Did you know that overtraining causes low libido?
You may not have ever thought about it, but this is absolutely the case. I explain the reasons in this video, but you can also continue reading if you prefer that.
When we are overtrained, our bodies are constantly exhausted and we have no interest in doing anything with this super hot body that we worked so hard for. And that's sad, because we're not supposed to feel meh about it in our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.
When Stress Hormones are Up, Sex Hormones May Be Down
You have probably heard about the stress hormone called cortisol? Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by our adrenal glands as a response to stress. Physical exercise is stress, whether we want to see it that way or not.
When we're exercising, cortisol goes up. After we've done with working out, it should fall again. What happens when we're exercising too intensely or too frequently, or when our workouts are really long, is that cortisol stays elevated for longer than normal. And we end up overtraining — watch the video where I talk more about it, here.
That can lead to a situation where the body's sex hormone production gets suppressed, because both the sex hormones and stress hormones are made from the same precursor, or mother hormone. In the case of stress, the body thinks it has to “save” you so it makes more cortisol and less sex hormones.
When stress hormones are high, that means that our sex drive drops (true for both men and women). And very often, it also leads to losing our periods.
How to Get the Libido Up Again?
By reducing the stress is the simple answer! Take a few more rest days a week. If you're completely burnt out, you may need weeks or months.
Let yourself just be. You don't have to run around every minute! Restorative exercise is good as well. Do restorative yoga, like yin. Meditate, it's going to be so helpful as well. Ask your body what it really needs, and a lot of times you understand that it doesn't need all that pushing, you just thought you have to.
And of course, to what you can, outside of your workouts too, to reduce stress. Find some calming activities, take regular breaks from work, be with people that you love, watch a good movie, take long walks. I don't think we truly understand how important stress reduction really is, and that we don't have to hustle every minute.
All these things should help to bring your libido back! But if you're a hard exerciser, this is definitely the place to start: You don't have to do so much.