Originally published on March 29, 2023 at news.fiu.edu.
Having a structured and consistent workout routine makes all the difference in your results. But even when you are seeing results, it is important to listen to your body—and your body may be telling you it’s time for a break from your routine.
Here’s how to identify if you need to pause, and how to go about it intentionally, so that you don’t lose sight of your fitness goals:
Listen to your body when following a set workout routine. If you feel exhaustion, either mental or physical, make sure that you prioritize rest over results. Signs to look out for include dreading your workouts, fatigue or physical exhaustion, poor performance, and prolonged soreness.
Focus on enjoying your routine as much as you focus on results. Being physically active is a lifestyle, not just a commitment to a workout plan! When following a specific program, it’s common to feel overwhelmed or unmotivated at times. In those times, it’s beneficial to substitute your usual workout routine with things that you enjoy and that keep you active. That way, you’re still working toward a physically active lifestyle without missing out on the fun.
Return with a game plan. Whether you’re completely taking a break, or you’re just switching up your current exercise regiment, the way you return to your routine is important.
- Give yourself time to get back to where you were. That can look different depending on the level you were at before and how long of a break you took.
- Start with a simpler version of your routine in terms of intensity and load.
- Take additional rest days to allow your body to recover.
Overall, it’s important to always listen to your physical and mental needs and prioritize how you feel in order to enjoy your workout journey and not get burnt out.
Angeliki (Angie) Mavrantza is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in public health and kinesiology from the University of Houston. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in exercise science and kinesiology with emphases in neuroscience and psychophysiology at FIU. Mavrantza works as the graduate assistant of fitness and wellness at the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center.
The FIU Wellness and Recreation Center is a valuable, on-campus resource that you can utilize to increase your physical activity. For more information about the WRC’s programs and services, please contact WRC@fiu.edu.