You wake up and your heart is still beating- it’s going to be a great day! Taking it one step further and actually measuring your resting heart rate may be a better indicator of the kind of day you will be having.

Evidence suggests that a higher than normal sleeping heart rate is one indication of over training. Measuring sleeping heart rate may not be feasible for most of us, so a more useful indication may be measuring your resting heart rate (RHR). A heart rate 5 or 10 beats higher than normal upon waking is your body’s way of suggesting taking a day off. The premise behind training is to place a stress on your body from which you must recover.

Recovering from this stress is the only way that we become, bigger, faster, stronger and leaner. Inability to recover from training stimulus leaves us smaller, slower, weaker and fatter. Overtraining can result from many things, but in a nutshell it is improper recovery from the stress we place on our bodies- both in our gym life and everyday life.

Symptoms of overtraining include but are not limited to: changes in mood, trouble sleeping, sleeping too much, depression, persistent muscle soreness, injury, illness, elevated resting heart rate, abnormally high training heart rate and loss of appetite.

These outward symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fallout from overtraining. Hormonal changes are the underlying cause but are not easy to spot.

Recommending that you monitor your heart rate upon waking can steer you clear of any possible crashes. A change in RHR of 5 beats per minute is giving you fair warning that there is an iceberg ahead. Slow down and switch directions before you sink your ship.

Learn more about over training…

Training & inflammation

Expert Interview on Overtraining with Dr. Colin Wilborn

What it is & how to avoid it!

1. Dressendorfer RH. Hauser AM. Timmis GC. Reversal of runner's bradycardia with training overstress. Clin J Sport Med. 2000 Oct;10(4):279-85.
2. Jeukendrup AE. Hesselink MK. Snyder AC. Kuipers H. Keizer HA. Physiological changes in male competitive cyclists after two weeks of intensified training. Int J Sports Med. 1992 Oct;13(7):534-41.

3. Pelayo P. Mujika I. Sidney M. Chatard JC. Blood lactate recovery measurements, training, and performance during a 23-week period of competitive swimming. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1996;74(1-2):107-13.

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