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How to avoid overtraining syndrome

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Overtraining syndrome

The cult of the body is becoming alarming levels, and we continually bombarded with messages that insist on the need to have a body 10. Unfortunately, many people try to get it without worrying about something that is much more important than aesthetics: health. And it is that the concern about being in shape or be more attractive physically is not bad if it does not become an obsession; the binomial dieta+deporte has to be accompanied by a control of the amount of exercise so that the body can assimilate it.
Exercise is very beneficial, but exceeding in amount or intensity can be detrimental to health and trigger what is known as overtraining syndrome, a problem caused by increased excessively fast volume of exercise or by sudden variation of it, going from one type of activity to another: for example, stop working resistance to focus on the power. In this way, the organism, unconsciously, shows saturated and is unable to recover from the effort, which in turn can cause lots of problems, both health and athletic performance.
Precisely the decline in sports performance can enter the individual in a harmful spiral, since a decrease in physical capacity is usually quickly associated with lack of exercise or effort, so the training load is increased, and overtraining syndrome worsens.
This disorder appears regardless of the type of activity that we do and our physical level. Overtraining syndrome happens much to those who perform aerobic exercise (running, swimming, cycling...) as anaerobic (weight lifting), which requires an effort to the muscles and the body in all sorts of activities. On the other hand, the athletic ability is not relevant, since it is shown that both elite athletes as people who simply make running can suffer from this syndrome, since it is due to the increase or variation of uncontrolled way trainings; for this reason, no matter the initial quantity but increased.

Causes and stages of overtraining syndrome

There are a number of factors that may be key to prevent overtraining syndrome as an inadequate diet, both mental and physical stress, and other psychological factors that are related to the body.
People who exercise regularly are also candidates to suffer overtraining syndrome if they don't properly. And the absence of a training plan or failure to comply with this by excess or defect - in this case than usual is make less, but to more intensity - it can be harmful for the body, as well as the realization of programs repetitive and overly long (especially those aimed at improving resistance) with an inefficient physical recovery.
So that it can be, it is also important that athletes, professional or unfamiliar stages classical overtraining syndrome:
  • Functional overtraining: at this time sports improvement is considerable, which strengthens the individual so as to maintain the designed program, but can also fall into the error of increase it, with the consequent risk of injury. Here the symptoms are fatigue, sleep disturbance and a slight eating disorder, although it is true that these changes may be due to other causes and not having any relationship with training taking place. However, it is best to remain vigilant if these symptoms are appreciated.
  • Sympathetic overtraining: to most seriously affect the nervous and hormonal, system start causing tachycardia, anxiety, irritability... At this stage, they usually arrive who live more stressful situations and that, in turn, made training beyond the limits that your body tolerates.
  • Parasympathetic overtraining: causes a large depletion, with hypotension, fatigue, depression, ease injury problems... Performance decreases in an alarming way at this stage.

Signs and symptoms of overtraining syndrome

Establish a unique pattern of symptoms which announce the overtraining syndrome is almost impossible since, depending on both the characteristics of each person, as the activity to carry out, the symptoms will be highly variable.
However, the American Physical Therapy Association (American Association of physiotherapy) establishes a series of signs that are those that appear most commonly when an individual suffers from overtraining syndrome. This does not mean that all of them will appear, since in all cases only common symptom is chronic fatigue:
  • Physiological : overtrained athletes have a higher heart rate, even at rest, with a greater bloodpressure and a slow return to normal values, to which are added problems breathing, hypotension, and an elevated body temperature.
  • Physical: here there may be signals that go from a big decline in appetite with an increased thirst, to gastrointestinal problems, sleep disorders, feeling of exhaustion, and abnormal muscular pains.
  • Immunological: decline in the ability to avoid injuries, diseases or infections, decrease in the speed of healing, decreased production of red blood cells that cause a greater fatigue, and drastic reduction of the body's defenses.
  • Biochemical: here include an increase in adrenaline, cortisol, the acids in the plasma, and serotonin, while there is a decrease of muscle glycogen, hemoglobin, iron and ferritin.
  • Psychological: absence of motivation in everyday activities, lack of concentration, low capacity to cope with the stress, personality changes that usually involve a decline in self-esteem and lack of confidence, loss of libido, depression, anxiety and irritability.
  • In athletic performance: little muscle power and little physical resistance, need to increase the effort to do the same job with a decrease in the speed of recovery, higher heart rate during the activity, and worse coordination by performing any activity.
It is imperative to go to a specialist in sports medicine when we suspect that we can be suffering from overtraining syndrome. It will be this expert to determined if these symptoms are related to this syndrome, or may be the cause of other diseases. To do this, perform an assessment of the patient, as well as a series of specific tests to analyze the hormonal level and blood components.

