How long does it take to recover from overtraining?

Having your “eyes on the prize” is a good thing for focus but can sometimes make you overlook recovery. Overtraining may result from not allowing your body to rest properly.

So what is overtraining?

Overtraining occurs when a person doesn’t adequately recuperate after continuous high-level training and can include fatigue, possible injury and lowering performance. Too much exercise can be categorised into overreaching and overtraining. 

Muscle soreness exceeding what you usually experience accompanies overreaching when there is insufficient time to recover between workouts. On the other hand, overreaching usually arises after some consecutive days of strenuous activity, which manifests as a feeling of being run down.

Signs and symptoms of overtraining

Identifying instances of overtraining may be difficult because it’s normal and expected to feel exhausted after gruelling training sessions. While feeling like you aren’t recovering between training sessions or undergoing overall tiredness and complication, forcing yourself during workouts can signify overtraining.

For a better idea, these signs can be classified into the following [1]:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Heightened occurrences of illness
  • High blood pressure and at-rest heart rate
  • Irregular menstrual cycles; missing periods
  • Weight and or appetite loss
  • Lack of energy, lowered motivation, moodiness
  • Increase in tension, depression, anger or confusion
  • Inability to relax
  • Lengthy general fatigue
  • Not feeling satisfaction from once enjoyable things
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Delays in recovery from training
  • Leg muscles that feel “heavy”, even at lower exercise intensities
  • Inability to practise or compete at a previously manageable level
  • Performance plateaus or declines
  • Thoughts on skipping or cutting short training sessions
  • Strange muscle soreness after a workout, which continues with ongoing training

If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be time to adjust your workouts. Identifying these manifestations earlier and adapting training to accommodate them would be more satisfactory because if the signs become more severe and prolonged, the healing takes much longer.

How to recover from overtraining?

The consequences of overtraining can be countered with rest. Some may see tiredness or poor performance signals as the need for more rigorous training, so they persist in pushing themselves, but it only breaks down the body further.


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Full recovery from overtraining is complicated and can demand weeks to months of time off from working out. Although, it can be problematic for individuals whose lives revolve around their sport.

If you’re encountering symptoms of overtraining, speak with your doctor, coach, athletic trainer, or doctor. These professionals can work with you to establish personalised approaches for your recovery.

Commonly, recovery from overtraining includes [2]:

Nourishment: check your eating practices. Have you been deprived of the calories, protein, vitamins and minerals it needs for high-quality, high-intensity training? You can choose to ask for a nutritionist’s help and have an eating plan prepared for your needs. 

Rest: sustaining proper rest is vital for recovery from overtraining. You may need to briefly pause or reduce your training sessions, even if it means not participating in an approaching competition.

sustaining proper rest is vital for recovery from overtraining.

Mental healthcare: taking time off from training can be emotionally challenging. Mental health professionals can help with recovery from overtraining by offering space for you to confer your feelings.

Incremental return: your physician and coach should assist you in determining when you’re ready to begin training again. You’re likely prepared to continue full training if there’s renewed interest and capacity to work hard with normal bodily responses.

Personal recovery times will differ. If you take a total break from activity, you can anticipate improvements after two weeks. 

How long does it take to heal from overtraining?

It has to be stressed enough that resting is the only way you can recover from overtraining. This means that you need to cease activities for a determined period.

The time period will vary depending on the sport and the activity level, but most recovery takes between four to twelve weeks. As you recover from overtraining, you can still do some low-intensity aerobic exercise to keep fit and healthy while not doing your regular workouts [3]. 

These should be short-interval activities that are not related to the sport that you usually train for. Once your symptoms have completely gone, you will be ready to ease back into a training schedule.

Your doctor and coach can help you decide when to get back to training and create guidelines for you. Returning to training will be gradual because you don’t want to push your body too hard. A good suggestion is to start at 50 per cent of your average training load and add 10 per cent more work every week.

How to prevent overtraining?‌

It’s important to take cues from your body. Keeping a training log with your workouts and how you feel afterwards can help you realise when to slow down. You shouldn’t try to exercise through pain just because you feel regretful about missing a day.

Nutrition can also play an integral role in deterring overtraining. Make sure you follow a balanced diet with enough carbohydrates and protein to help power and restore your muscles. 

Your calorie intake should also be high enough to match what you burn off during training. Also, you should drink at least eight glasses of water daily to stay hydrated.

Since rest is essential for muscle recovery, one issue you face as you age is getting exhausted quicker and slower healing.

Regardless of whether you’re training professionally or for personal reasons, promoting the process of muscle recovery through supplements is one way to sustain the body’s healing function. This way, you can still perform more of the physical activities you enjoy.

What is mitochondrial or cellular energy?

The answer is found in cells’ mitochondria, which involve multiple cellular functions. Their most crucial process is bioenergetics, or producing energy by utilising adenosine triphosphate (ATP). 

Mitochondria are key to energy production. In 1997, the initial demonstration of how ATP worked earned it the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Mitochondria oxidise fats, proteins and sugars to create chemical energy kept in ATP. 

The consequent ATP is an energy-carrying molecule that carries the chemical energy from the disintegration of food to fuel other cellular processes. It is called the “energy currency of life”.

What is the connection between healthspan, cellular energy and aging?

Healthspan and lifespan have not kept up with each other’s pace, and most people undergo a plunge in their health before reaching peak life expectancy. Because of this, longevity industry chose to focus on aging and diseases to extend healthspan and lifespan.

Mitochondrial dysfunction is seen as a negative aging hallmark that answers to the injury of aging and certainly, mitochondrial dysfunction is connected to neurodegeneration, age-related illness and ischemic afflictions. A more familiar result of mitochondrial dysfunction is loss of muscle strength, which many people start to see as they reach their 40s because of age-related deterioration in mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergetics [4].

Despite being necessary to the process of energy production and cell function, the mitochondria’s role in aging and longevity is not fully grasped. There are a few competing theories concerning mitochondria dysfunction with aging.

Amazentis introduces Urolithin A with Mitopure 

With this, innovative life science company, Amazentis stepped up to the challenge. Research indicates that exposing nematodes (roundworms) to urolithin A extends their lifespan and mitophagy [5]. 


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The worms’ mobility also improved with age and their periods of activity were extended. Urolithin A also improved exercise capacity in mice with age-related muscle decline.

Recent study shows that urolithin A can play a fundamental part in improving muscles and advancing activity, which is especially important as muscles decline with age, leaving us unprotected from frailty risks.

Ask for your doctor’s guidance if you have discomforts that don’t heal or worsen over time or if you frequently feel your muscles are sore, mainly if they last more than a day. Your doctor can help with a training program that delivers the balance between rest and recovery with a proper amount of training without sacrificing your fitness goals.

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

‌[1] https://www.hss.edu/article_overtraining.asp
[2] https://blog.nasm.org/strategies-for-overcoming-overtraining
[3] https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/water-aerobics
[4] https://rb.gy/8hiump
[5] https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.4132

Photograph: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

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The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.