For most of us, exercise can be a huge challenge; for others, it can be very addictive. I enjoy feeling the surge of endorphins during a good hard workout.

Sometimes I can go a bit overboard. Last week I went on a 25-mile bike ride and a run the next morning on five hours of sleep.

I also had a gym workout planned and a Zumba class.

My body had other plans. That afternoon while training my clients I began to sneeze and feel a bit sickly.

By late afternoon I had a high fever and remained in bed the rest of the week. The problem with exercise is finding balance. My desire to do it all in 24 hours was not balance. Has this happened to you?

Do you feel tired, or burnt out because you have been over-exercising? I knew it was time to take a break, especially the morning of the run.

I ignored all the signs that my body was making.

Check out some of the signs listed here to look out for before you contemplate your next workout:

• Lack of energy

If you are feeling like you need a nap after your workout instead of feeling energised and revitalised, you may need to scale back your workouts or space them out to allow more recovery time.

•Moody or irritable

Are you getting upset about the smallest things; screaming at the children or moody with your co-workers? This could be a sign that your body and mind are worn down and fatigued. It may be time for an exercise-free vacation.

• More sleep please

Do you still feel tired regardless of how much sleep you get? When you exercise too much, your body can send stress hormones like cortisol which causes sleeping challenges.

Sleep is the time your body repairs itself, and as top athletes will tell you, it’s just as important as your training sessions. When you are pushing too hard your body might be telling you that it needs more rest than you are giving it.

• Frequently sick

When we overtrain, we break down our immune system, which makes us more susceptible to getting sick.

• Heavy legs

I’ve had this happen to me. I’ll start running and my legs will feel like lead. Heavy legs or arms are a sign that some extra recovery time is needed and its time to take one or two days’ rest.

Make it a priority to check yourself, take these signs seriously, get some rest and B-Active For Life!

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife

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