will often be the first sign of overtraining. Exercise is a way to increase energy levels but overtraining will drain energy, due to excessive demands on the body and lack of recovery time. If you’re feeling fatigued as a result of your work out keep an eye out for these other symptoms to see if you’re pushing your body too hard.
Other symptoms like lack of energy, slower running times, insomnia and increased apathy towards sport can be other signs of overtraining. While it may be tempting to push harder, but this will only worsen the problems. This is the time to look at your training schedule and incorporate rest days when needed. This will allow you to reap the benefits of regular exercise. At our sports injury clinic in Dublin 4, our chartered physiotherapists can advise you on healthy and sustainable levels of training.