Richard “Dick” Button is 88 years old. He’s a living skating legend. A two-time Olympic champion (1948, 1952), five-time world champion (1948-52), the first man to land a triple jump (a loop) and a double axel, Button invented the flying camel.  He was a member of the inaugural class of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1976. He was the last man to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals at the 1952 Games in Oslo.

As the Pyeongchang Olympics geared up, sports writer Jack Gallagher interviewed Button for Ice Time. “Button cautioned, “Not to over-train.”

While undertraining begs for trouble, 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 puts excessive strain on your body. 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 help you train at your best for your activities, and correct any overuse problems. You can reach our Parker, Aurora, 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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