Everything you need to know about the overtraining syndrome

Have you noticed some negative changes in the endurance of your body? Have your productivity been recently rather decreased, have you noticed lack of energy and may be even bad mood? If taking a couple of weeks of a break from workouts haven’t changed a lot, these changes can be symptoms of the overtraining syndrome. If sport is an essential part of your life or even your profession, you should be particular careful with these signals since the overtraining syndrome can cause real troubles in your life.

What is the overtraining syndrome?

As it has been said above, the overtraining syndrome is a type of a physical exhaustion which can last for quite a long time. Actually, there are several type of this condition.

Overtraining can be of a functional type which is regarded to be a normal state as it occurs because of increased intensity of workouts before competitions. Intensive preparation before serious events can cause overtraining in your body which can last for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. yet, a crucial feature of this form of overtraining is that once it over, the physical parameters of your body become even better than they used to be.

Another type of overtraining is non-functional overtraining. This is a more advanced for of overtraining which can cause more trouble in the life of sportsmen. Generally, they are feeling more exhausted, their immune system weakens and they are also suffering from depressive mood. Unfortunately, such a condition can last even during a month which causes a break in the workouts. As a result, the physical performance is getting worse.

Finally, sportsmen can also develop the overtraining syndrome itself which is a rather serious condition since its symptoms are more acute and long-lasting. Individuals might need several months for recovery which can cause even the end of their sports career.

Note that only functional overtraining can be regarded as a normal respond of a body to excessive trainings. usually, this condition does not requires taking a break.

What are other symptoms of overtraining?

Apart from a decreased physical performance, general exhaustion as well as depressive mood, there are also some other popular symptoms of overtraining.

One of the most important of them is a change of the heart rate which can be either an increased heart rate or a decreased heart rate. Note that an abnormal heart rate occurs right after awakening. An increased blood pressure is also very typical for this condition.

The condition can also lead to such problems as insomnia, lack of concentration and decreased motivation for workouts. Generally, feeling thus weak makes you wonder about the purpose of exercising in the first place.

You can also develop problems with your appetite or even start losing weight regardless of the amount and quality of food you are consuming.

Finally, you might be experiencing unpleasant sensations in your muscles even when you do not have any workouts.

Still, you should be careful since you cannot get a 100% guarantee of having the overtraining syndrome with these symptoms. A combination of some of them can be an indication of a different health condition. Some of these possibilities are:

  • an iron deficiency;
  • infectious diseases including the Epstein-Barr virus;
  • Lyme disease;
  • muscle injuries;
  • cardio-vascular conditions;
  • allergic reactions;
  • asthma;
  • hormonal imbalance;
  • eating disorders.

What can cause the overtraining syndrome and how can you prevent it?

One of the most frequent mistakes some sportsmen are making which triggers overtraining is a too dramatic increase of the amount of exercises. For example, Making your workouts more intensive by 20% within a week can be detrimental for your health. For that reason, experts recommend to increase the intensity by a maximum amount of 5%. Another example is dramatic increase in the speed of running you are practising.

No matter how great you are feeling right now, you should not participate in all possible competitions if there is no sufficient breaks for recovery between them. The best practise is making a plan of competitions for the entire year including the time you need for recovery.

You should also be very attentive to your dietary plan. Some sportsmen are practising diets before competitions which can lead to a deficiency of various nutritional substances and, as a result cause an entire variety of unpleasant symptoms.

Pay your attention to the environment in which you are exercising. Such factors as a lack of fresh air in the room, a too high temperature, too high humidity as well as a change of a time zone can cause stress in your body. Note that even too monotonous workouts can cause the overtraining syndrome.

Finally, any stressful situations occurring in your life which are not related to your workouts can have a rather negative impact on your health.