Just getting started with your workout program? Chances are, you’re antsy to get going. Motivation is high and you’re excited about the results that you will be seeing. But, in all this excitement, one thing that you must be very careful about is the risk of burnout. Some beginners are just a little too motivated and end up pushing themselves too far. For many, maintaining motivation is a real challenge, but for you, it’s the opposite. How can you make sure that you don’t wind up burnt out and can sustain your workout program for the months and years ahead?
Here are three ways that you can avoid exercise burnout.
Vary the intensity of your workouts
First, remember that not every workout you do needs to be done with great intensity. In fact, it’s best to only keep 1-2 more intense workouts in your schedule each week until you advance to the intermediate level. For now, keep most sessions at the low to moderate intensity as your body adapts to the stress of exercise. A few times a week, push the barrier a bit, increasing how hard you work, but then back down the next day. This will help ensure your body is getting sufficient downtime to rest and recover between each workout.
Mix up your workouts to include fun activities
Your fitness plan should never be all work and no play. It’s vital that you really enjoy most of the workouts you do, as this will also decrease your chances of burnout. Once or twice a week, trade in your conventional gym session with a fun workout outside of the gym. Shoot hoops with a friend, go for a walk in the park, even go skiing or sledding! If it’s so fun it doesn’t really feel like exercise, it’s perfect for this purpose. These sessions will help to revitalize you so that when you do head back into the gym, you’re feeling mentally fresh.
Listen to your body
Finally, don’t neglect what your body is telling you. Many beginners haven’t mastered the skill of tuning into themselves and adjusting their workout accordingly. There are times when pushing your body through some moderate fatigue is a wise move. Then there are times when pushing is only going to land you injured, overly fatigued, and on a downward spiral to burnout.
Burnout is a very real and serious thing. You really can be too motivated, so be sure that you are keeping tabs on how you feel as you progress through your program and adjusting the workout schedule as need be. Remember, no workout program is set in stone. The best workouts are adapted to your own changing needs.