If we are being honest, we all have days when we don’t feel like exercising and are tempted to skip our workout for the day. Usually, some positive self-talk or motivation from a friend is enough to push through and get us back on track.
Exercise burnout is a very different, and more serious, matter. It’s when you continually feel run down and exhausted, despite getting enough sleep. Another indication of exercise burnout is when you lose interest in activities or exercise that you used to find enjoyable, and exercise slips off your list of health priorities entirely.
Fitness burnout is generally caused by two things — overtraining and not recovering properly. We’ve compiled a list to help you identify burnout and recover quickly.
Signs of Burnout Syndrome
The physical effects of exercise burnout include overall lethargy, decreased performance, delay in recovery, and a decline in your fitness progress. Additionally, you might experience an elevated resting heart rate, insomnia, mood changes, or decreased appetite. Mentally, it can make you feel bored or drained to the point that you start dreading your once beloved workout or favorite class.
Tools to recover from burnout
This may seem obvious, but if you are suffering from exercise burnout your body is telling you it’s time to rest. But before you settle into binge-watch an entire season of your favorite show on Netflix, consider that an active recovery may be more beneficial, along with proper nutrition, a healthy mindset, and a supportive community.
Yoga is an obvious way to help your body recover, but any form of gentle exercise that is different from the one that caused your burnout can be beneficial too. Walking in nature, swimming, and pilates are a few other options that can help the body heal through gentle movement.
Don’t underestimate the power of a supportive community, like Ohana, to help aid in your recovery. Not only do we offer restorative yoga classes that are ideally suited to facilitate both mental and physical recovery, but we also have fun community events that will allow you to connect with your fellow students and teachers while still honoring your body’s need for rest.
Your mindset is a critical piece of the recovery puzzle. Learning to honor your body’s need for rest and recovery is a process but once you understand that, in order to get stronger, you must take adequate rest days you will be able to avoid future exercise burnout. As you return to your fitness plan, a strong mindset will help ensure that you set realistic expectations and goals so you can stay strong and healthy.
Last but certainly not least, you must focus on your nutrition as your body is recovering. Avoid processed and refined foods and focus on real, whole foods like fruit, vegetables, and high-quality protein. Drink plenty of water (aim for 80-120 ounces of water per day), limit alcohol and caffeine which can disrupt your sleep, and try to make 70% of your plate organic veggies. Your body will thank you!
How to prevent burnout from happening again
The best way to prevent exercise burnout is to ensure you are taking 1-2 rest days (remember, this doesn’t mean sedentary) per week, varying the intensity of your workouts, and choosing multiple forms of exercise to prevent boredom or overtraining. Learning to listen to your body is critical to recognize the early stages of burnout.
Our favorite recipe to prevent future burnout is simple: take it slow, vary your workouts, fuel your body, and consider adding a restorative yoga class each week to help the body and mind fully recover.
Let us help you create variety in your routine and provide classes that give you rest. Get 14-days of Ohana Online free and see what styles support you and keep you from burnout. Sign up today!
Erin Entlich is a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, holistic health coach, and writer. She believes doing good starts with feeling good, which is why she loves helping people weave movement, mindfulness, and healthy eating into their daily lives. Find out more at www.erinentlich.com.