Boot camp fitness classes are all about pushing yourself and striving to do your very best. That is what so many people love about them. But, at the same time, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
If you are pushing yourself too hard and overdoing it in your boot camp classes, you are likely going to stop seeing the results you once did. You will also increase your risk of injury, which could sideline you from your workouts altogether.
How can you tell if you are overdoing it in boot camp classes? Read on for some signs that you should be on the lookout for.
1. You are Exhausted After Your Workouts
If you finish a workout and feel like you need a long nap, you are probably overdoing it in your boot camp classes. Exercise ought to give you a mood and energy boost – if it leaves you totally depleted, you are pushing yourself too hard.
2. You are Always Getting Sick
Regular exercise can be beneficial to your immune system. But, when you train too hard, too often, your immune system can not keep up.
Exercise is a stressor on the body, and when you exercise too much, your body has to devote a lot of energy to repair your muscles. If you are overtraining, when you come in contact with a virus or bacteria, your immune system can’t do its job (fighting off infection) as well because it is busy doing other things.
Immune system issues are especially common if you are over-exercising and not getting sufficient amounts of sleep. Remember, that is when your body does the majority of its repair work.
3. You are in Pain
If you are always getting injured, or if you feel extremely sore after your workouts, that is another sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. Some muscle soreness is fine, but if you are feeling so sore that you can barely walk, or if your soreness lasts longer than 24-48 hours, you are probably doing too much.
You should also reevaluate your workout routine if you find yourself getting injured frequently. Joint problems or ball of foot pain, in particular, can be especially problematic and indicative of more serious issues.
If you notice these issues, take some time off and consider visiting your doctor to make sure you do not have an underlying condition that is being made worse by too-intense workouts.
4. You are Feeling Down
Physical exercise should produce endorphins that help you feel happier and more energised. If you are struggling with mood swings or are feeling depressed or anxious, an overly ambitious workout routine could be to blame.
Overdoing it in your boot camp classes could leave you in a chronically inflamed, stressed out state. This, in turn, can negatively affect your mood and increase feelings of anxiety – depression has actually been linked to increased levels of inflammation in the body.
Over-exercising can also become a compulsion, and you may end up feeling bad about yourself if you miss a workout – this is not healthy and can lead to obsessive, potentially disordered behaviour.
5. Your Sleep Has Changed
Are you having a hard time falling asleep? If you have controlled for other factors (e.g. drinking caffeine too late in the day, using electronics before bed, etc.), over-exercising could be the problem.
Remember, exercise is a stressor – often a positive stressor, but a stressor nonetheless – and, as a result, it leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels are too high, you will have a hard time getting into a parasympathetic, rest and digest state (which your body needs to be in to get quality sleep).
Make sure you are not exercising too late in the day, and consider taking more rest days if your sleep seems to be negatively affected by your workouts.
On the other hand, if you are sleeping too much and can not seem to pull yourself out of bed, you could also be overdoing it. Remember, being chronically fatigued is a sign that your body needs more time than it is getting to sufficiently recover.
6. Your Resting Heart Rate Has Increased
Finally, take a look at your resting heart rate. Healthy, active individuals tend to have lower resting heart rates (sometimes as low as 40 beats per minute (pbm)). If your resting heart rate has increased recently (or if it is above 100 bpm), this could be a sign that your body is working too hard to compensate for the stress it is experiencing as a result of your workouts.