Experts say these are the signs you're pushing too hard at the gym 3 weeks ago

Experts say these are the signs you're pushing too hard at the gym

If you're a keen gym-goer, you'll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout without overexerting yourself

But how do you really know when you're pushing too hard at the gym? We asked Luke Powles, Associate Clinical Director with Bupa.

What are the signs we are pushing too hard at the gym?

Powles says the main signs you might pushing too hard at the gym include recovery taking longer, dwindling results and problems sleeping.

"After exercising, our muscles need time to recover, and when you push yourself too far you compromise your body’s ability to bounce back from recovery quickly. As a result, you may feel constantly achy and sore.

"Another sign is if you are working out multiple times a week but seeing no progress. This is often a sign that your form is off which can also cause injury; potentially keeping you away from the gym for weeks.

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"Whilst exercise is known to improve your sleep quality, a final sign you’re pushing yourself too hard in the gym is that you’re having trouble sleeping at night. Exercise causes stimulation in the nervous system, and over exercising can cause the nervous system to go into overdrive. This could cause you to become restless and unable to relax whilst drifting off to sleep."

What are some of the common recovery mistakes people are making?

Forgetting to stretch and getting drunk too soon after training are big mistakes, according to Powles.

"After a workout many of us may be tempted to treat ourselves. Avoid drinking alcohol after you’ve finished your workout, as this can leave you feeling dehydrated.

"Many gym go-ers also forget to cool down after a workout. It’s really important to allow your heart rate to decrease after a workout through gentle stretching of the muscles that you’ve used during your workout."

What are the best ways to recover after a workout?

It's not all doom and gloom. If your recovery has taken the back seat, Powles says you can get back on track by focusing on rehydration, eating the right food and getting quality rest.

"Over 60% of your body is water, and during exercise we lose a lot of our body fluid through sweating and breathing.

"It’s a good idea to fill your water bottle up after you complete a workout and aim to drink the whole bottle within the hour."

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Your volume of food must correspond to the level of training you're doing. Think of it like fuel, and your body like a car.

Powles says:

"Eating the right food after a workout can also help with a faster recovery and improve the overall effectiveness of your performance.

"Good examples of foods to eat after a workout are: rice, potatoes, fish, lean meat and dairy, such as salmon, chicken breast and eggs."

It's easy to overdo it when you enjoy training, but only when resting will make you those sought-after gains.

Powles says: "Allow your muscles to rest, as you will see more progress from four to five moderate to intense training sessions a week, in comparison to training seven days a week with bad technique."