When it comes to getting and staying fit, consistency is a major component to success. Ensuring that you regularly eat nutritious meals and exercise week after week is mandatory. But, too much of a good thing can actually be harmful.
Exercising too much can not only lead to injuries but also to burnout. Burnout is a real toxin that commonly plagues those new to exercise. This is one of the major reasons that so many people quit workout programs before they barely have gotten started.
The motivation for someone to start exercising is often sparked by major events in their life: diagnosis of health problems, break up of an intimate relationship or inability to partake in a prior favorite past time. Motivation is powerful in the beginning and provides what’s necessary to take the first steps toward healthier living.
However, this same positive enthusiasm often turns into a negative because the individual forgets another key component of success: moderation. When an exerciser starts furiously and takes on workouts that are far too frequent and/or far too intense, then inevitably they burnout and quit all together.
As with most things in life, moderation in exercise is very important. A consistent and moderate exercise program varies by individual (and fitness level), but in general you should start slow and build from there. An effective workout plan will slowly increase both your exercise frequency and intensity each week in a safe manner.
Here are some quick tips to help you avoid workout burnout:
- Don’t overdo it in the beginning. Start with as little as just two 20 minute sessions per week and build slowly week after week.
- Work out at home. You’ll be able to save travel time and avoid the “can’t get to the gym” excuse.
- Watch for over training signals which include: loss of appetite, lack of progression, extreme fatigue and recurring injury.
- Start slowly and try to manage your motivation so that it lingers rather than waning after a few short weeks.
- Make at least minor changes to your workout routine every four weeks
- Completely change your routine at least every 8 to 12 weeks.
- Don’t do the same exact workout every session. Try 2 to 3 different workouts per week.
- Strive to try something completely unique and different every few months.
- Take a week off from exercise every 3 to 6 months.
- Alternate between 2 to 3 different cardio machines (or options) within a given workout. Try 5 to 10 minutes of each to stay interested.