Hitting the proverbial workout wall can happen in any number of ways. For those who exercise often, it can often become difficult to find the motivation to lace up the running shoes or make a trip to the gym. It might be from reaching a plateau, which is a point where you stop seeing improvements or losing weight, or just other priorities taking over your designated workout time. But however it may happen, there are a few steps that can help put you get back on track to working out.
Setting New Goals
How long has it been since you reassessed your workout goals? When you started working out, you may have wanted to lose weight or increase flexibility, but have long since surpassed those benchmarks, and now working out just seems tedious and pointless. Maybe your goals are too high, and your workouts are leaving you tired and overworked. Whatever the reason, if your goals are not aligned well with your workout plan, it can leave you feeling burned out.
Research has shown that setting specific workout goals are better at motivating people to keep at their workout plans. Saying you want to run a mile in less than six minutes is more likely to keep you on track than saying you simply want to run faster. Fitness experts also said keeping track of your progress toward your goals is a great way to stay on track. In other words, your goals have to be clearly measurable.
Goals should also be adjustable, these experts contend, so if you suffer an injury or progress more quickly than anticipated, you should be able to change the goals accordingly. Setting time-based goals is also shown to be effective, especially when they are broken up into smaller intervals. If you want to run a 5K two minutes faster within the next six months, splitting it up into separate 30-second improvements helps keep you on track better than trying all of it at once and seeing little change.
Find New Motivation
Sometimes it takes an extra boost to get to the gym. A pair of recent studies—one on new mothers and another on college students—found that those who had workout partners were more likely to stay active and get more exercise than people who worked out alone.
Another study found that even a motivating phone call was enough to improve a person’s level of physical activity over three months. Knowing that someone is counting on you is a great motivator to keep going to the gym, even if burnout starts to set in, and socializing is a great way to make the gym feel like fun rather than a chore.
New motivation can also come the way of a different workout soundtrack. Listening to the same music over and over can be tedious, and as a result make your workouts begin to feel stale too. Music helps shut out the distractions and relaxes your mind, allowing you to put a better focus on the workout.
Research shows that more stimulating music increases muscle tension, so a switch to faster songs or ones that better catch your attention can make the workout more effective.
Find Something New
If your workout routine consists of 30 minutes on a treadmill followed by a short weight circuit, it can become tedious after doing the same actions repeatedly. Varying the routine is a great way to try new things while keeping motivation high. By focusing on different types of exercise, you can also avoid the plateaus that can put you off to exercise.
The body’s physiological systems are able to adapt to a certain workout routine in about six to eight weeks, so fitness experts suggest changing your routine every few weeks. Researchers from the University of Florida have backed this assertion, finding that people who modify workouts every two weeks over a two-month period found greater enjoyment and were able to stick to a workout schedule better than those who kept the same routine. Use the internet to find new exercises and add them to your workout routine.
Take A Break
Workout burnout isn’t always caused by lack of variety or motivation. Sometimes the body is physically worn out, and attempting to push a workout might lead to overuse injuries. Experts suggest listening to your body—if you are tired, you should rest.
Taking a few days off doesn’t mean shying away from fitness entirely. The time should be spent eating healthy and relaxing, even finding small ways to exercise at home. This time off generally refreshes people and helps build enthusiasm to get back to the gym again, fitness experts say.
Workout fatigue is something that happens to anyone. While it can sometimes be a stumbling block or an excuse to stop going to the gym, with a few simple interventions you can get back into a healthy routine.
Author Bio: Alyssa Benjamin is a free lance writer. She has been trying to lower her expenses, especially her car insurance. She has found many different ways to lower her car insurance rates.