over-training syndrome, recovery process

Over-training is a common occurrence in the fitness world. It has to do with excessive involvement in high-intensity exercises or activities, which is far more than your body’s recovery ability.

Over-training may affect athletes, sports enthusiasts, or anyone actively involved in staying fit and healthy. With a rise in sports competitiveness and the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, individuals are spending more time trying to keep fit. But the body has a limit to which it can be strained.

Instead of your training routine having a positive impact on your overall performance, you may begin to experience performance decline as well. Your general health state may be negatively affected. Fatigue, muscle soreness, and lack of concentration are some of the symptoms associated with over-training. When you begin to feel the strain and overall body weakness after every high-intensity activity, it may be a sign that you have a condition known as over-training syndrome.

Over-training syndrome (OTS) may take a longer recovery time if you do not apply caution and discipline in treating the condition.

According to proven research carried out by fitness experts, over-training is said to affect the circulatory, and muscular system. It is also reported to have a negative impact on hormone regulation and the nervous system.

Most people believe that since exercising has a positive impact on our health, therefore more exercise will also mean a higher state of wellness. But they fail to realize that the body has a limit to which it can recover from the stress placed on it by excessive training.

What are the signs to watch out for to enable you to know when you are over-training?

Decreased Performance

When you notice that your performance is declining despite your increased training intensity, then it may be a telltale sign of over-training. Symptoms such as reduced strength, endurance, and agility are often associated with reduced performance.

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Excessive Fatigue

Fatigue is expected after an exercise routine. But when the body fails to recover after workouts, then it may be a symptom of over-training syndrome.

Moodiness and Agitation

Stress hormones, such as epinephrine and cortisol, are significantly affected by over-training. This may result in mood swings and a lack of concentration.

Restless sleep or Insomnia

When the body is over-stressed, stress hormones are excessively produced which may prevent you from having a sound sleep.

Other signs that show you may be over-training include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Chronic injuries
  • Depression or psychological stress
  • Metabolic imbalance

Strategies to help you recover from over-training syndrome

Recovery from a condition of over-training may take a while. Still, the following procedures may be helpful to hasten your recovery process and ensure that you are back to full fitness.


Rest is undoubtedly one of the first and most significant treatments for over-training syndrome (OTS). Ensure that you take more extended rest, depending on how long you over-trained. Take, for example, that the over-training occurred for 3-4 weeks, then you may want to rest for a period of three to five days. After adequate rest, you may carry out light training until you are fully recovered to increase the intensity of your practice.

Cross Train

You may want to engage in alternate forms of exercises if you notice that you may be over-training. You may choose to participate in leisurely cycling or yoga as an alternative exercise for active running or CrossFit. Cross-training helps to affect the impact of over-training on your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Do not substitute a vigorous or high-intensity exercise with another.

Use spot train to improve your weak areas

Spot training helps to improve your balance and mobility, which may help reduce your risk of injuries. Identify different weak areas or a history of health conditions such as knee injury or low back pain. Spot training may be helpful as you take a rest from your high-intensity training routine. Spot training also helps in rehabilitation and improvement from injury and other musculoskeletal health conditions.


Acupuncture is an effective treatment strategy for over-training. It helps in enhancing your recovery process. Conditions that affect the hormonal, muscular, and nervous system may be adequately addressed through the use of acupuncture. During the process of acupuncture, you may want to focus on meditation and relaxation as a means to help restore your hormonal and nervous system.

Massage therapy to relieve aches and pains

You may consider getting a massage from a masseuse or professional chiropractor as a means to alleviate pain. You may opt for the use of foam roller exercises to increase recovery speed.

Decrease the use of stimulants

As a result of over-training, the adrenal gland is overworked, which may lead to the high production of cortisol. When you take stimulants such as caffeine, it may worsen your condition instead of improving your recovery process.

Eat healthily

You may be able to avoid specific injuries by eating healthy. Tissues in your body require the right type and amount of nutrients to perform optimally. Avoid eating processed foods and also limit the intake of sugar. Eat foods that are rich in healthy fat and protein.

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Ensure you stay hydrated

Water is essential in the body as it ensures that the body functions properly. Dehydration may cause body tissues to be injury-prone and become less flexible due to waste product accumulation. Avoid beverages containing artificial sweeteners and drink enough water. Coconut water provides vital nutrients and also helps in preventing dehydration.


Supplements containing anti-microbial peptides, immunoglobulin, and other essential growth factors that may help in carrying out the effective exercise. Certain supplements may also assist in preventing intestinal issues aiding the recovery process. Taking the right food supplement will help to strengthen your muscles and reduce inflammation.


Over-training syndrome may limit your ability to perform optimally. It is, therefore, crucial that you identify those signs that let you know if you may have developed the over-training syndrome.

You must take the right steps in preventing and treating the over-training syndrome. Try to get adequate rest after training and do not overwork yourself; Stay hydrated and avoid certain foods that may worsen your condition.

Above all, do not strain yourself during training.