Overtraining Symptoms- Is Your Workout Making You Sick?


Symptoms of overtraining

Do you ever feel like this



The fall season is here and millions of people will be heading back to the gym and resuming their fitness regime- but could their workout be making them sick?


The answer may surprise you.


Regular exercise is known to be good for your health but research shows that you can get too much of a good thing. Evidence suggests that exercise sessions lasting longer than 60-90 minutes can impair immune function and quite possibly make you sick.


Overtraining Syndrome is a condition that occurs when a person trains beyond their body’s ability to recover and has both physiological and psychological symptoms.


Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome


Physiological Symptoms


Muscle loss

Training beyond your body’s ability to recuperate can result in high levels of the stress
hormone cortisol and adrenal fatigue. Overtraining Syndrome will also affect the human reproductive system causing a decrease in testosterone and a resulting decrease in lean body mass. Excessive training has also been shown to increase serum creatine kinase (CK), an enzymatic marker of muscle tissue injury and a strong indicator that muscle wasting is taking place.


Increased injuries

Overtraining often results in overuse injuries particularly to the lower extremities. This may be a result of overuse, insufficient recovery or a combination of the two.


Decreased immunity

Overtraining can result in a decrease in C-reactive protein, iron and zinc leading to an
increased risk for flu’s and colds.


Increased blood pressure and heart rate and body temperature

Over trained athletes have higher morning resting heart rates (more than 5 bpm over normal), body temperature and blood pressure and require more time to recover to normal levels following activity.


Prolonged excessive thirst

The constant need to drink and or a lack of perspiration during exercise can be a sign that you are doing too much.


Psychological Symptoms


The psychological symptoms of over training are harder to detect but equally significant with respect to the impact on health and performance. Some signs to watch out for include;


Sleep disturbances and chronic fatigue

An alteration of sleep patterns can be both a sign and a contributor to Overtraining Syndrome. Sleep is your primary recovery time and any disruption can impede recuperation.


Depression and anxiety

Your emotional outlook is an indication of your inner well-being. Feelings of depression and anxiety may be an indication of overtraining.


Emotional disturbances (irritability, anger, mood swings)

If the slightest irritation makes you go ballistic it may be time to re-evaluate your training program. The correct amount of exercise should have the opposite effect.


Lack of appetite

Too much exercise can kill your appetite and this can cause you to lose muscle and leave you feeling weak and tired.


Lack of interest in training

Exercise should not be drudgery. A good workout will leave you feeling energized and
accomplished. If you are dreading your exercise session maybe it’s time to take
a rest and schedule in some much needed downtime.


Sufficient Exercise Boosts Immunity

While exercising too much can reduce immunity, brief and moderate to intense exercise sessions can have the opposite effect. Research has shown a link between moderate, regular exercise and a reduction in catching seasonal colds and the flu.  Studies show that as a person begins to exercise there is physiological changes that take place within the immune system. Moderate exercise increases the activity of immune cells in the body and improves their ability to kill bacteria and viruses. These changes can lead to improved immunity over the long term.



Staying Healthy In the Gym

Overtraining is not the only way your workout can make you sick. Your typical gym can be a Petri dish of bacteria just waiting to get up close and personal with you. Here are some tips to keep you from catching whatever is going around;


Wipe down all surfaces. There is nothing worse than sitting down on a bench only to find yourself swimming in a puddle of someone else’s bodily fluids. Do everyone a favor by carrying 2 (different colored) towels with you- use one for wiping down the equipment after you’re done (and don’t forget about those yoga and exercise mats as well) and the other for wiping your face.


Bring your own water bottle. To avoid making out with the local drinking fountain always bring your own water bottleand be sure to label it with a distinctive marking (or you are apt to make the heinous mistake of drinking from someone else’s very similar looking water bottle…ewwwww!)


Wash your hands! It should go without sayingbut be sure to wash your hands after working out. Those treadmill buttons and dumbbells are a bus shelter of germs.


Wear flip flops in the shower and if youuse the sauna be sure to sit on a towel!


The best defense is a good offence.  Keep your immune system strong buy eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants and quality protein. Keep a good hand sanitizer with you as well.



This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

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bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

3 Responses to “Overtraining Symptoms- Is Your Workout Making You Sick?”

  1. [...] Exercise when your mood is bright. When you are in a really good mood, take the time to go exercise. The better you are feeling, the more you will likely push yourself. Exercising can also help you feel better than you already do, so going when you feel good is only going to make you feel even better.Too much exercise can lead to overtraining- be on the lookout for overtraining symptoms. [...]

  2. [...] from recuperating will only draw out your illness and set you back farther. Keep an eye out for overtraining symptoms that may indicate you are doing too [...]

  3. Katherine Regn says:

    adrenal fatigue can really put your body down, it can lead to muscular weakness.*

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