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10 Serious Signs of Over-Exercising

Let’s cut to the chase: working out is part of staying healthy. While most of us have trouble getting motivated to exercise, some have a challenge of resting even a single day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or a fitness guru, everyone needs time to recover. During a workout, we lose fluids and energy stored which maintain blood glucose levels. But when you take some rest, the body starts to build new muscles and replenishes these important elements.

Let’s look at 10 serious signs of over-exercising. Read and learn more.

1. Weak immune system

While moderate training has remarkable benefits to your immune health, overtraining can wreak havoc to your body. It’s scientifically proven that over-exercising can reduce glutamine, an amino acid that plays a key role in your body’s immune system.

This explains why some athletes are susceptible to illness a few hours after an exercise. Besides that, the body can produce stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) which may suppress the immune function. It’s important that you take some rest to allow your body to recover after a high-intensity exercise. If you get sick more often, your immune system is telling you to slow down. 

2. Insomnia

Dozens of studies suggest that over-exercising can cause insomnia. A high-intensity exercise like weight lifting can lead to high blood pressure and an increase in heart rate which might interfere with your sleep-wake cycle. In addition to that, the adrenaline levels can increase making it hard to fall asleep. It’s worth mentioning that over-exercising can interfere with cortisol and epinephrine hormones. Therefore, you should ensure you rest 8-10 hours after working out.

3. Unexplained irritability

When you exercise, the body releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) which keep stress at bay. However, too much workout can worsen your mood causing irritability. If small things are setting you off, it’s a sign that your body is worn out. To keep your emotions in check, it’s important that you avoid pushing too hard during a workout. Above all, try to warm up before each exercise and listen to your body. Of course, you should keep your body hydrated throughout the exercise. And when your body says it needs some rest, listen to it.

4. Loss of appetite


For starters, loss of appetite is a sign that you’re pushing your body too hard. A high-intensity exercise like weight lifting can trigger the release of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger. In extreme cases, loss of appetite can be harmful. It’s important that you listen to any signs of overtraining. Keep in mind that these signs may occur in the middle of the training session. Unfortunately, this can slow the metabolism as the body tries to reduce the workload. You should keep an eye on calories intake and most importantly emphasize on the quality of diet.

5. Prolonged muscle pain

If you experience prolonged muscle pain after a workout, it could be a sign of soreness. The great paradox of any exercise is that muscles take longer to rebuild rather than to breakdown. It’s normal to have achy and sore muscles after an exercise – usually lasts up to 48 hours. But when the pain lasts for a couple of days, it means you’ve overdone it.

After any intense training, the body needs time to recover. When you have constant soreness, it means you’re not giving yourself enough time to relax. To be on the safe side, look for a workout that can handle your strength. In some rare instances, overtraining can damage the skeletal muscles.

6. Increased resting heart rate

When you start working out, the body responds to the new stress in training. A higher heart rate simply means you’re overloading the cardiovascular system. The heart has to work hard to pump blood to all parts of the body. While the heart rate can sound a little vague, this number will give an insight into your fitness level. Thankfully, you can rely on a fitness tracker to keep the stats in check. Note: an increase or decrease in heart rate means something is abnormal.

7. Lack of interest in exercise


While an exercise is usually associated with the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones), it can sometimes lead to a decrease in energy. Perhaps, this is the most obvious sign that you’ve pushed your body beyond the limit. For those who enjoy working out, disinterest in exercise simply means burnout is on the horizon. This feeling is common to people who enjoy a rush of challenging exercises like weight lifting which is normally driven by speed and power. Make sure you keep it simple and you’ll make big changes.

8. Psychological stress

If you’re taking part in a tough competition, you may be forced to push above the limit. This can lead to stress which may affect your psyche. Apart from that, it could be a sign that you’re not fueling your body with enough calories before an exercise. To keep stress at bay, be sure to include some break in your workout routine.

9. Feeling dizzy or weak

It’s normal to feel dizzy after a strenuous workout. This happens when you perform an exercise that requires a lot of internal pressure like squats. You’ll also feel woozy when exercising your abs on the floor. Obviously, the body tries to balance the internal pressure which may
cause a lapse in blood flow. Apart from that, the body will feel weak if you are working out when on an empty stomach. If this continues for a prolonged period, it’s a sign that you are overworking your body.

10. Heavy or overlay fatigued legs

Heavy legs can mean two things – either you’re targeting specific areas of your leg muscles or overworking. When you’re in this kind of situation, you have to put more effort to achieve your weight loss goals. If you have fatigued legs/arms, you should give your body enough time to fully charge and repair. People who engage in aerobic exercises should take a break between the workouts. Alternatively, you can try different exercises that target the core muscles. Needless to say, you should massage the muscles in the problem areas.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a beginner or a fitness enthusiast, overtraining can send you backward. To ensure you find your optimal recovery time you should keep an eye on the above 10 serious signs of over-exercising. If you think you might be overdoing it, just take a break. While this may sound like you’re taking some time off from your fitness routine, resting will refuel your body for the next exercise. The key to successful training is finding a schedule that works for you.

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