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Fitness Friday: Avoid workout burnout

August 18, 2011

*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. This week he talks about motivation and offers two exercises you can do at home when you don't have the energy to get to the gym. Look for Saturday Morning Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter@RogerSchiffman.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest*

Here's Ron: A colleague of mine at Golf Digest just asked me about the now-infamous "P90x" training program you've probably seen advertised on TV. The program certainly has merit for sculpting bodies, and I would never dissuade anyone from trying it. However, my biggest problem with it for the average person is that it can be too much too soon. The amount of time and effort it takes to complete one session of P90x, or any elite-level program, can actually put you on a road to burnout. You might stick with it for a week, or two, or even a month, but it's extremely difficult to stay motivated to complete the workouts for a long period of time. Especially when your energy level can fluctuate so much from one hour to the next.

I'm not picking on P90x. I feel this way about any exercise program that sets goals that are attainable in the short term, but unrealistic in the long term. Earlier this year, I got on a roll where I was running a 5K every day. But about three weeks into it, I was so sick of running, it almost caused me to stop working out altogether. Remember, you want exercise to become a daily part of your life, but not take over your life. Think about that diet you tried a few years back. You know the one. It had you eating smaller meals, skipping that bagel you love every

morning, dicing up vegetables every day, etc. You lost 7 pounds in a month. And then put them right back on because all you really wanted to do was devour a cheeseburger.

Whether it's diet or exercise or any life-changing plan, my advice is to start small and stick with realistic goals that you can accomplish every day. If you want to lose weight, stop drinking soda. If you want to get stronger, do push-ups and planks in your bedroom once a day. And if you want to reshape your golf game, pick one area where you're deficient--such as a better torso rotation--and focus on that. The other day on, I offered the advice that if you're not motivated to do your workout, then just do one exercise. If you have a little energy left, then do something else. Quit at any point when you feel you're too tired to go on, but make sure you do at least one thing. Make goals attainable and realistic and you won't give up on exercise. It should be like brushing your teeth. Let's hope you do that every day.

For a couple of exercises you can do at home when you don't feel like getting to the gym, click on the video below.

*Ron Kaspriske

Fitness Editor

Golf Digest*

*Twitter @RonKaspriske