Overtraining and Undertraining: Equally Bad

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Weight trainingAny athlete can tell you that undertraining for a race, a competition, or simply all-around strenuous activity is asking for trouble. Most people can’t pop off the couch one morning and run a marathon that afternoon. Their bodies aren’t prepared to handle that. Even if you were naturally strong enough to try it, that kind of sudden stress without preparation risks injuries. What not all athletes realize, however, is that overtraining can be just as detrimental as undertraining. Both increase your risk for injuries and decrease your athletic performance.

The dangers of undertraining for a sport or other strenuous activity are pretty well recognized. The body, including the feet and ankles, has to be built up, conditioned, and trained in order to perform at a high level without being injured. What some athletes and exercise enthusiasts don’t realize is that overtraining is a problem, too—and it’s just as bad for you.

Overtraining is a problem with excessively straining your body as you train for a sport or other athletic activity. Normally this happens when you sharply increase your training regimen or when you don’t rest enough. Maybe this means you decide to suddenly add big hills to your regular running route. Maybe you extend your normal regimen at the gym by an hour, or go more often with fewer days off. In either case, the added stress takes its toll on your lower limbs and your body as a whole.

While it’s true that improving means pushing yourself to run a little further or try a little harder, rest and slow adjustments are crucial. Overtraining means you push yourself beyond your stress limits without sufficient rest and recovery. Why is this a problem? Well, the more stressed and exhausted your body is, the less it can actually handle pressure. Your athletic performance goes down and you risk overuse injuries.

Undertraining is a problem and can lead to pain, but don’t overcorrect and end up overtraining—it’s just as bad for you. The key is to find the perfect balance so your lower limbs and body as a whole grow stronger without getting hurt. Let Castle Pines Physical Therapy and Cherry Creek Physical Therapy help you train at your best for your activities, and correct any overuse problems. You can reach our Castle Pines or Cherry Creek, CO offices through our website. You can also call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment.

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