At Maple Tree, we promote healthy lifestyles through proper nutrition and exercise. Both of these are great things to incorporate into your daily life. However, it is possible to get too much exercise….

It’s true!

And you may need to pivot and take a day to put your feet up (doesn’t a swing in a hammock sound dreamy?!)

Yes, something is better than nothing. I do always say that! 

Yet, too much of a good thing can lead to overtraining!

Here are 5 ways to know if you need to take a rest day from exercise:

  1. You’re having trouble sleeping – Exercise can help improve your sleep. However insomnia is a common symptom of overtraining. In spite of the inability to sleep, you might find that you are feeling more tired than usual. This fatigue can persist from morning until bedtime and is a tell-tail sign that you should take a rest day!
  2. Changes in Appetite – Too much exercise can change your metabolic conditioning, which can lead to hormone changes. This can lead to an increase in your appetite!
  3. Dehydration – Signs of dehydration include dark urine, thirstiness, muscle cramping, joint pain, muscle fatigue, and headaches. If you notice these signs, be sure to rehydrate ASAP – keeping in mind that it takes your body at least 45 minutes to recovery from even mild dehydration!
  4. Difficulty concentrating – If you find yourself day-dreaming, procrastinating, or having difficulty focusing on things, it could be a sign that your energy reserves are getting low. Fatigue can make it difficult for you to remember information, and can even cause you to get confused about every day things. 
  5. Moodiness – Moodiness, depression, or fatigue are indications that you might be overtraining. Yes – the proper amount of exercise can cause a release of endorphins, which work to decrease depression. However, it also releases cortisol, which is a stress hormone. If cortisol levels remain elevated for an extended period of time, it can take a toll on mental health. 

Bottom line is this – while exercise is necessary, it is important that you give your body time to recover after each bout of physical activity. 

Sticking to the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week (which equates to about 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days/week) will prevent overtraining, and ensure you see the benefits of all your hard work!