By The FIRM Master Instructor Melissa Hurst
You’ve made it through the holidays! Your weekly schedule, while still hectic, is becoming more routine and you have even found time to fit in your workouts (hopefully). There’s only one problem: Instead of your workouts re-energizing you, they are wearing you down.
If you are facing this dilemma, you are not alone. There are many reasons why you may feel as though your workouts are not giving you the results (emotionally or physically) you expect.
You have not set appropriate goals.
Many people set long-term goals that are ineffective and un-motivating. For example, maybe you set a goal at the beginning of the fall to exercise three times a week. What does that mean? In order for goals to be effective they need to be set using the “SMART” method.
S-Specific: What are you trying to do and why?
M-Measurable: You need to be able to measure your success.
A and R-Attainable and Reasonable: Simply put, you need to be able to realistically reach the goal you set.
T-Timely: Your goal should have a timeframe or a start and end point.
Going back to the original example above, a SMART goal might look like this: “My goal is to work out three times a week for at least 30 minutes. I want to alternate between cardio and weight training, and by the end of February I want to have lost X pounds and X inches.”
Take the time to evaluate your goals and make them “SMART”!
You have hit a plateau.
A plateau is basically a workout rut. Below is a short list of things you can do to overcome this situation.
- Change the Frequency of your workouts by increasing or decreasing how often you work out.
- Change the Intensity of your workouts by increasing or decreasing your weights or level of cardio intensity.
- Increase or decrease the Time of your workouts.
- Alter the Type of workout you do.
Your diet is weighing you down.
If you have set SMART goals and don’t feel like you are in a rut, it’s time to evaluate your diet. Are you properly fueling your workouts? Insufficient calories, poor nutritional value and dehydration can all impact how you feel before and after workouts.
Are you giving thought to your workout TLC?
No, I’m not referring to tender-loving-care here; I’m talking about time-location-concentration. Do you feel more tired at the end of the day versus the beginning? Do you have enough space to properly and safely move during your workouts? Are you often interrupted during your workouts? If your workouts wear you out because of these kinds of issues, consider changing the time of day and/or location and determine if you need to eliminate distractions.
Maintaining a consistent routine of exercise and proper nutrition is hard work! It should be viewed as a lifelong commitment and not a short-term solution. Take the above into consideration if you begin to feel like your workouts are wearing you down. A fresh goal-setting session or new workout location may be all you need to feel the energizing effects of your workouts again!