Learn the Art of Moderation

When you push hard day after day you risk being sidelined by injury. Here's how to avoid overtraining to stay fit and healthy.
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Once you’ve had the “No Pain, No Gain” mantra chiseled into your brain, it can be a bit tough to rewire your thought process and modify your workout. But there are a few tips and techniques that can help you learn the art of slowing down.

Be Open: Opening yourself up to a new workout strategy is the most important barrier to overcome. Once your mind becomes free of workout ideologies of the past, there’s no limit to the new fitness levels you can reach. In order to reach this level of openness, try consulting with a counselor to discuss the reasons why you feel the need to push your body into an unsafe zone. Regular meditation or gentle yoga workouts from trained instructors can also help with physical and mental relaxation.

Find the Right Teacher: If you feel that you’ve been overdoing it thanks to your trainer, then perhaps it’s time to have a talk and change up the game plan. If your trainer is adamant about sticking to a workout program that you feel isn’t right for you, then perhaps it’s time to part ways.

Practice: Learning anything new takes practice. And learning to take a few steps back from your normal workout routine can be incredibly daunting. The more often you integrate rest days or days of active recovery (walking the dog, taking a gentle yoga class, etc.) into your exercise routine, the easier it will become.

Are you doing too much?

Dr. Scott Weiss, a licensed physical therapist and board certified
athletic trainer, knows a thing or two about overtraining and how it can impact the body. Here are his top warning signs that you’re pushing your body too hard.

• Sensation of heavy legs during your runs or throughout the day, even on non-exercising days

• Altered sleep patterns

• Mood disturbances, including irritability, lack of focus and concentration, and depression

• iInsatiable thirst

• Excessive soreness

• Frequent injuries

• Decreased performance

See AlsoRethinking Recovery

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