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Fit in 5: Five Tips for Avoiding Workout Burnout

Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.

They say variety is the spice of life.

I say it’s the main ingredient to a successful fitness plan.

To stay on the road to health and fitness you need to stay excited about your workouts. They need to stay challenging and engaging. The problem is your body and brain adapt quickly. When your body adapts you stop seeing results which leads to the dreaded weight loss plateau. Or even worse, you use the lack of results as an excuse to abandon your workouts all together!

When your brain adapts, just going through the motions of a workout without thinking, you get bored. Boredom makes it harder to get to the gym when motivation is waning. Having a workout that you actually want to do and feels challenging makes it a lot easier to get out of bed on a cold, dark morning.

To stay on track in your fitness journey you need be ever vigilant, keeping things fresh and new to keep boredom at bay. To avoid fitness burnout (and the plateaus and frustration that fitness burnout leads to), here are my top 5 tips:

1. Workout with a friend. A workout buddy can help keep a long run interesting and hold you accountable when you’re tempted to hit the snooze button. A friend with a greater level of fitness than you can also help you train harder than you might on your own. Being a mentor to a friend who is new to fitness can help you find the joy in exercise all over again.

2. Avoid ruts in your routine. Utilize the local library to try out a new workout DVD or find a new cookbook to shake up your meal plan. Try a different kind of workout all together. Take advantage of introductory offers to try something completely different like hot yoga or martial arts.

3. Tired of HIIT on the stationary bike? Then take it outdoors. Be a kid again and jump rope. Hit the local high school or college track to run stadium stairs.

4. Host a healthy potluck and fitness DVD exchange. Invite everyone to bring a healthy dish (and the recipe!) and the DVDs they have grown tired of to swap for new ones. Use it as an opportunity to talk about everyone’s individual fitness challenges and support each other in overcoming them.

5. Plan a rest into your routine. Everyone needs a day off so make sure you have at least one planned in your workout schedule. I also recommend taking a full week off about every three months. We get stronger during rest and recovery. We come back refreshed and ready for new challenges.

Use these tips to build a fitness plan designed to withstand the test of time and keep you moving along on our fitness journey!

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November 4th, 2011

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