Burnout: Fitness Edition

It’s so important to listen to your body and react accordingly.

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We’ve all had those days where hitting snooze sounds more appealing than hitting the gym. On the flip side, it’s common for people to push themselves hard and avoid much needed rest days, particularly if when feeling the need to make up for missed workouts or days off. What many people may not realize, is that work is not the only place that could cause the feeling of burnout. Often times, people experience burnout as a result of lifestyle choices and, in this case, pushing yourself too hard on a particular task or habit in a short amount of time.

Setting fitness goals and resolutions is great for accountability, but it’s crucial to set realistic personal goals for yourself, your abilities and your body. A common misconception is that, by squeezing in all necessary workouts in a short period of time, results will come quicker. In reality, you are more likely to feel extreme fatigue if you take this approach and, what’s worse, your body will lose the ability to recover – making you even more at risk for injury or illness.

To reduce the risk of burnout and keep yourself from overdoing it, planning your workout schedule in advance could be extremely beneficial. When creating your plan, it’s crucial to implement proper recovery times. Again, recovery days are necessary for your continued wellbeing – try to get into the practice of thinking of them this way. Avoid doing the same type of workout each day and remember, listen to your body. If you’re someone who enjoys working out each day, just make sure to incorporate those much-needed recovery sessions throughout or engage in activities that target different areas of the body or vary in intensity. When in doubt, stretch it out! For instance, throw in a yoga day after a high-intensity session.

It’s also important to give yourself time to learn new or complex workouts. Variety is crucial to avoiding burnout and, as you incorporate new routines, classes or exercises into your schedule, some might be easier to pick up than others. Don’t get frustrated or give up! Fitness is a practice and you’ll find that with time and patience, you’ll be able to master new skills that will help you feel challenged and keep your routine fresh!

A key tip to remind yourself – do not feel guilty for missing a workout. Life happens and it’s important to never lose sight of that. You should not feel obligated to double up on a workout if you missed a day, as it could cause even more stress on yourself and body. If you’re committed to a long-term exercise plan and healthy lifestyle, skipping a workout every so often due to work or social obligations will not derail you completely! If you do try to squeeze in a workout, your risk of injury could be significantly increased, which of course is the last thing you will want if you’re training or trying to stay in shape.

Overall, it’s so important to listen to your body and react accordingly. If you’re pushing yourself too hard, you will certainly feel it and trying to force a workout while you’re fatigued can lead to poor form and injuries. Hydration and good nutrition both play an important role in your recovery, so try not to neglect those factors! As you plan your workout schedule and incorporate new forms of exercise, make sure you’re fueling yourself in the correct way based on your activities to avoid injuries and fatigue.

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