How To Stay Consistent With Your Home Workout And Avoid Burnout

If you're sick of your home workouts and are feeling the need to skip them, but also want to stay consistent with exercising, this article is for you.
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The year 2020 saw the emergence of several trends. There was the Banana Bread, Focaccia Bread, and the Dalgona Coffee. However, the biggest trend that came out of this pandemic either out of choice or a lack thereof was home workouts.

Even the biggest gym-goers were forced to switch to home workouts during the lockdown and many have decided to continue with them even as the world opens up. Not only have these workouts proven to be time-saving and convenient but are also effective and much cheaper than gym memberships. 

Home workouts have become a trend in 2020
Home workouts have become a trend in 2020

I'm a huge fan of home workouts for all of these reasons and have been doing them for about 6 years now. However, I often find myself struggling with staying consistent.

There have been different reasons for this but over the years I've noticed a trend wherein, after a few months of working out, I start to get so tired of my exercises that eventually I just don't want to work out at all.

At this point, every exercise and every move feels forced and exhaustion takes over. For someone who loves working out, this is not a normal feeling. But I'm sure we've all felt this at some point of time or the other.

The feeling of continued tiredness, exhaustion, and lack of motivation and interest towards working out is referred to as "exercise burnout" or "exercise fatigue".

The term is commonly used by avid trainers and athletes who are known to train extensively. However, it is not limited to just the gym or heavy lifting and can apply to exercising of any form.

Here are the common signs of exercise burnout:

1. Feeling of haterade towards exercise

You just hate the thought of exercising. Every time you think about it, you feel a sense of frustration to the point where you'd much rather do something else other than a workout. 

2. Procrastination when it's time to workout

Everything around you seems to be extremely interesting when it is time to exercise. Watching memes, scrolling through your never-ending Instagram feed, and even staring at the wall when it is time to workout are all signs of procrastination we've all been guilty of. 

3. Mental and physical tiredness before, during, and after a workout

One of the major reasons for you to feel haterade and procrastinate before a workout is a physical and mental tiredness resulting from burnout. This feeling of tiredness is consistent throughout even when you manage to get a workout done.  

4. Irritation and moodiness- the absence of the exercise endorphins

If you are someone who enjoys the endorphin rush after a good workout, you may find yourself being irritable and moody when you're nearing burnout. 

Long periods of not working out due to burnout can make it challenging to bounce back.
Long periods of not working out due to burnout can make it challenging to bounce back.

The biggest challenge with experiencing burnout is you often don't know how to get out of this rut. You end up not exercising for a long period of time after which it becomes extremely difficult to restart and get back on track. In addition to this, it can also impact your fitness goals and targets. 

Having experienced brief periods of burnout over the years and keeping in mind the challenges associated with it, here are a few tips that can help you stay consistent with your home-workouts while avoiding burnout.

1. Do what you love and enjoy

It is always a good idea to do the exercises or activities that you enjoy doing. This way, when it is time to exercise, you will look forward to your workout and will be less likely to make excuses to skip it.

If you are someone who follows a schedule or a plan, try to incorporate your favorite workout more frequently especially when you feel like you're approaching a possible burnout stage. It is also recommended to reduce the intensity of your exercise at this point and do what works best for you.

Do the exercises that you enjoy to stay consistent
Do the exercises that you enjoy to stay consistent

2. Simple exercises can be very effective

Sometimes, it is easy to get carried away with complex, big moves because you feel like you're not doing enough or because you feel that basic moves are just not as effective. While it is great to practice more challenging workouts with complex moves to improve overall fitness, sometimes it is best to stick to the basics.

A simple squat, push-up, or lunge can be very effective and show great results when done correctly and consistently. If you are someone who usually loves a challenging, complex workout, but sometimes you notice that they're not as exciting; it is best to tone it down then and do a simpler workout. Listen to your body and don't try to force yourself to do something that you're not mentally and physically prepared for.

I would also recommend that you include a simple workout now and then in your schedule because back to back complex workouts can put a lot of pressure on your body and cause physical burnout faster.

Simple workouts can be effective when done consistently
Simple workouts can be effective when done consistently 

3. Train different parts of the body each day

When I used to work out at home a few years ago, I always did full-body workouts and did not believe in dedicating a day to each part of the body. This is a common mistake that people tend to make with home workouts. Regular or daily full-body workouts can tire you out, cause physical exhaustion and push you to burnout.

This also means that your muscles will not have sufficient time to recover because of being exerted constantly and can negatively impact your physical fitness results.

An effective way to tackle the issue of overworking the entire body is to train different parts each day and limit full body workouts to only once or twice a week. This is especially beneficial if you do strength training. This way each muscle group has enough time to recover and heal before it is trained again.

