10 Tricks to Avoid Workout Burnout

By Kentin Waits on 24 June 2015 0 comments

We all strive to get there — that magical point where working out evolves past drudgery and becomes a healthy addiction. That state of being where we crave a 30-minute jog the way we used to crave a tin of butter cookies. That's the goal, right? Help yourself achieve it by avoiding the all-too-common fitness fizzle. Here are 10 tricks to avoid workout burnout.

1. Ease Into It

Things that start intensely usually flame out quickly. Take a measured approach when you begin working out; try two 20-minute sessions each week and build from there. If you start equating your fitness routine with exhaustion and pain, you'll soon abandon it.

2. Stay in to Work Out

Sometimes, just the logistics of working out burns us out. Packing the right gear, battling traffic to get to the gym, finding a parking spot, changing…it's like two workouts in one. Simplify things with gym-quality workouts at home or squeeze in a few no-sweat office workouts between meetings.

3. Make Minor Changes Often

Shuffle the order of your workout, add new challenges, or change the venue if you're outside of a gym environment. Little changes every week or so will keep things novel and help avoid burnout.

4. Make Major Changes Regularly

Shake things up completely every couple of months. Use new machines, target new muscle groups, add a yoga or tai chi class, or split one long workout session into two or three shorter ones.

5. Freshen Up the Soundtrack

Music moves us. Even the most monotonous workouts come to life when put to a new soundtrack. Channel your inner DJ; freshen up your playlist and make your fitness routine far less routine.

6. Take a Vacation

That's right, take a vacation. We're all adults here. A temporary break doesn't always mean we're destined to end up eating Cheetos and fried chicken in our La-Z-Boys for the next six months. If you need a break, plan for it, make it brief (three or four days) and then pick up where you left off — refreshed and recommitted.

7. Reward Yourself

If your fitness plan is losing steam, power through by adding a few simple rewards. The trick is sticking to the promise you've made yourself. Make it through the week and take yourself out to dinner. Hit a major milestone and spring for a 90-minute deep tissue massage to work out the kinks.

8. Partner Up

What better way to perk up a workout than by sharing it with someone else? Add a partner to spark motivation, encourage mutual accountability, provide good conversation or comic relief, and keep your goals on-track.

9. Mix Up Machines

I get it. You're a creature of habit and you like what you like. Still, if you're sticking to one or two cardio machines, you're setting yourself up for burnout. Change machines for just five or ten minutes to keep your mind engaged and your body challenged.

10. Play

Working out doesn't have to feel like work all the time. Explore ways to make exercise more fun. Better yet, get social and spice up your normal routine by organizing informal games of racquetball, kickball, volleyball, or tennis matches with friends or coworkers.

Remember, monotony is the enemy of long-term success. Once you've found your fitness groove, it's time to brainstorm ways to keep things fresh, interesting, and challenging. And as long as they keep your goals on-track, there are no bad ideas.

Do you work out regularly? What's your favorite way to stay motivated?

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