How many times have you said to yourself, “Man, I feel like my performance is tanking,” but just keep going? I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too.
For all of us who have been there, done that, where did it get you? Did you train through and get injured? Did you make it through but not perform as well as you had hoped? Did you get stuck in your training?
Athletes often use fatigue and lethargy as a sign of a “hard workout”. However, when this issue becomes chronic and your body is exhausted daily, it can very well be a sign that you need to take a step back.
I think it’s important to talk about the signs of “breakdown” in our bodies. Whether you’re an athlete or not, our bodies provide similar symptoms when we’re running low on energy. So, how do our bodies tell us that it is time to slow down and take it easy? Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Both men and women show signs that their bodies may be boycotting them. Whether it be due to overuse, overtraining, undereating, lack of sleep, stress, or anxiety, you name it, it’s important to recognize when you need a break. Not only can low energy impact your athletic performance, but it can also have negative consequences on your sex life, bone health, immunity, metabolism, and more.
So, what are the warning signs?
In all honesty, the signals aren’t always clear. Sometimes, the signs of early “body rebellion” mimic those of simple stressors in everyday life. As your body progresses through the symptoms, the greater the impact on your body as a whole.
Below is a list of symptoms you should be on the lookout for. Please note, that the lesser symptoms typically present themselves first and follow a similar order to the list in the “Both” section.
Loss of libido
|Delayed Puberty (delayed onset of the menstrual cycle)|
|Loss of morning erection||
Loss of or irregular menstrual cycles
Decreased Training Response(Declining Performance)
More Frequent Illness
Muscle Fatigue and Cramps
Inability to Lose Weight
Hypothermia (Cold Intolerance)
Cardiac Abnormalities: bradycardia (low HR), orthostasis (abnormal changes in HR/BP during positional changes)
So folks, if you’re noticing any of the “early signs”, don’t just push through! Take a moment and examine the facts. What do your eating, sleeping, and lifestyle habits look like? What does your training program look like? Are you simply trying too hard and therefore putting your body at risk? Those are all things you should ask yourself!
Just remember, training through chronic fatigue and declining performance will not always be in your favor. If you don’t know where you may be going wrong, ask for help! Reach out to a performance physical therapist, dietician, or even your physician! Oh, and as always, we’re always here to help!
Happy Training Folks!