How do you know if your over stressing your body?

Most people are told to eat less and exercise more. For the majority of the population, who knows? Maybe this is true. But for some people, the answer to their problems is the exact opposite. Believe it or not, there are some people that are running their bodies into the ground by being “mentally tough.” This individual can vary from an under fueled athlete to a dad with three kids and a wife. The commonality amongst the two is that they are overstressed and under recovered. Sometimes hitting that early workout after not getting an adequate amount of sleep is actually not the best idea. Sometimes listening to your body is one of the best things you can do. The problem is that some people have forgotten how good their body can actually feel. They are used to feeling like crap. I know, I know…you’re just getting old. That might be true, but perhaps you could actually feel much better!

3 things that could potentially be over stressing your body…

  • Lack of sleep
  • Undereating
  • Overtraining

Sleep is by far one of the most overlooked / undervalued aspects of our life. Seven to nine hours of sleep is the gold standard. For high levels athletes, 9-10 hours is recommended. For the general public, 7 hours should be considered the bare minimum.

Under eating is actually way more common than most people think. Especially for people that are doing high intensity exercise 5 or more days per week. Whether it’s the fact that you skip meals because you’re too busy and forget or you’re just not hungry, under eating can become inevitable. A typical gen. pop. client will skip meals throughout the day, only to be starving at the end of the day. They will then stuff their face at the end of the day only to still be undereating. Athletes working out at high volumes are a little more complex of a case. They don’t typically plan to under eat, they simply just can’t seem to eat enough. This is where supplementation is key. I’ll save that topic for another day.

Overtraining can come in many ways. For some people, it’s simply working out every day without a rest day. For other people, it’s doing early morning workout without getting enough good quality sleep the night before. For some, it’s doing the wrong type of exercise for their goals. If you’re somebody that is constantly under sleeping, drinking too much alcohol, super stressful job, etc. then doing those 6 high intensity morning workouts per week might not be the best thing for you if you’re trying to feel, look, and perform better.

Moral of the story, if you’re feeling like crap and not getting the results you want then it’s probably time to switch something up. If you’re not getting at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night then start there. From there, if you’re drinking alcohol more than 2x per week than lower the number of occurrences. Finally, if you’re body is always sore and you feel like you’re not recovering then either lower the number of workout days or make sure that you are eating an adequate amount of good quality food to fuel your lifestyle. Life stressors are inevitable. The name of the game is understanding and listening to your body.

It’s ok to take a rest day.

It’s ok to skip an early morning workout because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

It’s ok to prioritize recovery.

Trust me, your body will thank you and you will probably start feeling, looking, and performing better!