You may want to keep fit during lockdown but there is such a thing as over-training
Over-training syndrome frequently occurs among athletes training for competition or a specific event.
But, with so many people looking to exercise to relieve the stress of the lockdown, it can be easy to push your body to the limits.
However, training seriously without paying proper attention to nutrition, sleep and recovery, can have serious health implications.
There are some very obvious signs of over-training, some of which include the following:
- Achiness or pain in the muscles and/or joints
- Elevated morning pulse
- Sudden inability to complete workouts
- Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy
- Increased susceptibility to colds, sore throats, and other illnesses
- Loss of appetite
- Decrease in performance
Mariska Meyer, a qualified Biokineticist at Virgin Active Faerie Glen, advises against over-training as it can decrease your critically needed immune system.
“There’s no need to spend an 80-90% heart-rate max for more than 60-90 minutes unless you’re an athlete training for an event. And if you experience any chest pain or dizziness, stop exercising immediately” says Meyer.
However, Mayer says if you’re consistent in doing even short sessions of exercise at home, you’re likely to get to a point where it feels a little easy.
“High-five for your commitment and effort – but now is the time to up the intensity. As our bodies are smart and adapt to change quickly, it’s necessary to modify your routine every two to four weeks,” she says.
Meyer has five easy-to-follow steps to help you take your workouts to the next level.
- Increase the number of repetitions. Instead of stopping at 20, perform 30-40 reps.
- Decrease your resting time. In-between sets, try not to rest for longer than 30 seconds.
- Add another set. If you’ve done 2-3 sets, don’t be shy to add a fourth. You’ll get used to it sooner than you think.
- Have shorter and longer sessions with different heart rates. Short sessions should be tough with a 75-85% heart-rate max while longer sessions should have a 55-70% heart-rate max.
- Add variations to your exercises, such as splitting the reps, varying the speed, doing cardio between sets, freezing the move or adding compound exercises to isolated movements.