By Julie Keating
We all know the old saying, “there is nothing new under the sun”. The same feels true sometimes when it comes to working out. There are only so many ways to move the body, especially for those of us who are limited by both a busy schedule and space. There are only so many times you can hop on a treadmill and stare at a wall, or jump onto a stationary bike without the wind blowing through your hair. So, what does one do to beat back the workout burnout? All too often, the first instinct is to deal with exercise boredom by finding a new workout fad to try, but this may potentially add a whole slew of complications to your life: which one do you try? how much is it going to cost? which company is the best? where are they located? do they offer classes at times that work for you? do you need to buy any new gear? Here’s a simple alternative: instead of always trying the latest fad, try changing your mindset for every workout.
What do I mean by changing your mindset?
There are many different reasons why people workout. There are those who do it to either maintain or improve their physical appearance, while others might be focused on health concerns, or gaining a peace of mind. No matter why you are exercising, the result is the same – you are building a healthy body and soul for the future. Sometimes it isn’t about finding a new exercise routine, but a mental one, to keep those feet pounding the pavement even when you don’t feel like it. Try some of these suggestions to help change your mindset in order to change your workout.
Switch your goal
Even if you have been working out to fight the scale, at some point you are going to become mentally exhausted with the same goal. During those times when you just feel defeated, or bored by what you are doing, try shifting the motivation behind your workout. Instead of worrying about losing weight, change your goal to maintaining your health. When you take the pressure off of yourself and losing weight, and instead allow yourself to be satisfied with just working out to maintain health, you can breathe new life into your workout. If you can stop worrying about burning the most calories, and instead think about things that are going to increase your overall health, this can lead you to branch out into other types of classes at your gym, trying different machines, or new routines. For example, next time you’re at the gym, skip crushing the fat burn cycle on the elliptical and grab a mat and give one of the yoga or pilates classes a try.
Going longer instead of going harder
If you are someone who is guided by the mileage that you clock, then try switching it up. Instead of going 10 miles at a pace of a 7-minute mile, substitute taking your run pace to a 6.5-minute one, but traveling a shorter distance. If you continually challenge yourself in different ways, you will stop yourself from becoming bored. Learning to push yourself to the limit is the key to both physical and mental strength. We sometimes get stuck in ruts where we set goals in defined ways. Thinking outside of your usual definition of what the limit is can have you reaching farther than you ever once imagined. If you are creative and always strive for more, you can override even the deepest rut out there.
Change your workout time
You have different energy levels throughout the day, and everyone has a different internal clock. Your energy level can have a huge effect on your desire to workout at certain times, and thus, your ability to get the full benefit from your workout. If you are finding that come six or seven o’clock you just can’t seem to get your boost, try finding another time to sneak away during the day. If you get a lunch hour, think about the potential of squeezing the time in then. There are many of us who think that we need a full hour or more to go to the gym. You get a lot more health benefit from a workout if your energy is high and you enjoy it. If you can only get in 40 minutes, but you push yourself harder, it is better than dragging yourself through a full hour when you just don’t want to do it.
Consider your diet
If you want to change your mindset, look for things that will improve your overall health. Incorporating nutrition and supplements when possible is a great way to focus not just on the way that you look, but on the way that you feel. All too often we get so caught up in our outward appearance we forget that it is just as important to care for our insides. Focusing on exercising is the key to longevity and quality of life, but no more so than eating right and making sure to get the nutrients that your body needs. If you want to boost your workout, incorporate an entire 30-day plan to strengthen your insides too. Take the time to analyze your diet and see where you can optimize your health. If you lack in energy, boost your immune system by upping your vitamin C. If you are feeling especially stressed out, up your vitamin Bs. Learning to listen to your body, and giving it what it needs, is the key to staying one step ahead of the “workout burnout”.
When we become burnt out with our workouts, we often look for things outside of ourselves for motivation. The key to finding motivation can come not only from the outside, but from within. If you want to find something to motivate you to strap those shoes on and hit the ground running, you can’t always rely on finding the push from things around you, but need the tools to find it from inside of you. Setting a different goal or switching your mindset is the best way to stay on track, maintain your health and to always keep you going even on the hardest of days. So the next time that going to the gym sounds like punishment, turn it into something challenging in a different way than you normally do. Thinking outside the box is not only something that will give you success in the boardroom, but also something that will earn you success for a healthy and long life full of motivation and determination.