Those of us who train hard, working towards particular goals (a race, a game, a competition) are often guilty of taking too little rest. So does it matter? We investigate the effects of overtraining.
When you're committed to working out, it's easy to overdo it - if three workouts are good, then six must be twice as good, right? The reality is that high intensity exercise six (or seven!) days a week can ultimately lead to burnout, boredom and injury.
Rest is crucial for you to make progress and perform at your maximum - a day or two off each week allows muscles, tendons and ligaments time to repair. And for body builders (or anyone trying to add muscle mass) remember the old saying - growth occurs during rest, not during workouts.
Getting enough rest also has major health benefits. Research shows that your immune system is at risk if you over-train. Those most at risk of over-training are endurance athletes, or those who combine strength training with endurance training - triathletes, for example, are highly vulnerable to this.
So is there any way of knowing if you're pushing too hard? Fortunately there are some clear indications, messages that your body sends to tell you to back off.