Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining happens when a person exercises too hard to improve performance or fitness and train beyond the body's ability to recover.


  • Pain in muscles & joints.

  • Headaches.

  • Unsatisfiable thirst or dehydration.

  • Lowered resistance to common illnesses.

  • Inability to relax, feeling anxious or fidgety.

  • Inability to sleep.

  • Increased fatigue, tiredness and lack of energy.

  • Dropping off the ability to run the distances you have been running or slowing down for those same distances.


If you develop signs of overtraining, some things you can do include:

  • Increase your rest intervals between training sessions. You could train every other day instead of daily.

  • Decrease the time spent on your training activities.

  • Drink plenty of fluids when exercising.

  • Eat a well balanced diet.

  • Work out varied muscle groups. For instance, one day work on the upper body and the following day, work on the lower body.

  • You may switch from aerobic routines (running, tennis, swimming, etc.) to resistance exercises.

  • Before work outs, do plenty of stretching exercises to warm up properly.

  • Following exercising, do stretching exercises for about twenty minutes to one half hour during the cool-off period.

  • Following your workout, use ice for about twenty minutes to one half hour. Wrap your ice pack in a towel or similar cloth so you do not injure your skin.

If you get an injury during a workout remember RICE. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This means if you are injured, rest more, ice the injury, use compression such as an elastic bandage on the injured part if this is appropriate and elevate the injured part above the level of your heart. Elevation keeps swelling down the same as the compression wrap. This saves you pain, discomfort, and a long recovery time.

If you think you have overtrained and you have areas of soreness that do not seem to be getting better or are continuing for longer than a couple weeks, see your caregiver.