Treatment of overtraining syndrome

To be able to recover from overtraining syndrome should establish treatment for symptoms, starting with the physical, and physiological problems that will result in an improvement of the biochemical, immunological and performance; Finally, specialists are responsible for treating psychological disorders, which tend to be slow and tedious, but equally important to solve. In this way, is may recover all the capabilities that were altered with this syndrome in a progressive and rational manner.
The first measure to be taken is the immediate suspension of the training until it is sure not to suffer any type of muscular or skeletal injury that could keep sharpening if you continue with the sport. After checking the general condition, you have to go to a physical trainer to perform a proper training program to maintain form and recover from physical and physiological problems produced by overtraining. It is absolutely essential to follow the directions of the trainer, exercises, both in the breaks between them and between training sessions, to not fall back into a problem with training.
Maintaining adequate rest and sleep habits and modifying the diet, it is possible to recover the biochemical and immunological facet which was altered with training. And it is that food is fundamental in any facet of life, but of course is crucial if a regular physical activity develops. A varied and balanced diet is important to maintain health, but athletes should pay particular attention to the presence of carbohydrates in your daily diet, because they are the main source of energy in any physical exercise. For this reason, it is important to choose complex carbohydrates (present in pasta, rice, legumes, bread...) instead of the simple, since the release of energy in the body is progressive and is better suited to training.
The psychological aspect is very hard because it is hard to admit that training you sick to the point of decompensate your body. We must find the best way to display every patient who can be trained and can achieve their goals with less work he was doing, but better structured and productive.
It is, therefore, a rehabilitation of the athlete for that change the shape of train basing it on quality and not on quantity, understands the importance of rest, and take some initiative to make it feel that it can decide on its own training and develop psychological strategies so that you can fight their instinct to overtrain and be able to handle the stress and anxiety that produces remain standing in the moments of rest.

Tips to prevent overtraining syndrome

The American Physical Therapy Association (American Association of physiotherapy) provides a series of Tips to prevent the overtraining syndrome:
Gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises since that is necessary to achieve the zenith at a consistent pace. For example, if you usually run for 30 minutes and want to run an hour, you should spend a few days at 35, later to 40... so up to the time. When you want to go too fast emerging problems, injuries and frustrations, making you leave the exercise completely.
You must stop when you notice that the Agency sends negative signals: headache, excessive fatigue, dizziness, etc. The body should not force although not been reached to schedule for that day and it is known that other day Yes it reached: the body may react differently from other many causes (stress, the power of that day, the weather...). Better is one day lost to overtrain it.
It should rest conveniently both after physical activity, as well as at night, to not alter sleep patterns. These moments they will help the body wakes and, in this way, the immune system will improve.
Maintain a balanced diet and enough is essential. Many people do physical exercise because they want to lose weight and, therefore, are put to the diet at the same time. But to lose weight you have to ingest fewer calories than are spent every day, the proportion has to be appropriate and healthy, so the professional help can be vital for not putting at risk the health.
Although it is much better for a physical trainer to design a training program suited to your objectives, initial fitness, available time, age, etc., if you decide not to attend a professional it is important you set some reasonable training objectives. For example, if you want to lose weight 20 pounds and have not just physical endurance, you will have to make a long-term programme to reduce gradually without frustrating you or exercising more than possible to avoid falling into the overtraining syndrome.
The principle of individualization is essential in training. There are no two equal bodies and what one can withstand, you don't have to necessarily do it another. This means that external models; should not seek each has to be its own model.
A good trick is to keep a logbook as a journal where the own athlete points to how much exercise did, how has responded physically, how you feel, what you eat, how much sleep, etc. Whether as method of self-control, or to present it to a professional that you regulate the training, is a good way of controlling the physical exercise that is done.
As always, it is better to prevent than cure. For this reason, sobreeentrenamiento syndrome prevention strategies are key. They consist of control variables such as the intensity of the exercise, the heart rate - during exercise and at rest-, diet, time of rest between tables, etc.
Article contributed for educational purposes
Health and Wellness

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