Signs Your Body Needs a Break from Working Out


You’ve been killing your new workout obsession and then suddenly, you feel like it is “killing” you, too. It only means one thing—you’ve overworked yourself and you’re actually injured—and your body is trying to tell you it needs a break from working out.

Noam Tamir, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of TS Fitness in New York City, said that it’s important to understand what happens to the body when we exercise.

“When you exercise, you’re causing a bit of trauma to the body,” Tamir said.

Exercising can create micro-tears in your muscles. When you don’t take a break, you are constantly assaulting those muscle fibers—not giving them time to repair.

“The more you work, the more you train, the more stress you’re putting on the body. If you’re not allowing the body to recover, you’re causing yourself more harm than good,” Tamir added.

Exercise doesn’t just impact your muscles, but it also impacts your whole body system. So, before you hurt yourself, listen to your body.

Five signs that might hint your body needs a rest:

1. You’re sore all the time.

Man taking a break from working out.

Muscle soreness after a workout is absolutely normal, especially if you’re a beginner. But if you regularly workout, you shouldn’t feel sore all the time. Always give your muscles 24 to 48 hours to recover between training sessions. Persistent muscle soreness, getting sick more often, or frequent injuries are all physical symptoms of overtraining, according to CNN Health.

2. You’re always tired or grumpy.

Woman taking a break from working out.

Experts say that exercise makes us happier—any exercise, and even for just a short amount of time. That’s because exercise causes endorphins, a stress-fighting chemical, to rush through our body.

But those endorphins have an accompanying stress hormone—cortisol. Extended periods of having high levels of cortisol in your system may take a toll on mental health. Fatigue, moodiness and depression may indicate that you might need a break from working out.

3. Your heart rate is abnormal.

Woman bending over to breathe after working out hard.

According to Tamir, checking your heart rate is one of the best ways to gauge if you’ve been over-training.


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“I’ll take my resting heart rate in the morning,” Tamir said. “If I’m above my normal, then I know that my body is not really ready for a hard workout that day. That’s one of the best ways to judge your readiness to exercise.”

4. Your stiffness doesn’t go away.

Three men cycling together.

If you do the same activity over and over (running, cycling, lifting) without giving your muscles time to recover and repair, it can cause you injury.

Tamir’s recommendations: “Stretching and foam rolling on your recovery days to keep your body limber and prevent injury.”

5. Your urine is darker.

Man drinking water during a break from working out.

While most people are aware that they need to stay hydrated while exercising, says Tamir, many of us start to exercise when we’re already dehydrated.

An easy indication to know that you’re too dehydrated to start exercising is the color of your urine. It takes about 45 minutes for your body to recover from even mild dehydration.

If you notice any of these symptoms, give yourself a break—relax, stretch and hydrate.

Source: CNN Health

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