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Physiotherapy


Overtraining issues in athlets

 Introduction

Overtraining is a physical, behavioral and emotional condition that happens due to excessive high intensity training with very poor rest time which results in Tiredness, Decreased performance, Neural changes, Hormonal changes, Mood changes and Unbalanced health. Overtraining means overload to the body beyond its limits. It frequently affects athletes who train for competitions or any other specific events. Athletes exercise longer and harder without adequate rest and recovery time leading to many physical and health disturbances. Overtraining affects both peripheral and central mechanisms of the body.

Overtraining Symptoms and Warning signs

• Tired feeling and  Lack of energy

• Body aches, Soreness of legs.

• Muscle and Joints pains.

• Loss of appetite

• Headaches

• Heart rate is increased (Mostly during mornings)

• Increased BP

• Frequent weakness and Ill health

• Loss of immunity towards infections

• Loss of weight

• Loss of motivation

• Sudden decrease in performance rate.

• Disturbed sleep

• Irritability

• Depression

• Loss of interest and enthusiasm of the sport

• Increased number injuries

 Recovery occurs in two categories

Short term (Immediate/Active) recovery – Recovery program includes certain intense training program in hours. It aims at low-intensity workouts in both cool-down and work out period.

Long term recovery – Recovery program takes much time which includes well-designed training sessions. This may take days to weeks. Cross training workouts, high intensity exercises etc are taken care of.

Treatment

Exercise program and workouts are to be monitored correctly to maintain higher fitness levels and early recovery. High level athletes should realize that higher intensity training and effort along with adequate recovery time is needed.

Rest period

• Taking rest after hard workout is best way to recover.

• This helps in repairing damaged tissues, building muscle strength and recovery at natural pace.

• Physical activity/Any workout leads to body changes like muscle tissue breakdown, depletion of energy stores, fluid loss etc. To overcome this, adequate rest period during       and after workout routine is needed.

Stretch

• Gentle stretching after every workout helps in reducing damage, strain and injury to the muscles and speeds up recovery process.

Cool-down

• After completing your exercise routine, gently slow down your exercise program without stopping it completely.

• Moving in a low intensity for 5-10 min after exercise routine removes lactic acid from muscle reducing muscle stiffness.

• Warming and cooling down techniques are important and helpful in cooler temperatures/when other exercised session present/performance during the competition.

Proper diet

• After workout, energy stores get depleted. Proper eating habits help in refueling your body helping in recovery process, repairing tissues, building muscles etc.

• It is much helpful while doing Endurance exercises.

• High quality protein and complex carbohydrate diet is good.

•  Healthy eating habits are to be practiced (Needed calories for intense training should be taken).

• Pre-Exercise meal and Post-Exercise meal is to be programmed.

 Fluid intake 

• While doing exercise, fluid loss is common.

• Drink adequate amounts of water.

• This helps in maintaining metabolic rate, transferring nutrients in the body and improves all bodily functions


 Active Recovery

•  Slow, Easy and Gentle movements Improve circulation, Promote transfer of nutrient and waste products throughout the body inducing muscle repair and energy production.

•  Active recovery is to be practiced after workouts

Massage

• Massage throughout the body helps in improving circulation, relaxing muscles and joints.
     Bath
• Ice baths, Ice massage, Contrast water therapy (Alternate hot and cold showers) help in inducing recovery, reducing muscles soreness due to exercise and prevent injury.

• The mechanism behind is repeated constriction and dilation of blood vessels remove waste and toxic products from the tissues.

 Adequate sleep

• Good sleep does amazing things to the body.

• While sleeping, your body produces hormones which induce tissue growth and repair.

• Adequate sleep is necessary for maintaining good health and fitness.

Avoid Overtraining

•  Design a smart workout program which helps in fitness, performance and recovery would help.

• This can be done by stopping exercise if you feel tired, if you notice decreased performance, listening to your body  

 
Prevention

• Many athletes show anxiety to recover quickly from an injury to cope up the time loss happened due to injury. This develops another overuse injury. Avoid doing this.

• Well balance gradual increase in training program is to be maintained. 

• Cross training methods are to be practiced such as Yoga, Stretching, and Walking etc.

• Good techniques of the game, exercises and warm-up are to be taken care.

• Every individual is unique and some technique is good to some people and some for other.

• Train with a trained professional

• Working on the same muscles or doing only one type of exercise repeatedly also leads to overuse injury leading to increased amounts of strain on muscles, tendons and           ligaments, causing irritation, inflammation and sometimes stress fractures.

• Proper equipments and dress is to be worn while playing depending on the play and its need.

• To reduce overuse injury, decreasing the intensity, duration and frequency of exercise may help. Don’t overstrain any particular muscle or joint.

• During weight training routines, don’t work on the same muscles groups/same exercise for two days at a time

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