In order to perform at your best, you will need to get the most from your training program. This means using the right routines, getting the proper nutrition and giving your body the rest it needs. You'll then have to adjust these to account for your job and other obligations. If you push yourself too hard, your body will begin to break down. Here are 6 ways to avoid overtraining.
Have a Plan
In order to achieve any type of goal, you need a plan. This is particularly important with fitness goals, since they involve multiple components. A daily planner is a great tool to help you keep up with your exercise and nutritional progress. This will give you a clearer view of the big picture, so you can better track your meals and workouts.
Create a Realistic Training Schedule
One common mistake people make is copying the training schedules of professional athletes and bodybuilders. While this may work for their needs, your needs are probably different. You may even need more (or less) rest than your training partner. A heart rate monitor can help determine whether you're fully recovered or not. If your heart rate is above its normal range, it would be better to either skip the workout or take it easy.
Diet and Nutrition
Exercise depletes the body of vital nutrients, so it's important to ensure they're being replaced. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy, so they should make up around 50 percent of your diet. Protein should make up another 30 percent, as it is needed to rebuild muscle that's torn down during exercise. The remaining 20 percent should be made up of healthy fats like avocados, cheese and olive oil.
Drink Lots of Water
The harder you work out, the more water you will need. In addition to the recommended 8 glasses, be sure to drink additional water before and after workouts. Hot or humid weather can dehydrate your body even more quickly. Drink enough to produce clear urine at least once a day. If you wait until you're thirsty, you'll already be mildly dehydrated. Remember to also drink equal amounts of water for each caffeinated beverage, since caffeine is a diuretic.
Get Sufficient Rest
It's easy to lose sleep when you're busy, but if you lose too much while engaged in physical training, your body will pay for it. Sleep is a critical part of the recovery process, and issues with insomnia should be addressed as soon as possible. Research various strategies to teach yourself how to relax and consider eliminating caffeine from your diet. Remember to give your body enough recovery time between workouts and avoid working the same body parts on consecutive days.
Learn to Manage Stress
While it's not possible to completely eliminate stress, it's important to learn how to control it, so it won't control you. Stress can affect everything from your attitude to your training schedule and sleep cycle. Note that while some people are better at dealing with stress, there are also many different coping strategies you might want to look into, such as meditation, yoga, or even counseling.
Ultimately, you'll have to strike a balance between training and recovery. Keep in mind that what works for someone else might not be right for you. The best way to know if you're overtraining is to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.