Avoid gym burnout with this helpful advice
Your weight-loss journey may have started last week, a few months back, or years ago. No matter when it started, you were probably very committed in the beginning. Nothing could stop you, and your life began to change for the better. Now that you’re days, weeks, or months into your weight-loss plan, the motivation to keep at it has started to dwindle and you’re tempted to give up on your goals.
Maybe you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, you’re sore all the time, or your heart just isn’t in it anymore. While it’s common for the initial fire to start to flicker, don’t take the easy path and give up. When your muscles are sore and you’re tired of the alarm clock telling you to get to the gym to meet with your trainer, learn to crave rather than dread exercise with these tips.
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is exercising too much too soon. The chance of burnout is much higher when you’re injured, sore, or exhausted. Work with your trainer to develop a plan of easing into exercise. Week one may only include two 2-minute sessions that include nothing but gentle exercise. Each week, slowly increase the intensity and length of your workouts.
Change Things Up
Many people give up on exercise when they find it boring or when they don’t see results. One way to avoid these problems is by changing things up. Don’t get stuck on the treadmill every time you go to the gym. Not only is it boring, but doing the same exercise at the same intensity every day will lead to a stall in weight loss as your body adapts. Try new workouts, sign up for a different class, or add new and challenging exercises to your routine. To make your gym experience more enjoyable, invite a friend to join you.
You’re committed to exercise and that’s great! But sometimes you can be overcommitted. Overtraining can lead to mental and physical exhaustion. When your mind just isn’t into your workouts anymore and you’re not sure you have the strength to even finish your workouts, burnout is on the horizon. What many people forget is that rest is an important part of exercise. Taking a day off here and there between tough workouts gives your muscles time to recover and repair damage. To prevent mental and physical burnout, listen to your body.
Signs you’re exercising too hard include exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, muscle fatigue, and constantly feeling sore.
Give yourself permission to cut back a little, plan for days of lower-intensity exercise, and alternate your workouts between strength training and cardio. Only plan to exercise five days out of the week. For the health of your mind, exercise should be a priority, but not your only focus. Create a routine that makes sure you’re still interacting with family and friends.
In most cases, weight loss, improved mood, and increased energy are rewarding enough. But when weight loss slows down or getting to the gym becomes a chore, you can help prevent burnout by setting goals and giving yourself rewards. Reaching a fitness goal, losing five more pounds, or just getting to the gym five days a week are all reasons to celebrate. Why not treat yourself to a dinner out, new workout clothes, or a massage?
You’ve earned it!