Whether it’s as a result of a new fitness routine, the fact that you’ve upped the intensity and their programme is more challenging or as a result of more workouts than the norm at some point your client will encounter what we call the exercise hangover.
This is the point where the buzz and rush of endorphins fades away and is replaced with a whole host of temporary but annoying side effects.
Suddenly hiring a personal trainer doesn’t’ seem like such a good idea. Your client is sore, grumpy and will start to feel it’s all too much for them.
The good news is this is a temporary state and if you give them the heads up of what to expect and that its short lived most clients will soon bounce back to normal.
5 Exercise Hangovers to Expect
1 – Sore muscles – technically called delayed onset of muscle soreness or DOMS for short this is caused by the damage to muscle fibres from exercise. As they restore and repair they’ll be that little bit stronger but the more your client has gone from very sedentary to active the more likely they are to suffer muscle soreness.
The solution? This is a temporary state, send them away with gentle exercises such as walking and a light stretching program. They could also try using ice on the affected areas for a couple of minutes at a time (bag of frozen peas works a treat!) light massage or bathing in Epsom salts.
2 – Mental Fatigue – a confusing one for many clients who can’t understand why they’ve less energy when exercise is supported to leave you sharper than ever. As the body adjusts it may well go through some temporary fatigue, after all it’s not used to burning up all that energy and isn’t quite sure what’s going on.
The solution? Give yourself a breather. If possible encourage your clients to plan an easier workload for a few days and make sure they are taking regular breaks. You might even suggest a few early nights to indulge in some extra shut eye.
3 – Migraines – Generally down to dehydration and musculoskeletal issues. If you’re client has upped their exercise pace and not upped their hydration levels their body will tell them.
The solution? Remind them during sessions to sip water and post workout that their body will need more water now they’re exercising and sweating more.
4 – Hunger pangs – As the body spends more energy output it will seek more energy input from food. But hunger pangs can leave most of us irritable and there’s the danger of reaching for a quick sugary pick me up.
The solution? Help your client be well prepared and suggest they always have a few healthy snack options to hand. Catch the hunger pangs before they kick in by reminding them post workout to eat a snack that combines some protein, essential fats and easily digestible carbohydrates such as a few oatcakes with nut butter.
5 – Restless Sleep – The body has trained hard, your client feels tired and can’t wait to dive under the duvet for a good night’s rest. So what’s going on why can’t they sleep? Often the culprits are evening workouts followed by late meals and caffeine which leave the body too wired to wind down.
The solution? For many clients the only way they can train is in the evening so it’s up to you to make sure their session is sufficiently challenging whilst recognising the time of day and that they’ll be going to bed shortly after. Try strength over cardio, go low impact and plan in sufficient time to finish with stretches and foam roller work. By building this natural wind down into the session and recommending a light supper over a heavy meal sleep deprivation will be minimal.
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