Exercise is an important part of living a healthy life but sometimes your body just needs a break. Workout burnout is an extremely common issue for those who regularly engage in physical activity.
Exercise burnout can manifest both physically and mentally. According to Mind Body Green, symptoms include physical fatigue, poor performance, feeling continually run down, exhaustion that you can’t seem to cure and generally feeling mentally drained. Pushing through workout burnout can be dangerous and cause physical injury or lead to adrenal fatigue.
Are you suffering from exercise exhaustion?
Asking yourself a few questions will help determine if workout burnout is what’s plaguing you:
- Are you training too much?
- How many rest days are you having every week?
- Do you feel exhausted or energised after you finish exercising?
- Have you been getting results from your workouts or have you hit a plateau?
- Have you been more moody than usual?
- Have you been feeling constantly sore after exercising?
If your answers reveal that you might be exercising just a bit too much or that it’s having a negative impact on you, burnout could be the culprit.
How to beat workout burnout
Rest is essential
Having rest days are necessary for both preventing and treating exercise burnout. Try and take one to two days off exercising each week. If you’re still struggling after implementing regular rest days, ditch the high impact movement in favour of something low impact like walking or yoga. Your poor bod might just need a little break!
Mix up your movement
Sticking to one style of high impact exercise can easily fatigue your body. Exercises like HIIT, spin classes or strength can quickly lead to burnout if you’re not taking the proper precautions of rest and regularly mixing these with low impact movement.
Do what feels good
If you really enjoy Pilates but can’t bring yourself to do a HIIT session, then don’t! Try to avoid forcing yourself to jump back into styles of movement that require a lot of physical and mental exertion. Stick to what you enjoy and slowly build yourself up to incorporating these other types of exercise.
Exercise is extremely personal (and everyone reacts differently) so only do what is comfortable for you! Consult your GP if your symptoms persist.