We all want to live a healthy lifestyle and working out is an important factor. A strong fitness routine can increase our cardiovascular health, help trim and tone our muscles, and keep our energy levels high. But it’s important to keep our fitness routines balanced to avoid overtraining, which, experts say, “can show up as everything from chronic soreness to mood disturbances.” If you think you’ve been pushing too hard and want to create a more balanced fitness routine, keep reading for tips on how to incorporate more self-care into your workout days.
What if I’ve been Overtraining?
According to Very Well Fit, some of the signs of overtraining are: washed-out feeling, drained, pain in muscles and joints, moodiness and irritability, and increased incidents of injuries. Incorporating self-care into your fitness routine can help you avoid injury, have more effective workouts, and maintain a healthy mind-body connection. It’s a holistic approach that leads to a more sustainable healthy lifestyle.
How do I Incorporate Self-Care Into My Fitness Routine?
Self-Care Starts with Your Mindset
Why are you working out? While there’s no shame in trying to lose a few pounds or get that “beach body”, it’s important that you approach fitness from a place of self-love. Instead of hating where you are right now, or what you look like, learn to love and appreciate your body as it is. You’ll be more apt to listen to your body and not push beyond your edge, which means less injury and greater overall impact of workouts.
Self-Care Includes Taking Care of Your Body
It’s important to nurture your body before, during, and after a workout. Be sure to include pre and post workout stretches and stay hydrated throughout. This 6-minute post workout routine is a good one to include regularly. Never rush into or out of a workout, no matter how busy you are. After all, rushing can cause injuries and derail your entire workout.
Connect to Your Breath
Don’t forget to breathe! We’re all guilty of holding our breath or taking shallow breaths when we’re pushing ourselves. Whether it’s lifting heavy weights or going for a run, staying aware of your breath and breathing deeply can help you maintain good form and have a more effective workout. So be mindful of proper breathing techniques while exercising.
Switch Up Your Routine
One of the most unhealthy exercise habits is doing the same workout every day and doing back to back to back high intensity workouts. It’s tempting to want to get the biggest bang for your buck and thinking that daily HIIT workouts will get you there. But it’s a quick way to burn out and injury. Try switching up your high intensity with low intensity workouts, like a restorative yoga session.
Take a Rest Day
Rest days are not just a good idea, they are vital to a balanced fitness routine. Fitness experts agree that “one of the most important parts of exercising effectively is giving our bodies time to recover.” Just like our minds need to take breaks, so do our bodies. Practice incorporating weekly rest days into your routine and see how much more energy you have when coming back to your workout.
Take a moment to evaluate your current fitness routine: Do you know why you’re working out in the first place? Are you taking a holistic, self-care approach to your workouts? How can you incorporate mindful breathing, warm ups and cool downs, and rest days into your routine? Are you doing the same HIIT workout every day? How can you switch it up and include a more restorative exercise?
Pro-Tip: Create a self-care checklist to help you plan out your fitness routine.
Whatever your exercise of choice might be – running, weight lifting, hot yoga – there are always ways to incorporate self-care into your regimen. It is possible to get healthy, fit, and tone in a mindful way that leads to a sustainable, holistic fitness routine. How are you incorporating self-care in your workouts?