Friday, June 19, 2009

Exercise Burnout or Lack of Motivation?

When your alarm screeches at an a.m. hour, that should never be seen unless you have a newborn, do you leap out of bed thrilled to hit the gym or lace up your running shoes or do you roll over and smack the darn thing. Lately I've been more of a smacking kind of gal. Once I finally get to the gym or go for a run or bike ride I really do enjoy myself but I honestly dread going. 

I wonder if I'm suffering from burnout or if I'm just lacking sleep or motivation. Most of the articles I read about exercise burnout suggest that it may stem from over-training with symptoms such as decreased performance, lack of coordination, loss of self-esteem, or prolonged recovery from injuries. If you have any of these symptoms you should reevaluate your training schedule, include more variety in your routine, and maybe force yourself to take a break a couple of days a week. 

But what if you're just like me and need a kick in the running skirt? Here are some ideas that have helped me through the years.

1 - Put your alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

2 - Set out your clothes the night before - it just kills me if I have to put those clothes away clean.

3 - Plan on meeting a friend - make sure it's someone who makes you feel guilty if you don't show up! 

4 - Put a quarter in a jar each time you workout or make a conscious choice to not eat a treat, in a few months you might be able to buy yourself a shirt.

5 - Go to bed on time - Set a certain time each night and force yourself to go to bed. (This one never works for me, but maybe it'll help some of you!)

6 - Get your spouse/significant other on board. Write down your goals and then share them with someone who loves you and wants to see you feel good. They won't even have to say anything if you mess up, just knowing that they know will help keep you on track.

7 - Vary your workout. This helps with not only burnout but increases your results. Try a new type of cardio or a new class at the gym or a new strength-training move. Get outside and do something fun like hiking, climbing, swimming, or a team sport.

8 - Plan out your workout the night before. You won't waste any time in the morning and you'll be focused on your goal. Sometimes this helps me but sometimes I'm apprehensive about how hard the workout is going to be and I smack that snooze again and again!

I'd love to hear your ideas for how you stay motivated.




I thought this article had some great exercise motivation ideas -

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