Workout burnout happens to committed exercisers and is more of a mental and emotional slump. You can’t get burnt out if you have hardly started. If you exercise sporadically, twice a week or don’t really enjoy your exercise sessions in general, you don’t have burnout. You are just bored or not into it. The following tips are going to be effective for established, regular exercisers. If you enjoy fitness and are lucky, this won’t happen to you often and the second half of this article is dedicated to avoiding developing burnout. Over the course of your life, however, you may find yourself burnt or in a slump.
New activities. This is a classic motivator, but if you are slumped doing your favorite activities you probably want to fall back in love with them. New techniques within the same activity is the answer. Weightlifters can try negatives where you lift quickly and extend painfully slowly on a 1:5 count. Runners may want to change their gait.
Hire a trainer or a coach. When was the last time someone critiqued your freestyle? Sure, you have been swimming for years and can do it just fine, but if you have something specific to work on you may be more eager to hit the pool.
Try a new class. Even if you hate it, it can renew your love for your routine. Trying the same class you always do with a new instructor can have a positive effect too.
Buy new sport clothes. Everyone feels renewed in new duds. If you can work it into your budget, a head to toe new outfit is going to have a greater impact than just buying a new pair of black pants.
Set a new goal. As a person committed to lifelong fitness, exercise is a continuum with no end. Making defined goals with a timeline can give you a boost in motivation. If you are a cardio junkie, make a weightlifting goal designed to improve you running abilities.
Workout in a new location occasionally. Try a track or a park.
Read some fitness success stories. Sometimes hearing about how hard Olympic athletes train or how someone ran a marathon after knee surgery is enough inspiration to get you back in the game.
Get a workout partner. Even if you only meet up once a week or once a month, it can be refreshing. Trade off who plans the workout rather than just ‘figuring it out’ when you get there.
Take a gym break for 7 days. I do this when I am feeling over-trained and burnt-out (about once every three years). I exercise 5-7 days a week; it is a set part of my daily schedule. Taking 7 days off, as in not even going to the gym to stretch can really refresh you. With the extra time, you can get a lot done, which can decrease your baseline stress level. After 5 days I am missing my gym buddies and have way too much pent-up energy. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Do activities you love and you may never get burnout.
Vary your workouts often. Even a strict workout schedule can have lots of variety (and should).
New music. Tons of channels and nothing is on TV? This happens with the new music devices. With so much storage, you have every good song you have ever heard with you and this gets dull. Keep only 20-30 songs with you and then change your whole storage file.
Change your fitness focus throughout the year. Even if you love Step and always do it, you can focus on certain aspects of the activity. Focus on jumping higher for 3 months for example (or squatting deeper, or getting your high knees up to chest height).
Stop going through the motions. I’ve seen people attend kickboxing classes for years and still can’t throw a proper punch. Focus on improving your technique. This may require slowing down and missing a few beats in a class situation. You can focus on form and speed once you master your new form. You get more out of a workout when you do it right rather than quickly trying to keep up. This may help you enjoy class more than taking a break from going.
Don’t workout while on vacation unless you really want to. My vacations are always active with hiking, kayaking and walking tours, but I don’t bother with hotel Pilates classes or trying to fit in morning runs. This makes exercise a chore. [I don’t binge eat or drink…I never vacation from taking care of myself. This may not work for you if you typically return from trips 5 pounds heavier.]