One of the biggest and most common mistakes I see girls make when they start training is not allowing the body to rest when it needs to. They think that by pushing through and continuously exercising is going to get them their results even quicker. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact overtraining can do more damage then good on the body, and taking rest is just as important for results as the exercise itself. In all of my programs I have scheduled rest days to make sure your body gets what it needs and you can continue to get the results you desire. So if you are one of those exercise junkies here are some important reasons you need to (sometimes) skip that workout.
1. You need a rest to for your muscles to recover and grow
When you lift weight you create small tears in the muscles that can only repair when you rest them. It’s during this repair process that your muscles get stronger then before. Whilst it’s important to work your muscles hard during your workout, it’s equally important to give them that time to repair and recover so you can grow leaner and stronger then before.
2. It can mess up your menstrual cycle
Now this is one I’ve seen many times, especially back in my body competition days where girls would train so much they would stop getting their periods. Whilst that time of the month is no fun at all, it’s an extremely important part of the female hormone cycle. If you stop getting your cycle it can be warning signs that your body isn’t happy with you at all.
3. You can plateau in your results
So many girls think that the more you workout the more weight you will loose, however this can actually have an opposite effect. By working out too much you can put the body into fight or flight mode, meaning it’s protection mechanisms will actually prevent you from burning the weight off. That’s because it thinks it needs to store onto the fat for resources later.
4. You can get overtired
Exercise can give you great bursts of energy, and if done adequately and the right way you should feel more energised and healthier from it. However if you over train then this can deplete your energy levels and you get left feeling exhausted all the time. If you are struggling to stay awake in the afternoon or your body is super sore all the time, then it’s probably time to listen and take some rest. Learn to listen to your body and the warning signs it gives you. It will know when you are overdoing it or not.
5. It affects your sleep
Not only can you get overtired from doing too much exercise because your energy levels are depleted but overtraining can also seriously affect your sleep. If you need exessive sleep to fuel your training or aren't sleeping well overall then this is a good sign you could be overdoing it. Sleep is so essential in your fitness routine as this is when the body repairs itself.
6. It ruins your social life
I believe a key to keeping results in the long term is about finding a healthy balance between being fit and healthy but still doing the things you enjoy. If you are skipping out on catching up with friends, or missing a family members birthday because you are “too busy” at the gym, then it might be time to rethink your priorities. Whilst yes getting results does mean working hard, but make sure it doesn’t come at the expense of other areas in your life that bring you happiness. You will be far more likely to stick at it long term if you find a healthy balance between your gym life and your social life.
7. It affects your immune system
Overtraining can affect your immune system in fighting off a cold or flu when you come down sick. When you train your body is using as much energy as it can to help repair the muscles. If you get sick that energy is then needed to help you get over the virus you are fighting. So it's important when sick that you give yourself the much needed rest so you can get better quicker.
As I said being fit and healthy is all about finding a healthy balance in your life. You do need to work hard to get results but you also need to allow your body to rest and recover so you don’t suffer from burnout or cause your body more stress.