Overtraining – How Do You Know If You’re Overdoing It?

Given the exhortations we’re always receiving to do more exercise, it feels slightly heretical to urge people to slow down. However, just as too much sitting around can be bad for you, so can too much exercise. If you ‘overtrain’, the effects upon your body and mind can be really quite bad – and run ironically counter to the effects most people aim to obtain via exercise. Rest is an important part of any exercise regime, yet an increasing number of people (perhaps fired by media hysteria about obesity levels and the Western sedentary lifestyle) are eschewing rest in favor of more time at the gym. This is a bad idea. Here’s a quick guide to ‘overtraining’ and how to spot the symptoms within yourself.


Signs Of Overtraining

We’re told more or less constantly these days that exercise is good for us and we should be doing more of it. In general, this is true. But it’s worth getting a sense of perspective on this concept before replacing your rest days with more cardio. The ‘more exercise’ recommendation is aimed at the worryingly large percentage of the population who live a sedentary lifestyle and eat unhealthy diets. If you’re already living an active lifestyle and working out several days a week, then you already have a pretty healthy relationship with exercise, and the ‘you must exercise more in order to be baseline healthy’ advice really does not apply to you. In fact, if you do exercise more, you run the risk of developing the following problems:

  • Muscle degeneration
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Physical weakness
  • ‘Flabby’ feeling limbs
  • Palpitations
  • Greater susceptibility to infections
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety when you cannot exercise
  • Body image problems

Why Does This Happen?

When you think about it, it’s reasonably obvious why your body struggles to cope with excessive amounts of exercise. When we work out, we put stress on our bodies, causing micro amounts of damage. Our bodies respond to this damage by not only healing it but building in extra resilience in order to prevent the damage from happening again. This is how we get stronger, gain stamina, and generally improve physically. However, if we go at it too hard, and never give our bodies time to recover, they’re naturally going to struggle. Muscles which are constantly worked out and never given time to repair and enhance will just get weaker. What’s more, if you’re exercising and dieting to extremes, your body will ultimately start to use your muscles as fuel – meaning that the more you work out, the less defined your muscles become, and the ‘flabbier’ you appear. Counterproductive, to say the least. Then there’s the fact that a body which is forever diverting energy into the muscles has to neglect other systems – like the immune system. This makes you far more vulnerable to infection. Perhaps most significantly of all, the unnaturally prolonged release of cortisol and adrenaline puts extreme strain on the brain, as does the fatigue to which you will subject it. This can bring on some serious mental health issues. All in all, it’s a pretty unhealthy way to treat your body and your mind. Worse, there is some evidence that prolonged excessive exercise can cause alterations in perspective (perhaps as a result of heightened stress and mental fatigue), leading people to develop exercise and body-related ‘anxieties’ which cause obsessive exercise behaviors. Not good.

What Can You Do About It?

The good news is that you don’t have to do much to combat overtraining. All you have to do is rest. If you have trouble with the idea of rest – if you see it as a ‘waste’, or as time which could be spent exercising – try thinking of it as an essential part of your workout regime. Build in rest days the same way that you would leg days, or arm days, or cardio days. You can even up the intensity of your non rest-days workouts if you want to – just be sure that you’re giving your body time to heal up, recuperate, and enhance through rest! Without rest, you’re potentially doing your body just as much damage as you would by spending all week on the sofa, stuffing your face with junk food. So work out, and work out intensely should you so wish – but intersperse your gym sessions with good, muscle-building, weight-burning rest!

Image credits: Pixabay

Braces Can Enhance Your Look and Give You a Wonderful Smile

At one time or the other you have seen children with braces on their teeth. The thought crosses your mind that their parents are considerate about straightening the crooked teeth and improving cosmetic looks of their children. Many people think that, their children cannot eat solid foods with the braces and braces can also spread some bacterial ingredients in their mouth. It is a wrong concept and you can eat anything with braces, and it can straighten your teeth as well as design your teeth in a proper shape. In this regards, you can contact your nearest dentist and they will suggest you the proper braces according to your needs.

How do braces work?

