Not everyone who suffers from overtraining is playing a sport.
Life is a sport. Even though there might not be a clock running or points being scored, we are confronted with deadlines and bills to pay.
So many of the people that come to me with symptoms of overtraining are simply moms who have 1,000 things to accomplish every single day and no break—no chance to recover.
They wake up, they prepare their kids lunches, wake the kids up, make them breakfast, drive them to school, then drop them off, rush to work where they are confronted with deadlines, bureaucracies, temperamental co-workers and the like. From work, they rush back to pick up their kids from school. These women squeeze in errands for the family and pick up their kids from school. To add to the complexity of life, maybe they take their kids to an after school practice for a sport to then rush home to make the family dinner. But, the day isn’t over. Now it’s time to help with homework and then crawl into bed to do it all over again the next day day in and day out. Maybe they had a chance to pay a little attention to a spouse who feels neglected.
This hectic lifestyle is what leads to OTS (overtraining syndrome) because it’s not how hard you’re physically training necessarily, but rather it’s the overall load on your physiology that wears you down. The fact that your adrenal glands are constantly working; pumping out adrenaline and cortisol under chronic stress can lead to the same physiological symptoms of an overtrained athlete who doesn’t allow themselves proper recovery time.
Furthermore, most of these people are so stressed out and not regulating their blood sugar properly with the right balance of macronutrients at meals that their blood sugar drops and causes an even larger stress response. When the adrenal gland’s sense a blood sugar drop they immediately pump out cortisol to raise blood sugar levels. Over time, this roller coaster wears down the adrenal glands and causes adrenal fatigue or cortisol insufficiency. This cascade then leads to hormonal disruption of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone among others.
So, many overtrained athletes and overworked people have a lot of hormone imbalances due to the deregulation of stress hormones. My goal is not to scare people and make them afraid of a little stress, but I do want to make people aware that even if they don’t fall into the category of elite athletes training for an event, they still are taxing their bodies. And, the same recovery techniques are extremely important for these people just as with athletes in training.
These techniques include: daily meditation or mind relaxation techniques, balanced nutritious meals, a sense of love and community, and in some cases, proper supplements. I have seen drastic improvements in people’s physical state as well as their mood and emotional well being just from changing a few daily habits.
One quick and easy tool that I teach everybody on their first day is to close their eyes and put one hand over their belly and one hand over their heart and just take some slow deep breath’s into their bellies. That’s one of countless simple yet effective techniques.
So, if you’re feeling burned out or overrun. Check out more information about recovery techniques. It’s important not to wait until your system becomes so worn down that you are emotionally drained, depressed, and realize your health is slipping away.