How to recover from overtraining

How to recover from overtraining - main image

Look after your mental health and reach your fitness goals by getting enough rest!

Stress fractures, irregular menstrual cycles, muscle soreness, chronic fatigue, weight gain? Too much exercise from a high training load can cause overtraining symptoms that really get in the way of your goals and training sessions. It might sound strange, but if you’re experiencing any of these issues, you may be suffering from overtraining syndrome.

What is overtraining syndrome, and how do I prevent overtraining?

Overtraining occurs when too much stress is placed on the muscles, usually due to too many high-intensity workouts and a lack of adequate rest. If you:

  • don’t take enough rest days to give yourself the right amount of recovery time
  • don’t really eat a balanced diet (no, eating chicken and rice every day is not balanced) and
  • have a workout routine that’s usually full of the sort of exercises found in HIIT workouts (we all like a quick fix when it comes to weight loss or muscle gain)…

…you’re probably reading this article because you have poor performance signals and symptoms of overtraining.

Next time, avoid overworked muscles through rest days and reduce the likelihood of nutritional deficiencies by switching up your diet. Stick to at least eight glasses of water and a low-carb diet while increasing the amount and variety of vegetables and proteins you eat – protein can include meat, fish, and vegan options like mushrooms or tofu.

Okay, but I’m here now… how do I recover from overtraining?

The recovery process is just that – a process. Recovery takes a few weeks and can feel emotionally challenging – especially if you’re someone who exercises regularly for mental health professionals reasons.

So, first things first… get some proper rest! That’s right, slob it out – lie around, sleep, whatever you need to do. You probably feel exhausted, right? Treat yourself to a day or two of doing nothing. There’s nothing wrong with taking a real rest day – just make sure you match your calorie intake to your activity levels.

Then, it’s time for a bit of rehab. If you’re able to, go and get a sports massage to help your sore muscles on their way to recovery. Avoid vigorous exercise at this stage – spend around two weeks reducing your stress levels through restorative exercises like yoga or balance training. This will help relieve your joint pain and give your body time to recuperate without reducing your muscle endurance too much.

Next, once you’ve allowed some time for muscle recovery, it’s time to ease back into it. Try short training sessions with plenty of rest days, and keep a training log or workout diary so you can make sure you’re varying your workouts. Consider hiring a personal trainer, and do not engage in any high-intensity training.

After another couple of weeks, you may feel ready to begin training again. Take it slow, and take your rest days.


So, now you know the signs of overtraining and the importance of preventing overtraining. If you’re here because you need to heal, just reduce your physical activity, eat good food, and try some low-impact exercises when you’re ready. You’ll be back to your normal training schedule in no time!


How will I know when I’ve made a full recovery?

Your body will tell you. Workouts will become easier, and you won’t feel as much pain afterwards.

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