• hahahahaha, I laughed so hard when I saw that picture! Nice work Jefferoo.

    From Anca
    November 2, 2009

Avoiding a Burn-Out

By Jeff, H3 Program Intern

Why exercise?  What are we actually trying to accomplish?  We all have central reasons for exercise – the opportunity to reduce our blood pressure, risk of heart disease, feelings of depression, and of course to control our weight.  With so many phenomenal reasons to exercise, why not go all out day after day after day!?  Constant, no breaks, let’s hit H3 class after class after class!

Sometimes our motivation really is sky high; however there is a point at which we may be pushing ourselves past our healthy perimeter.  If you’ve stayed with us at Hilton Head Health, you are aware that we live by the words: Train for Life – so do just that, listen to your body and let yourself recover from intense exercise sessions or after a long day at H3.


The ultimate objective is not to get burnt out or injured, but to appropriately and safely exercise creating lasting lifestyle changes. Remember, we train for life – not for chronic fatigue or worse injury.


How do I know if I’ve gone too far? In an article written for ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, by Dixie Thompson, Ph.D, FASCM, she states that overtraining results when exercise bouts are too long and/or too intense without adequate time for our bodies to recover. Overtraining can also occur when we completely immerse ourselves into an exercise program before gradually easing into the routine.

So let’s never be there – It’s all about recognizing the warnings signs, yet the best approach is to avoid overtraining all together.  Here’s how:

Identify Common Cautions:

–  Overly excessive fatigue

–  Chronic muscle soreness or joint pain

–  Increased susceptibility to infections

–  Changes in blood pressure

–  Elevated resting heart rate

–  Psychological: irritability, depression, and anxiety

–  Inability to relax, fidgety

That’s what you should be on the lookout for, although here’s how to avoid symptoms of overtraining entirely:

Listen to your body.  Sticking to a routine is important; however when your tired your tired – take a day off if your body is asking for it.

Ease into the exercise program.  Gradually adjust the workout routine, intensity, volume and duration.

Eat a healthy diet and drink ample water.  The proper amount of hydration and nutrients will help your body adapt from exercise.

Stay flexible, Adjust your workouts.  If you have had a particularly slam packed day of exercise, go lighter the next day or rest completely.

Set a bed time, Plan time for relaxation.  Preferably get 8 hours of sleep, and if you happen to be at H3 head to a stretch and relaxation class or better yet schedule a massage!


In summary, never workout when your in excruciating pain – take a day off if need be.  You know your body, so it’s up to you to recognize the cautions.  This does not mean taking off weeks at a time, just hold yourself accountable. Keep in mind, we’re training for life not life long exhaustion.  Anyways, good luck with your current health and fitness goals and keep up the hard work!





Overtraining, Dixie Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM
ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, September/October 2009, Volume 13, Number 5

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