It’s always advisable to get your body into prime shape when training for an event or even to just promote good health.  The concentration and dedication this takes is impressive and often requires months of intense workouts with various types of activities designed to build up the necessary muscle groups used in any performance sport.  For those who are absolutely dedicated to their sport or fitness this is a way of life.  Many people would make the assumption that pushing their bodies to the limit on a continual basis is a good way to maintain health and increase one’s overall health. However, the truth is that sometimes even the most well-intentioned acts can lead to more harm than benefit.

Countless athletes and fitness enthusiasts have fallen victim to the simple act of overtraining. This often occurs when an individual increases the intensity of their training over prolonged periods of time.  Overtraining is first noticed by certain signs and symptoms that tend to occur when the body is unable to recover before moving into the next workout.  As time goes on this habit of moving into the next training session without proper recovery time can cause the body to break down systematically, essentially tearing down the parts of the body that you have been working so hard to build up.

As an athlete or fitness buff your body requires the proper nutrition and enough rest to build up the areas that are worked the hardest.  This includes your muscles, bones, and even your heart and lungs.  Those structures of your body that you work out the hardest have to be given time to adapt and recover before they are taxed over and over again.  If a workout exceeds the limits you originally encountered your body will adapt in a positive manner, but if you move past your limits and don’t regulate your workout the recovery time needed will only increase.  If you ignore those limits, injury can occur.

Think of this in term of what can happen with trees. Bear with me, it will make sense.  When a tree is blow about by the wind its roots will grow stronger after the stress is gone as a form of adaptation to insure that the tree is not blown down.  But if the wind continually blows, or is too strong, the roots of the tree, not able to withstand the added stress, will prove inefficient at holding the tree upright and will be torn out of the ground.  This is the same problem with overtraining, it will begin to tear down what you have worked so hard to build simply because you push too hard and too often.

There are definite symptoms to watch for when it comes to overtraining, such as:

*recurring or continual injuries such as tendinitis or stress fractures

*a tendency to get sick more often thanks to a decrease in the function of the immune system

*your performance can decrease

*chronic fatigue

*rapid loss of lean body weight

Recovery time after a workout is a must.  Allowing your body to use the nutrients that you have given it during the rest period will help it to relax, repair, and revitalize. If you stress your muscles during a workout a prolonged rest will help them to grow bigger and stronger in order to withstand the next workout.  Nutrition and time are your greatest allies in preventing the effects of overtraining. Overtraining can cause you months worth of downtime. By paying attention to your body’s limits you can make certain that such a thing d

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