Tuesday, April 6, 2010
When I had a lot of clients, it was inevitable that some of them at any given moment were overtraining. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I get it, I love to exercise too, but we must be aware of how exercise is effecting us, positively or negatively. It is my opinion that everyone deals with exercise differently, so I don't make blanket statements about how many hours/days a week a person should exercise. Rather than doing that, I think each person should evaluate how they are feeling. Some signs of overtraining are: persistent fatigue, irritability, heart rate changes, loss of motivation, injuries that won't heal, etc. I know when I overtrain (yeah, it happens), I get this weird twitch in my eye and often some sort of leg pain that doesn't go away.
Personally, I like to workout 5 days a week for 7 or 8 weeks and then take an 'active' recovery week. During this week I'll take lots of walks, do some light yoga, and maybe a few easier workouts. I like to try and schedule these rest weeks during vacations and stuff so I'm not stressed about working out when I'm vacationing. I also think it's super important for people to make sure they are cross-training. To reduce the risk of overtraining, exercise programs should be well-rounded. This includes a variety of cardiovascular training (NOT just running, people!), and a weight training program that is progressive and keeps the body guessing. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to take a nap.