If you’re committed to maintaining your fitness and exercise routine, you know how hard it is to come back from exercise burnout. Sure, you can always try to white-knuckle it and push through no matter how you feel. But, sooner or later, you’re going to hit a wall and want to quit.
That’s why we’ve created this list of the top ten tips for avoiding fitness burnout altogether so you can keep pushing towards a better, fitter you.
1. Cut Yourself Some Slack
The most important thing to consider when it comes to avoiding exercise burnout is how you deal with yourself.
We are always our own worst critics. If there are days where you just don’t feel like getting up and working out, your first instinct may be to start overwhelming yourself with negative thoughts. “Of course I don’t want to get up, I’m lazy and worthless and this will never work out for me.”
It’s time to distance yourself from thoughts like these. They don’t help you. They’re certainly not encouraging you to achieve your fitness goals.
Instead, try to talk to yourself like you would a friend.
“You’re tired. That’s okay. Let’s get up and shower and if you’re still really not feeling like a workout, we’ll go for a walk instead.”
Pushing yourself past your comfort zone is the first step in a healthy lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t ever cut yourself a little slack.
2. Switch Your Routine Up
If you’re finding yourself dreading your workout routine, consider something a little less routine. If you usually work out with free weights in the gym, take your workout outside. A hike is a great way to exercise different muscle groups while getting some much-needed vitamin D.
Getting motivated with a group can make or break your exercise burnout as well. And studies show that working out with a group can help you achieve your fitness goals!
3. Set Goals You Can Achieve
When you set goals that are out of your ability to achieve, you’re setting yourself up for failure. The best kind of goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
When you set goals with this method, you’re giving yourself a chance to succeed.
You cant say that you’re going to go for a half-hour run every day at 5 AM when you’re currently up at noon and have never run before in your life.
Instead, start small. Set a goal to go to bed at 10 and get up at 6 every day. Once you’ve done that consistently, add in a short run.
You can better achieve and build on goals to set good habits slowly.
4. Allow Yourself Time to Recover
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 back up new muscle tissue.
When you don’t take the time to allow your body to recover, you’re actually 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!
5. Make it Fun
If you’re not enjoying your workout routine, it’s going to feel like a punishment. No long-lasting, genuine lifestyle change is going to stick if you’re using it as a way to punish yourself for the food you eat.
Instead, consider the exercises or activities that are joyful for you. What do you like doing?
For some, weight lifting is the perfect adrenaline rush. For others, it’s too repetitive and they get more joy out of going for hikes or runs through nature.
No matter what a joyful fitness routine looks like for you, make sure you’re seeking it out to avoid burning out on activities you don’t love.
6. Pay Attention to Your Body’s Cues
Next up, you have to listen to what your body is telling you. If you don’t pay attention to your body when it tells you that something hurts, not only will you risk burning out on exercise, you risk serious injury.
If something hurts, stop doing it. There’s a difference between the burn of a really good exercise and the pain of over-exerting yourself. Find out the line for you and don’t cross it.
7. Track Your Training
One great way to keep yourself motivated to stay on track is to track your fitness journey.
One of the aspects of good goal-setting, as we mentioned before, is making sure that your goal is measurable. Figure out what that measurement is for you and record it for each exercise. Whether that means recording the number of reps you can do before total muscle failure or the distance you ran each day, write it down!
8. Eat Well, Sleep Well, Track It!
And while we’re on the topic of healthy habits, you should also consider tracking your eating and sleeping as well. One of the most surefire ways to slide into exercise burnout city is to not monitor how well you’re sleeping and eating.
Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of depression. Depression can be a leading cause of exercise burnout. The same can be said for not giving your body the nutrition it needs to function.
Your mind and your body are intimately connected. You can’t take care of one while completely neglecting the other. Make sure you’re taking care of your mind and body to avoid burning out on your fitness journey.
Kick Exercise Burnout to the Curb!
Now that you know how to defeat exercise burnout once and for all, you can take the steps you need to make sure that your fitness journey is a lifestyle change that will stick around for good.
Some degree of exercise burnout is expected. But when you use all of the tips we’ve given you, you’re lowering your chances of giving up all together.
For more information about how you can live a physically fit life, try a workout today.