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I have said many times before that the key to getting and seeing results in any workout regimen is consistency. If you want to see your lunges and squats pay off—you have to be consistent with your workouts and eating plan. But yet, all too often I see people start off strong and then slowly fade away into oblivion never to be seen on a treadmill, yoga mat, or reformer ever again.
Why does this happen? Well, sometimes the excuse is simply life becomes too busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Sometimes it’s purely emotional where self-sabotage takes over and the negative thoughts convince you to step away from the stair master. And then sometimes it is a product of working out too hard, too fast—or too often—and you experience workout burnout.
Workout burnout is the effect on the body and mind when you exercise too hard and too much. Some clear signs of workout burnout are constant muscles aches and soreness, trouble sleeping at night, little appetite, exhaustion during the day, and depression. The depression comes from lethargy alone or it is cause of not seeing results quickly enough. What starts with supreme enthusiasm now fades into frustration, anger, and surrender.
burnout signs can include constant muscles aches and soreness, trouble sleeping at night, exhaustion during the day, and depression.
It is important to see your relationship with your body as just that—a relationship. And like any relationship, there is an ebb and flow that takes place to ensure it’s success. I have yet to see a healthy relationship truly thrive under the conditions of too much pushing, too much fighting, little patience and lack of self-love.
So to have a healthy relationship with your body and to avoid workout burnout, please follow these 5 tips and be well on your way to a more consistent happier and healthier you.
remember to foster growth in your relationship with body.
If you’re new to fitness, approach working out as though there are layers to it and every month create a new goal to tackle instead of tacking them all at once. For instance, if you find it hard to find time to workout, figure out a plan to get 20 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week, into your schedule. Don’t worry about what kind of exercise it is. Just do something. Once you figure that out for the first month, then you tackle the next goal. A great goal could be increasing the intensity during those 20 minutes. If you start simply, it gives you room to foster growth in your relationship with body.
RELEASE THE RESULTS, FOCUS ON THE PRESENT ACTION
I find that when I am too results oriented, I lose the joy in what I am doing and I get burnt out way faster. That is because I am focused on the future and on something that doesn’t exist and seems very far away. Try to stay present in the action of what you’re doing. For instance, if you’re performing an abdominal exercise, focus solely on how to perform it properly. Each time you practice it, you will notice that the mind-body connection will be that stronger and you will be able to improve each time you try it. That in itself is success!
SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUTS
Often I hear people say that they are diehard “fill in the blank of some type of workout.” The answer could be anywhere from running to bootcamp Pilates. While it is so great to have a passion for a specific type of fitness, it is a healthier approach if you could find a few types of activities that you love doing and then switch them up. This helps to not only avoid burn out but also helps to reduce the risk of injury.
REST AND PAMPER
Yes, rest. Rest. Rest. Rest. When I say rest, I don’t just mean sleep at night. I mean take a day off (or two) from working out entirely. Of course you can go for a nice leisurely walk if you want to. But muscle recovery can only happen when the body has the space and time to rebuild and recover. On those days off, pamper yourself. Indulge in a piece of chocolate or go get a massage, because sometimes having that piece of cake is just the balance you need for your peace of mind.
TAKE ONE WEEK OFF
If you are an avid exerciser who has hit a plateau, every two months, take one week off entirely from working out. This is like hitting a reset button for your body. You will find that after that week, your body will be craving the workout again. You will hit the ground running feeling stronger and with more energy.
Always remember to check in with your body, listen to it, and respect whatever phase you are in.