True story: A coworker of mine had a bad ankle injury that kept her off her feet for months. When she finally got the go-ahead to exercise, she went at it like gangbusters, working out 2 hours at a time and taking ultratough classes, including one that required participants to sprint out of the gym and through Grand Central station - literally. Three years later? Her knees still hurt. Morale of the story: Too much of a good thing is often not a good thing at all. Besides, with summer right around the corner, the last thing you want is to get sidelined. Here are five signs you should dial down gym time:
•You're having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Healthy levels of exercise should help you sleep, not keep you awake.
•Your heart is racing. Overtraining can cause your heart rate to be elevated, even when you first wake up in the morning. Regularly checking your heart rate can help you know if things are off-kilter. Simply count your pulse for 6 seconds, then add a zero for a quick check.
•Your workouts are getting harder - but you're doing the same thing. You should get stronger as you exercise. If your usual workouts suddenly feel tougher, leave you feeling especially sore, and require longer recovery, it may be a sign that your body needs a break.
•You have a cold that won't go away. Research shows that moderate exercise boosts immune function and can even improve the effects of a flu shot. Slaving over the treadmill for hours a day, without ever taking a day off, has the opposite effect.
•You can't concentrate. Overexercising doesn't just wear on your body - it has emotional effects too, like feeling distracted or depressed.More Smart Ways to Get Fit:
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