Keeping the flame alive for fitness: How to avoid workout burnout and keep your love affair with working out hot n’ spicy.
As a personal trainer, fitness is my life, my livelihood and what I love. But I am not immune from feeling the occasional burnout on the fitness front. Here is my arsenal for staying interested and keeping that love for fitness alive and well….
Variety is the spice of life (and fitness)
A huge cause of burnout is boredom. Sure, we all have classes and routines we love, but do the same workout too many days in a row and boredom may start to creep in, leaving you less than excited for your sweat sesh. Solution: Mix up your workouts. I recently had been doing a lot of hot yoga and it started to feel like somewhat of a chore on some days. So I swapped the yoga studio for a spin class each week. Same with running; when monotony starts to set in, I’ll switch up my running route, swap in a barre class or a tabata class to mix it up. Another benefit of varying your workouts is that the risk for overuse injuries will decrease.
Have a buddy system
When possible, plan to work out with a friend. Make a date for coffee or a smoothie afterwards, or drinks and a meal so you can combine a social and fit get-together to look forward to. Sweating with a friend is a sure fire way to help keep workout burnout at bay. Not only are you adding in an accountability factor, but you and your friend provide encouragement to one another. Healthy competitive drive may add an extra layer of motivation to the mix.
Get excited about your workout gear
I don’t know about you, but I get super pumped about fun workout clothing. Wearing stuff that excites you can increase your motivation to get moving. Love bright colors? Then rock those wild patterns and bold hues. Love mesh and faux leather? Go for it! There are endless options for stylish performance wear that will instantly get you eager to sweat as soon as you put it on. Finding a fun new outfit can get you pumped to hit the gym to show off that sweet outfit while feeling confident. You can use an outfit purchase as a reward for a fitness goal you’ve achieved. Vibes from what you’re wearing can energize your workout and aid in warding off workout boredom.
Music is master
Music is key and should get you fired up throughout your workout. Build a play list that revvs you up and makes you bop your head and maybe even mouth some lyrics out loud to. Many spin classes boast sick beats with fun club-like lighting that help to get any sweat sesh party started. There are even hip hop yoga classes out there. Pick the tunes that get you going! (I’m always preferential to 90s R & B).
Keep your energy levels up by fueling your body properly by making sure you are eating nutrient-rich foods and hydrating. If your body feels lethargic due to poor nutrition, you will not be getting the most out of your fitness and may become burnt out due to feeling tired rather than energized from your workouts. As a vegetarian I have a slew of vitamins and supplements I take along with my diet to keep me feeling strong. If concerned about your energy levels being low, schedule an appointment with your doctor and have a full blood panel done. This can detect any nutritional deficiencies or underlying pathology.
Take rest when you need it
I sometimes have a hard time with this one. But I’ve found that if I begin to feel a bit burnt out, I need to take a couple of days off and recharge. At times our bodies get to the point where they are plain ole exhausted; the combo of physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation, stressors from work, family, school, relationships, etc. can all add up, leading to us feeling fatigued and drained. Sometimes a workout is a cure all, but other times pushing through a workout can be counter productive. Listen to your body. I definitely need to work on this one myself because I have a tendency to have a difficult time simply resting and am always in go-go-go mode. This is a work in progress for me.
Bottom line: keep sweating away and use these techniques to help keep burn out at bay. Listen to your body: love and appreciate it for what it does for you and for what YOU do for it. Be proud of yourself and your efforts to keep and stay healthy. #thesweatlife
All outfits seen on Jen are from www.sweatnsk.com.