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How to prevent overtraining

1. Focus on one thing at a time!

If your goal is bodybuilding for example, its not the best idea to decide you also want to run a marathon and do a weight lifting competition all in the same month. Sticking to one goal ensures you can eat the right nutrients specifically for your goal, recover properly and avoid injury by not doing other activities that may not be as important to you.

2. Nutrition

Speaking of food – ensure you are eating the right macronutrients (not just calories). I.e. just because your eating your limit of say 2000 calories per day doesn’t mean you should eat a block of chocolate and call it a day. Fuelling your body with the right food and supplements will again help with recovery, performance and achieving your goals without burning out!

3. Avoid Stress!

Exercise is a type of stress, however it benefits our bodies when undertaken properly with the correct amount of rest. Too much training and it will have the same affect as other bad types of stress from our everyday lives. E.g. hormone imbalances causing weight gain/loss, mental strain, lowered immune system etc. Make sure you are following the correct exercise program for you and have ways to quickly distress (shopping ladies?)

4. Get Enough Sleep

Growth hormones are released during sleep, which help us to grow lean tissue and recover. Lack of sleep also increases cortisol production causing an increase in body fat and eats away at lean mass. Lack of anything in the body can cause the “fight or flight” reaction – if the body thinks it is in famine or not recovering properly it will hold onto fat and slow down goals (which is a surprise to many women who starve themselves for weight loss).

5. I think I’m already over training?!

Check if you are noticing any of the following (more than a once off):

  • you feel fatigued
  • you don’t always finish your workouts or are noticing you are not progressing
  • you are putting on body fat even though you are training harder and eating less
  • you are falling ill more often than usual

If this is the case, don’t panic! Firstly its great you have accepted that you could be over training. Now you need to sit down and re assess your goals and what went wrong (is it food or exercise related? Do you need to add more food for the amount your training or do you need to drop the reps or weights or days you are training?). Once you have figured out what you may need to do, keep a track of your training/nutrition and how you are feeling.

Everyone is different, maybe one type of training is working really well for someone else, but its not the training your body needs. Fuel your body with the right nutrients and train for your specific goal the way your body best responds. Don’t forget to enjoy what you do, that could be half the solution!

Katey Shelley Leal Xx

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