The periodontal ligament fixes the tooth to the bone and it is elastic. The living tissue can be gently forced over time to change its direction and alignment. A dentist puts in place orthodontic appliance commonly known as braces that are comprises of brackets affixed on the teeth with flexible wires that exert constant pressure and thus change the angle of the periodontal ligament.


Psychological benefit of braces implementation:

Like it or not people with crooked teeth and protruding teeth are treated with social bias and this does affect their psyche. If parents take action to straighten teeth of their children with the use of braces put in place by a dentist, they are making sure that their children will not have to suffer socially degrading remarks. Braces shall make their teeth organized and it will increase their self-confidence level.

Health benefits of braces:

Braces straighten teeth but the benefits go beyond mere straightening. There are health benefits as well to teeth that are straighter, better aligned and closely fitting in the mouth. Various health benefits include:

  • By closing the gap there are less chance of food or other particles lodging in the gaps and decaying, thus causing damage and caries.
  • By moving and aligning teeth, braces cause teeth to fit together snugly and give support to each other without overhangs. This has two benefits. One is that the teeth do not grind together resulting in reduced erosion of enamel.
  • Misaligned teeth or crooked teeth can scrape inner tissues or the tongue and be a constant irritation resulting in lack of concentration. Braces align teeth and improve comfort level inside the mouth, leading to overall increased performance in life.
  • It has been found that straightened and well aligned teeth, as a result of fitment of braches, also help reduce chances of periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases carry the threat of heart diseases, stroke, pneumonia and complications in diabetes.

Different kinds of braces:


Nature intended us to have straight teeth and for good reason. You can speak well when teeth are well aligned.

  • You can chew well and your digestion as well as food absorption capabilities stay in top condition. Straight teeth are not quite as susceptible to injury and damage as crooked teeth.
  • The good thing about braces is that one does not need to be a child to have them fitted. Even adults can have them fitted to improve alignment of their teeth and enjoy benefits beyond the aesthetic one of a good smile.
  • There are various types of orthodontic braces that can be chosen. One is the traditional brace with orthodontic wires that are visible in people undergoing such treatment.

Another, more modern innovation is a brace made of clear, transparent plastic, custom designed to suit the patient’s teeth. It may seem embarrassing for a person to wear braces but these are for only a limited duration for a year or two at the most.

Image source: es.123rf.com and shutterstock.com

Types of Imaging

Imaging is an important tool for doctors to be able to make the correct diagnosis of an injury or an illness. It lets the doctor see a picture of what is going on inside the body. Depending on the nature of the problem for which you are seeking treatment, the doctor will choose from one of several methods of imaging when writing the order.

ct scan imaging


X-rays are conducted by using radiation to pass through the body. During the process different body tissues absorb the X-rays at different rates. The ones that pass through are captured on a film that is placed behind or under the body on the opposite side from the machine. Doctors then use the image produced to determine what is wrong. Common uses of this type of imagining include checking for fractures, joint conditions like arthritis, and chest X-rays to detect pneumonia.


Ultrasounds are done with the use of high frequency sound waves that bounce off tissue at different rates. The data is then fed into a computer that converts it into an image. Ultrasounds are frequently used during pregnancy to see how well the baby is developing. They can also be used to view the pumping action of the heart and the condition of the vessels surrounding the heart. Ultrasound technology can be used for most soft tissues in the body.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used when images that are more detailed than the ones that show up on X-rays are needed. MRI machines use a combination of radio waves and magnetic fields to produce images. A more advanced form of the procedure is known as an open MRI. It is done in a more open setting, whereas the traditional method had the patient inside a large tube. This could cause anxiety for some patients with difficulty tolerating enclosed spaces. An open MRI puts patients more at ease.

CT Scans

Computerized tomography (CT) scans combine computer and X-ray technology to obtain images of the body. These scans can detect both bone and soft tissue. They provide doctors with a virtual visual slice through the body. Some of the newer ones like the 16-slice CT scan can provide much more detail than was previously available.

If you are looking for a facility that does medical imaging in NJ, facilities like Middletown Medical Imagining have the equipment to conduct the test that the doctor ordered.

Image credits: Pixabay