We all know the saying - you can never have enough of a good thing. Exercise is good for you, no doubt. But you can get too much of it, or even become addicted to it. Women are especially susceptible to doing too much exercise because of the added pressure thrust upon them by society.
This pressure along with an original desire to become fit can lead to an obsessive disorder known as exercise bulimia, or to other problems, such as exhaustion or abandonning your regime altogether.
You keep exercising yet you feel tired or like you're not getting anywhere. So you intensify your workouts or add more days to your routine. What happens? You still feel tired, or worse, you injure yourself. When you've reached a plateau you have to stir up your routine to move to the next level, but if you're continually physically and mentally tired, you need to take a break.
"Rest" is not a dirty word! Take a complete day off once a week. And remember to take a vacation, sleep late once in a while, walk on the beach, or go out shopping for a day instead of doing time on the StairMaster. Anything to break the cycle. It will recharge you and get you back in the swing of things. This is a simple problem to solve, and you can usually catch yourself in time before anything drastic happens.
Your bodily reserves are just like the batteries in your Walkman - after continued use, they are going to run out and you have to replace or recharge them if you want to keep hearing your favorite song.
If you do not recover after a few days rest, you may have entered into a level of overtraining that will require perhaps 6 to 8 weeks of rest, or longer.
The symptoms of this are persistent muscle soreness, loss of interest in training, an increase in your resting heart rate and changes in your sleeping patterns. Other symptoms of severe overtraining can include diarrhea, persistent weight loss, swollen lymph glands, increased susceptibility to infection, loss of menstruation in women, inability to concentrate and loss of libido. Only start training again when you want to, and then only slowly.