It’s late in the year, and you’ve been true to your 2022 New Year’s resolution to become a healthier and fitter version of yourself. You’ve rarely missed a workout, and hitting the gym is now as much a habit as brushing your teeth.
Eventually, though, you’re going to hit a wall and want to quit. If you’re already feeling this urge, then our six tips for avoiding workout burnout couldn’t come at a better time.
1. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
On those days when you just don’t feel like getting up and working out, instead of forcing yourself out of bed with a bunch of negative thoughts about what might happen to your fitness regimen if you don’t hit the gym, try a gentler, kinder approach. It’s okay to tell yourself that you’re tired and just don’t have the motivation today. So, shower instead, and if you’re still not feeling like a workout, then go for a walk. Sure, you’ve pushed yourself all year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cut yourself a little slack now and then.
2. Change Your Routine
Sometimes, we simply get bored doing the same routine repeatedly, which leads to burnout. So, create a different workout. If you normally work out in the gym, head to Piedmont Park and work out while the sun rises. If tomorrow is your normal cardio day, drive over to Stone Mountain and tackle the rock instead. By taking your fitness routine outside, you’ll not only exercise different muscle groups, but also get some much-needed vitamin D.
3. Make it Fun
Any fitness program that feels like punishment will lead to burnout. Unless you enjoy your workouts, your motivation will wane. So, find the exercises or activities you enjoy doing – and do those. Even better, consult with one of our elite trainers, and we’ll help you incorporate the exercises you like into a fitness program that works for the long haul.
4. Set Realistic Goals
If the goals you’ve set aren’t SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound – then you’re setting yourself up for burnout. Setting a goal to compete in February’s Atlanta Marathon when you haven’t run for more than 10 years will not only leave you physically exhausted, but also possibly injured. Start small. Find a 5K far enough in the future that you can compete in without risking burnout – and injury.
5. Build in Recovery Time
Recovery days are integral to your fitness journey. When you work out, especially when you lift weights, your muscles tear. Then, during the recovery process, they start to build new muscle tissue. When you don’t take the time to allow your body to recover, you’re doing more harm than good. Taking a break from your workout routine doesn’t mean you’re lazy or failing; it means you’re giving your body the time it needs to heal and repair!
6. Pay Attention to Your Body
Your body will tell you when you’re pushing too hard. You just need to pay attention. If something hurts, stop doing it. If you don’t, you not only risk workout burnout, but also significant injury. After all, there’s a difference between the burn of a good exercise and the pain of over-exerting yourself. Find your line and don’t cross it.
Some degree of workout burnout is expected, but when you use these six tips, you’re minimizing your chances of giving up all together.