Exercise is amazing. It keeps the body active, healthy, and energetic. And, exercise can be extremely addictive. This is truer than ever in today’s world, where people exercise by pushing themselves to their limits.
When this is repeated several times a week, exercise burnout happens. And, unlike exercise, exercise burnout it extremely bad for your body. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can avoid burnout.
#1. Recognize Exercise Burnout
The first step to avoiding exercise burnout is to know what it looks like and how it feels. The most common signs of burnout are being extremely tired after a workout, instead of the energy boost you’re supposed to receive.
Another is, if your body is in constant pain, specifically in your muscles or joints, and if this soreness of muscles lasts more than a day or two. If you feel weak and tired all the time, but can’t sleep at night, you might have exercise burnout. If you notice any of these symptoms, or a combination of them, you more than likely are experiencing exercise burnout.
#2. Go Step by Step
When you decide you’re going to start working out and exercising consistently, it’s easy to overdo it the first few days. However, just like any new ‘skill’, exercise needs to be done in steps. Start with something simple.
For example, if you want to run a 5K, don’t start running during your first training session. Walk for several minutes, then do a light jog, followed by more walking. The next time, you can increase the amount you run and your speed.
This slight increase will keep you moving, but also help your body adjust to your new lifestyle.
#3. Pay Attention
This might go without saying, but as you exercise, you need to start becoming more aware of your body. Pay attention to how your body reacts to certain exercises and how long it takes it to recover from these activities will help you know when to stop and when to rest.
#4. Mix it Up
While it’s easy to find an exercise you love and keep doing it over and over, this leads to muscle fatigue, which will lead to exercise burnout. The best way to avoid this is to add some variety to your workout routine.
Try something new once in a while. And, while cardio can be fun, change it up for weightlifting every now and then. Not only will this give your body time to recover, it will also help you burn more fat.
#5. Vary Workout Times
Even if you’ve set aside a specific amount of time for your exercise, changing up when and how long you workout can give your body a much needed break.
For example, instead of going for a morning run, trying walking during lunch and weightlifting in the evening. This will keep your body at its peak performance, so you don’t have to worry about exercise burnout as much.
#6. Stretch it Out
Stretching can’t be emphasized enough! And this isn’t just if you’re going to be doing cardio. Preparing your body for any type of exercise is vital.
Stretching gets your body warmed up and makes it more agile, so you’re less likely to suffer from accidents and will minimize your recovery time. And, you don’t have to limit your stretching to be just when you’re working out.
A good stretch when you wake up, when you’re tired, or before you go to bed will keep your body running smoothly all day long.
#7. Get Some Rest
This is important in two aspects: Sleeping and taking an exercise break. Sleeping is the body’s way of rebooting. It helps brain relax and get refocused for the next day.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to become stressed and unfocused, which may lead you to working out poorly. And this can lead to accidents and exercise burnout. Secondly, you need to take a break from exercise.
Have a day or two where you just relax and give your body time to heal. You’ll be back afterwards, renewed and ready for new challenges.
#8. Get Social
Exercise doesn’t have to be a lonely activity. Grab a friend or co-worker and go workout together. Having someone who encourages your exercise routine, but also makes sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard, will keep you energetic and healthy.
Plus, you’re more likely to look forward to exercising if you do it with a partner. If you don’t have someone to exercise with, look for local classes that are available. With a professional instructor watching out for you, you’ll be less likely to burnout.
And, who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone who can be your exercise buddy in the future.