Everyone needs a break once in a while. Whether we have a love or hate relationship with exercise, it is true that all bodies need a day or two to relax. When your body needs a break, you may feel more tired or weak, but you may not be sure what it means.

While it’s great that you’re sticking to a healthy lifestyle that includes effective exercising, there are some signs that your body may need some rest:

1. Feeling Sore

Having sore muscles after a workout is totally normal, especially when you are new to the exercise or you haven’t hit that body part in a while. However, if you know you didn’t push your hardest and you’ve been exercising frequently, then there is a chance that you might be overtraining.  If you feel sore in odd places or can’t get rid of the pain, you may want to rest for few days and give the gym a break.

2. Poor Attitude

Another sign of overtraining is being moody, depressed or fatigued.  Exercise does help to make us feel happierbecause of the released endorphins; however, endorphins are accompanied by cortisol, which is a stress hormone. If cortisol levels become too high they can also affect our mental health. If you’re not feeling like yourself, consider taking a day off.

3.Abnormal Heart Rate

The best way to know if you are ready for a workout is to take your heart rate in the morning.  This is the best way to know if you’re good to exercise as advised by Noam Tamir, a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of TS Fitness in New York City. If you recognize that your heart rate is higher or lower than your regular heart rate, then you may want to re-consider going to the gym.

4. Stiffness

If you body is having a hard time moving or bending, this is another sign of overtraining.  If your body doesn’t have proper mobility there is a chance that you will create dysfunction in your movement, Tamir Says.  Meaning, if you keep on doing the same exercise over and over again without proper rest and recovery, it might cause you injury. To prevent this, make sure that you are doing regular stretching exercises before and after a workout.

5. Discolored Urine

Dark yellow pee is a sign of dehydration.  It is very important to keep hydrated during your workout to avoid dehydration.  If you think that you are a bit dehydrated, try to rest, do some stretching and drink water. Note that it takes at least 45 minutes for our body to recover from a mild dehydration, so you should avoid aggressive exercise until you know that you are fully hydrated.

It’s great that you are embracing exercise and sticking to it, but in the end it is all about creating a healthy body. If you are showing any of these signs, its best that you give your body the break it deserves! Listen to your body and pay attention to it; it will only show positive results when you give it what it needs.

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