As we approach the New Year, millions of Americans will make resolutions to be more active and physically fit in 2016. In fact, more gym memberships are signed in January than any other time of year. Unfortunately, January is also the time of year when doctors and orthopedists see an uptick in patients ailing from sports injuries. While getting in shape is important for a number of reasons, it’s vital that we ease ourselves back into the process and avoid the effects of overtraining.

The human body is more delicate than we often like to admit. And as we strive to get fit, we must take into account that building muscle and losing fat takes time. In fact, like everything else in life, there is a process and no shortcuts.

So, say you have not worked out consistently in several months. And the last time you were consistent in the gym, you were lifting a certain weight amount or running X amount of miles. However, just because you were able to accomplish that number a few months ago does not mean you should pick up where you left off. The body must be eased back into a regiment to achieve the numbers or weight you have in mind. Remember, there is no rush. The road to fitness is a marathon, not a race!

The effects of overtraining can lead to injury, which can keep you out of the gym for long periods and actually set you back further in your quest to get in shape.

Signs of Over-training:

  • Intense muscle soreness.
  • An insatiable thirst for water.
  • Nausea and/or dizziness.
  • Lack of progress.
  • Lingering joint pain.

How to Avoid the Effects of Overtraining

  • Take your time. Your body has limits. Know them.
  • Start with lower weight and higher reps when weight training.
  • Pace yourself when it comes to cardio. Be mindful of your heart rate and take your time before attempting higher intervals of training.
  • Recover! Sufficient rest and the proper nutrients are vital after each workout.

Naturally, there will be soreness involved when getting back into shape. However, it is crucial to pay attention to your body. You should be able to tell the difference between general soreness and injury. Sometimes, our muscles become so sore, you can barely move. That’s a sign from your body to slow down and take it easy. If your joints are aching and standard movement is causing you pain, stop what you’re doing.

If you suffer from the effects of over-training, don’t wait for the pain to go away on its own. You may be suffering from injury and not even know it. At the Spine and Orthopedic Center, we specialize in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of common sports injuries. Our personalized treatment plans will help you get back on the road to recovery and one step closer to achieving your fitness goals! Give us a call at 561-549-9090. Or schedule an appointment online now.