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Friday, 04 April 2014 10:19

Reshaping Mind, Body and Soul - Steer Clear Of Becoming An Overtrained Athlete

By Monique Boulet | Local News
YIPPEE!!!!!! SPRING!!!!!! I just love the fresh air on my face as I ride, birds chirping when running and new ferns sprouting around me when hiking. Spring is a time many start to consider running a 10K, a Marathon, or even take on a Century Ride. Here’s the deal. More is not necessarily better when it comes to training and there is much that needs to be considered when you push to that next level of performance. Especially when there is a deficit of recovery time, sleep, hydration and adequate nutrition. When this occurs, the athlete becomes a target for Overtraining Syndrome. Physical exercise, sports and performance training will cause stress onto the body that can lead to serious long term conditions if over worked without adequate rest and recovery. Driven athletes, whether elite or not, will often get caught up in their drive to succeed and end up carrying a heavier load than the body is capable of recovering from on a perpetual basis. This leads to stagnation in their performance and Overtraining Syndrome. Over training can be a serious setback to the athlete in that it opens the door to injuries, debilitating symptoms and the inability to perform at all. During stress and exercise, your body releases a hormone called cortisol from the adrenal gland. Cortisol’s primary function is to release glucose into the blood at times of stress. It also helps regulate blood pressure and aids inflammation. Cortisol levels rise with exercise but should decrease to a normal range with adequate recovery. Cortisol is released during the body’s fight-or-flight response and provides short bursts of energy needed to decrease sensitivity to pain and increase immunity. Excess cortisol however, from chronic stress and over training, breaks down muscle tissue, and suppresses the immune system. It also causes more of the excess glucose circulating the blood to be stored as fat, usually in the waist area. Long term, it can cause a series of nasty symptoms that weigh heavily on the body and the athletes ability to perform. Ironically, what the athlete wants to achieve in working it to the max, unfortunately becomes a more unattainable goal in that he or she tries to over compensate with even more training to correct the worrisome symptoms. Signs of over-training for sports athletes Insomnia, depression, loss of appetite and/or weight, amenorrhea, decreased ability to train or endure a long workout, muscle and joint soreness/aches/tightness/injury, chronic fatigue, lowered immune system, headaches, dehydration, moodiness, irritability and an elevated heart rate. How to Treat Overtraining Syndrome If you suspect you are overtraining, try the following: • Rest and Recover is the absolute first step in healing. Reduce or stop exercise and allow yourself at least a few days of rest. Drink plenty of fluids and alter your diet if necessary. • Get a sports massage. This may help relax you mentally and physically. • Begin Cross Training. This often helps athletes who are overworking certain muscles or suffering from mental fatigue. Utilizing other muscle groups while maintaining strength in supporting muscles can allow the over worked muscles a break and time to repair. If you are a business, corporation, food establishment or non-profit organization and have some news you would like to share on your healthy initiatives, I welcome the information. We are, after all, working together to create one of the healthiest areas in the world! Monique Boulet RD, CDN, CPT organiquebymonique.com (518) 312-6309 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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