The Pleasure Hack: From Obligation to Enjoyment
Jun 08, 23
Like anything else in life, fitness routines can sometimes become monotonous and draining. We’ve all experienced that sense of workout fatigue or burnout, where the once invigorating exercise becomes a chore. But here’s the thing: just like anything else in life, fitness can also go through seasons, and it’s essential to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. So, let’s dive in and explore how we can navigate workout fatigue and find the right balance for a dynamic and fulfilling fitness journey.
First and foremost, let’s reframe workout fatigue as a sign that your body is craving change. It’s a gentle nudge from within, signaling that it’s time to switch things up. Embrace the idea of a dynamic lifestyle rather than sticking to a fixed routine. Don’t limit yourself to one type of workout—instead, explore various activities that pique your interest. Step out of your comfort zone and try new classes, sports, or outdoor adventures. You can even alleviate some pressure by working out with friends or in groups. You’d be surprised how contagious motivation can be when you’re in the right environment.
Here’s something I’ve been pretty quiet about – I experienced a two-year burnout period with working out. I wasn’t interested in spending hours in the gym anymore – it just didn’t light me up the way it used to. But I also couldn’t shake the guilt either. I’m a certified personal trainer who hated working out for two years. How could I motivate my clients when I myself had become entirely unethused? The more I stewed in guilt and avoidance, the worse it became. It can be easy to let fitness consume your identity, but it’s crucial to take a step back and think about fitness in the long term. I’ve personally been through it all—the guilt, the pressure, the feeling of being constantly “on.” But I’ve learned that my body and mind need more than just physical exertion. They crave rest, rejuvenation, and a shift in focus.
The biggest thing I learned from my burnout is that it’s essential to be honest about feelings of fatigue, boredom, or tiredness. Recognize that too much of a good thing can have diminishing returns. Instead of going through the motions and operating out of habit, focus on intention and excitement in your workouts. When we attach too much importance to guilt or pressure, we overlook the value of enjoyment and pleasure in movement. This shift can be transformative. Instead of solely relying on motivation, aim to find a deeper connection to your body. Explore different activities, routines, and patterns until you discover the ones that bring you joy and make you feel alive.
If you find yourself going through a burnout period, consider it an opportunity for growth and exploration. Instead of trying to go back to “what you were before”, embrace the age, wisdom, and shifting priorities that come with time, age, and an increased perspective. Rewrite your story and create new narratives that align with your current values and aspirations. Rest is just as important as the work itself. Recognize the significance of rest periods, both in your workouts and in life. Schedule rest days and honor them as you would any other commitment. Rest allows your body to recharge, rebuild, and prevent burnout. Rest will be your most crucial tool for progress.
Workout fatigue and burnout are natural phases in our fitness journey. By embracing change, diversifying our workouts, prioritizing rest, and shifting our focus from obligation to pleasure, we can overcome these challenges and find renewed inspiration. Remember, it’s okay to feel fatigue and guilt, but use these emotions as catalysts for exploration and personal growth. Embrace the dynamic nature of life and fitness, and find joy in the process.
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