Many athletes make the mistake of thinking that more is better. More exercise, more weights, more frequency. The result is that they become burnt out or suffer injury. Some injuries that result from overtraining are shin splints, (soreness and swelling of the lower leg), stress fractures, tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow and a multiplicity of sprains and strains.
Athletes who overtrain may suffer one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sleep disturbances
- Persistent fatigue
- Hormonal imbalance
- Decreased appetite
- Increased resting heart rate
- Menstrual problems in females
- A compromised immune system, rendering the body more prone to infection
If any of these symptoms occur, your physiotherapist will be able to tell you if it is due to overtraining. If so, you will likely be recommended to cease activity and rest until you are back to normal. Recovery is much easier with a regimen of rest, ice and simple stretching exercises. However, if you ignore these problems and continue training, recovery will take a much longer time or even lead to other serious injury.