Are you overtraining

While it's usually under-training that people suffer from, for some health buffs overtraining is a very real danger.

Overtraining is increasingly affecting more and more people who have realized the importance of fitness. If you've decided to make health and fitness a priority, you must know that sometimes too much heavy physical activity can be even worse for your body than no activity at all. Here are the signs to look out for to find out if you are overtraining or not...

You repeatedly fail to complete your normal workout. Are you able to lift the weights you usually lift, run the sprints you usually run, and complete the distance you normally complete? If you're actively getting weaker, slower, and your stamina is deteriorating despite regular exercise, you're probably training too much.

You feel restless, excitable and sleepless. If you are unable to sleep or rest, or are constantly twitching to get out there and train, your body may be reacting to a chronically stressful situation by heightening the sympathetic stress system's activity levels. Symptoms include restlessness and inability to focus.

Your joints, bones, or limbs hurt. Limb pain can either be DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) or it can indicate poor technique or improper form; DOMS is a natural response that should go away in a day or two, while poor form is more serious and can be linked to overuse or overtraining. With regard to endurance training, if you wince at every step, it may be that you've run too far or too hard for too long. The danger here is that your daily endorphin high has over-ridden your natural pain receptors. You should listen to them more acutely.

Suddenly, you're falling ill too often. It may not be very serious, a little cough here, and a cold there. You may not pay heed to this at first, but if you have a fairly good immune system and suddenly you've been falling ill lately, it could be because your immune system may be suffering from the added stress of overtraining.

You feel terrible after your workouts. Anyone who exercises regularly will vouch for the fact that post workout you feel a glow, you feel happy, and energetic. You've got the heady rush of endorphins, during and after your session and you love it.

But what if that feeling never comes. What if you feel tired and horrid after your workout and want to crawl into a hole? Exercise generally elevates mood; if it's having a negative effect on your mood, it's too much!