So fitness is a HUGE part of my life right now. It is part of my every day routine, something I talk about often, and the basis of my own personal business. That means, that sometimes, I get burnt out. My body decides it's been working really hard and doesn't really want to workout today (or tomorrow or the next day) and mentally I'm too tired to motivate myself to get up and work out. This has happened to me in the past and is happening to me right now, and it sucks.
Because I really hate the way these burn out periods feel, I've been brainstorming on why they happen and how to outsmart them. First off, why we burn out on things we love:
- Habits are harder to form than you think. You may do something every day for 3 months, but since you haven't been doing it your whole life, it isn't really an innate habit yet and that means you're using some level of willpower to do it.
- There is a limit to your willpower. I know that sounds awful, but by this I mean if you have a lot going on that you are sort of fighting yourself to do or trying to be very disciplined about, that drains on your sort of limited daily supply of how hard you can push yourself. If you're using all of that mental energy on getting that work assignment done that you've been putting off, or you're not feeling well so getting out of bed was a huge challenge, then asking yourself to push further and workout can be overwhelming and you just don't have enough willpower left.
- Sometimes we get bored. If you've got your favorite workout program or workout routine that you do every day, that's great, but at some point you might just plain get bored of it. This is definitely happening to me. I'm longing to get back to lifting weights, but have to wait until my marathon is over, but I'm bored of running and my cardio workouts. Sadly, the past couple days that has meant no working out at all.
- The environment can have a huge effect. If it's suddenly dark out or gray and rainy, it can really dampen your mood and your energy. If someone close to you is going through a hard time and their mood is down, that can bring you down. There's a lot that affects us that we may not really notice.
Now for the cures to what ails you:
- Don't stress about it! Getting angry with yourself for missing a few days is not really going to change the fact that you didn't work out those days and it can create a negative feeling around working out in the future. Recognize that you've gotten a little off track and that you need to get back to an active lifestyle. For me, I just try, everyday, to get a workout in. If I'm in a rut and it's not happening, I still tell myself every day that I will and eventually I'll do it and it will feel great.
- Try being active in ways that are not as intense or focused as your workouts. Going for a walk or a hike is far less intimidating and requires a lot less personal motivation than doing a crazy hour long Insanity workout. But guess what? A walk is still so much better for you than sitting on the couch. Once you get life sorted out, you'll get back that extra willpower you need, but in the meantime... just get moving!
- Change up your routine! Try something new to liven up your workouts. I've got tons of suggestions on this site for different kinds of training I've done and there are so many out there, so mix it up. You may actually find a new passion for fitness while you're at it.
- Sign up for a class (with a friend if you can) or go to the gym. Then, all you have to do is get your pretty little butt there and the environment of a fitness class will overpower the weather, your roommate's bad mood, or whatever else is bringing you down. You can't create that in your home, so sometimes you just have to leave.
I hope this is helpful to any of you struggling to get your workouts in. Even the best of us will falter or just plain not feel like it some days, and that's OK. There is always time and a way to get back on track. So don't give up, just keep trying to work out and remind yourself why exercise and healthy eating is so important to you!
I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.