Written by: Ed Sherako, Health Fitness Specialist
One common problem with fitness enthusiasts who take their consistent workout schedule seriously is burnout. Burnout is caused by overtraining, lack of rest, boredom or a combination of these. This is a problem that needs to be addressed because disliking or even dreading a workout is a bad situation. If someone in training often finishes a warmup, walks away shaking their head and says, “not today”, it is time to think on it.
It is important to recognize the signs of burnout. Lethargy, decreased performance, delayed recovery and decline in progress are major red flags. And it is not just falling off in frequency one needs to worry about. Exercising with poor performance and a lack of focus increases the risk of injury.
Overtraining, an obvious cause of burnout, can be tempered with adequate rest and hydration. Do not think of resting as slacking off as it is an integral part of a well-balanced, smart exercise regimen. Rest days and rest weeks are not for being sedentary. Movement based activities are encouraged on these days including light cardio. Remember also to treat yourself! A nap, hot bath or a massage are great for recovery of the mind and body and may also help with the boredom factor. The burnout tips below include more ideas to spice up the workouts!
Tips to combat fitness burnout:
- Recognize the signs of burnout and/or overtraining.
- Be sure to incorporate 1 or more rest days during the week.
- Do not be afraid to take a rest week between periodized program junctions.
- Change up the exercise selection in creative ways.
- Experiment with new exercise modalities.
- Get reacquainted with an old favorite modality.
- Get a workout buddy.
- Buy yourself some nice new workout gear.