For example, you could do upper body on day one, lower body on day two, and abs with a bit of cardio on day three so that each muscle group has enough time to recover and recuperate.

An added bonus of dedicating a day to each part of the body ensures that each of the muscle groups is given enough attention and properly trained. I've adopted this strategy and it has made a significant difference to muscle definition.

Training different body parts can help with muscle recovery and also ensures that exercises are not repetitive
Training different body parts can help with muscle recovery and also ensures that exercises are not repetitive

4. Incorporate fun activities of your choice to keep your schedule exciting

Exercising does not have to be limited to just doing traditional cardio or strength training. You can make working out fun by including a variety of activities such as cycling, swimming, yoga, pilates, or even dance.

In fact,a study on the effect of dance and aerobics on body composition in the International Scientific Conference FIS Communication Journal 2016, shows that dancing and aerobics can help in reducing body fat percentage and visceral fat while building lean muscle, bringing about a change in overall body composition.

Pilates and yoga are also extremely effective in sculpting and targeting specific muscle groups that do not get as much attention from traditional exercises. The moves may seem simple but can produce a killer burn and requires a lot of focus, precision, and balance.

Alternatively, you could indulge in outdoor activities and go on a hike or play your favorite sport so that you look forward to exercising. Include more of these fun activities in your schedule when your usual workouts are losing their shine to ensure that you stay active even on your low days. You could even grab a few friends or family members and make it a group activity!

Fun workouts will ensure that you look forward to your exercises
Fun workouts will ensure that you look forward to your exercises

5. Give your body sufficient time to recover

Recovery is one of the most important aspects of working out. In order to reap the maximum benefits of your workout, you must ensure that you give your muscles sufficient time to repair and recover. It is best to keep aside a minimum of one day every week for rest and recovery. Depending on how your body is feeling, you can even choose to take more time off.

Now, recovery no longer means sitting all day and doing nothing. You can choose to do light activity such as a 20-30 minute deep stretch to release all the stress from the week's exercises. Foam rolling is a great way to get an extra stretch in. This will help you relax and can also aid recovery. Alternatively, you could also take your puppy on a nice walk, or go on a relaxing cycle ride to enable recovery.

The process of performing low intensity exercises or activities after a strenous workout is referred to as active recovery.

Active recovery has several benefits that can speed up the recovery process. A study in the Journal of Sports Sciences also shows that active recovery after strenuous exercise can help clear blood lactate levels much faster, thereby enabling efficient recovery. 

Sufficient recovery is necessary to see the benefits of your workout and give your body time to recover.
Sufficient recovery is necessary to see the benefits of your workout and give your body time to recover.

6. Maintain a simple schedule

Having a schedule is a great way to stay accountable and understand how regular you are with your workouts. In addition to this, it is also very convenient to have your workouts for the week planned out so that you can skip the stress of having to decide on a workout for the day. I'm guilty of spending way too much time deciding on what to do on a given day that I eventually end up not working out at all.

When I say follow a schedule, I don't mean a strict, complicated schedule with multiple workouts. It can be a simple schedule that allows your body sufficient time for muscle recovery and is also fairly flexible to include a range of your favorite activities a few times a week. This is especially helpful when you need to change up your schedule to accommodate more fun or relaxed exercises to avoid burning out.

Here is a simple exercise schedule that you can use to plan your workouts.

Day of the week Target area
Monday  Lower Body
Tuesday  Upper Body
Wednesday  Abs and Cardio
Thursday Yoga
Friday HIIT
Saturday  Dance / Badminton
Sunday Rest Day / Active Recovery

7. Track and record your workouts

Keeping a track of your exercise reps, time and the weight you're lifting can help you track the intensity of your workout. This is beneficial in making continuous progress or even understanding when to tone it down and reduce the intensity of your training on a low-energy day.

This simple step can help you gain a lot of insight into what your body is capable of and also decide what level of intensity it can handle on any given day and help to avoid exhaustion. 

Keeping track of your workout progress helps with understanding intensity.
Keeping track of your workout progress helps with understanding intensity.

It is important to keep in mind that these tips will be most beneficial if you have your basics right. What I mean by basics is simple factors such as fuel through food and proper nutrition and a good night's sleep. Both of these are extremely important in ensuring that your muscles recover properly and can heal from the day's workout. 7-9 hours of sleep in particular is extremely important for mental alertness in addition to a slew of other benefits. 

If you follow all of these tips, you can stay consistent with your workouts and achieve your fitness goals while avoiding burnout. If you are currently in a burnout phase and are looking to bounce back, try to start small and work your way up using these tips. 

Finally, understand yourself and be kind to your body. Listen to what your body needs and take it easy with guilt-free breaks or rest days as and when required. 

Chai obsessed book lover with a huge passion for food, fitness and all things creative✨

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