Four Ways Your Workout Routine Can Stress You Out
Everyone has been told time and time again that engaging in exercise regularly is good news for their physical and mental health. This is usually true, and the importance of exercise to people’s well-being cannot be emphasized enough. Your body adapts to regular workouts when they are done correctly, resulting in physical changes that help to decrease your likelihood of developing a range of health conditions, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. In addition, regular exercisers tend to have a reduced likelihood of experiencing mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Despite the benefits of exercising, your workout routine can have negative consequences. Much of the time, these negative effects stem from a lack of knowledge. Stress is one negative outcome that can arise from your workout routine. It may also be one of the least acknowledged negative outcomes since physical activity is renowned for reducing stress. Here are four ways your workout routine can stress you out and what you can do about it.
Relying Too Much on High-Intensity Training
If you believe that more is always better when it comes to physical activity, you may also believe that high-intensity training should be your number one fitness priority. High-intensity workouts are known to be great calorie burners and, therefore, great for weight loss or preventing weight gain. However, high-intensity workouts can have negative consequences. Since high-intensity training is demanding on the body, it can have negative and potentially serious consequences if you engage in it excessively or when you are stressed, as well as if you have certain health conditions.
One negative effect of relying too much on high-intensity training is that it can heighten stress. Exercise itself puts physical stress on the body, thereby triggering cortisol release. Cortisol is a hormone that is linked to stress, as well as fat retention. If you engage in high-intensity training too frequently throughout the week or on days where you are already feeling stressed, it can cause you to feel more anxious and impede on your fitness goal of keeping fat at bay.
You can avoid feeling anxious from high-intensity training by only engaging in it a few times a week and by avoiding it when you feel highly stressed. You may opt to replace high-intensity training occasionally with exercises that are gentler on the body, such as yoga and walking. If you are feeling particularly stressed, you could add a stress management technique to your gentler workout (e.g. incorporate mindfulness into walking). Alternatively, it could be that you simply need time off working out to relax and rest. If this is the case, give your body what it needs so that you can return to your training recharged and ready to go.
Only 2 – 3 day per week of HIIT workout is necessary. These workouts should be a few days apart.
Your Workout Routine is Too Rigid
Sometimes workout routines must be highly rigid. This is typically the case if you are training for a specific event, such as a marathon or weight lifting competition. Alternatively, you may need to maintain a certain level of fitness for recreational activities, such as scuba diving. In other cases, having a workout routine that is highly rigid can cause unnecessary stress.
When a workout routine is too rigid, it can cause you stress by making you feel pressured to fit your workout into a busy schedule. You may experience this type of workout-related stress if your life has recently become more hectic or if you have biased ideas about what qualifies as exercise. If left unchecked, the pressure experienced from trying to fit a workout into your busy day can, over time, make exercise feel like a chore. This may spell disaster when trying to maintain a workout routine since the enjoyment derived from exercise is an important long-term motivator.
If you are struggling to fit your workout routine around a busy lifestyle, try replacing one or two of your weekly structured exercise sessions with physical activities that are easily incorporated into your daily routine and invest in an activity monitor. Small daily changes, such as putting 30 minutes aside daily for walking, could amount to the same number of calories burnt during a one-hour gym session over the course of a week.
Worrying About Being Judged
If you are new to working out, you might get stressed out by the idea of being judged whilst exercising. Your two main concerns are likely to be that people will judge you based on how you look or how you perform. You may find these thoughts mildly discomforting or highly off-putting. They might even discourage you from engaging in exercise altogether.
If you worry about being judged while working out, there are several things you can do to alleviate the discomfort. First, you could take a friend along to your workouts for emotional support. Second, you might decide to change your workout time so that there are fewer people around. Third, you could try exercises that are more solitary. If you opt for the second or third option, be sensible and ensure that you are in a safe environment. Last, you can work out at home.
Comparing Yourself To Others
That stress in your head. Social media is filled with also sorts of fit chics. In fact, you might follow some of them and buy their workout products and programs hoping to look like them. The sad part is you start the program and use the recommended products but do not get the results you were hoping for. Why don’t you have the 6 pack abs or hour glass figure with sculpted and tone legs like they do? One reason can be is because some of the pictures are retouched to perfection. Another reason can be because your body composition might be different due to your genetics. Furthermore, you are not giving the program long enough time to work because you want a quick fix. Most body transformation takes a minimum of 6 months. This varies from person to person because we all have different starting points.
While it is good to visualize your perfect beach body and stick a picture of Janet Jackson with her 6 pack abs on your vision board, you have to get real about the state of your current body. If you start out with just 10-20lbs to lose, then you might achieve that 6 pack abs quicker than someone who has 50lbs to lose. Don’t be stressed that you are not getting the results you want especially if you just started. You have to give it time.
Exercising is known to be highly beneficial to well-being. Nevertheless, stress is one negative outcome that can arise from your workout routine. Your workout routine can cause you stress if you rely too much on high-intensity training, have a workout routine that is too rigid, or if you worry about being judged. You can avoid being stressed out by your workout routine by making changes to it, starting with those listed above.
Exercise places strain on the body and, consequently, poses a risk. You should get medical advice before participating in or altering an exercise routine. You should also ensure that the environment you exercise in is safe.