If you are bound and determined to be good to your body in 2011 and beyond, here are a few tips that will help you avoid overtraining and exercise fatigue.

  1. Start Slowly – The easiest way to get yourself frustrated is by trying to do too much, too soon.  You and I both know that you were a great athlete in high school and in pretty good shape in college too, but over the course of the years, the body has taken a pounding, and if you try and overdo your workout routine, it is going to quit on you.  The best bet is to start with lighter weights and higher repetitions that you are used to.  Let the body make the adjustments that it needs to make gradually.  This will also help to alleviate the muscle soreness that comes along with performing activities that you haven’t been used to doing in awhile.  Don’t feel intimidated or bad because you are doing lightweight work while everyone else is trying to push the envelope.  When they can’t workout because of soreness
    and end up quitting, you will still be going strong.
  2. Set Goals – Now, setting goals does not only mean that you want to have
    the abs of Janet Jackson and Madonna’s arms.  These are long-term goals that have been achieved through a LOT of hard work (an unlimited cash flow never hurt either).  Setting goals is most like climbing stairs; you want to get to the top of the staircase, but you have to hit every step onthe way up to get there.  So, with that in mind, go ahead and set that top of the staircase long-term goal, but set a
    number of short-term goals in order to get there.  I usually like to go with three short-term goals per long-term goal.  This is an achievable number, and each time that you hit one of the short-term stepping-stones, you will feel better and better about yourself.  Also, when you get to that ultimate goal, make that your base and set a new set of steps for yourself.
  3. Stay Positive – Keeping a positive mental attitude goes a long way
    towards insuring a great workout routine.  You will get out of your workout only what you put in to it.  If negative thoughts get the best of you, then a workout is going to become a chore instead of an outlet, and the  likelihood of dropout dramatically increases.
  4. Stick to It – Over the course of any routine, personal trainers will  tell you that you are going to hit rough spots and plateaus in the road to  fitness.  Don’t let these get you  frustrated.  Keep your spirits up and  know that for each plateau, there is even better greatness over the top of that  hill.
  5. Keep Variety – The quickest way out of any workout routine is  boredom.  If fitness isn’t fun, then it  is quickly out the door.  In order to  combat this, keep a lot of variety in your workout.  Don’t do the same exercises for certain  muscle groups every workout.  Find more  than one or two cardiovascular activities that you like doing.  If weather permits, get outside.  Breath the fresh air and take in the scenery,  even if it’s just for a 30-minute walk.   You’ll feel better about yourself and better about your workout if it’s  different each time.

These five tips ought to help you stay in the groove  long after the others have faded out of the gym.  Then, come summer time and vacation season,  you’ll be the ultimate winner since you stuck with your program and made your  goals.  If you don’t think that you could
do this by yourself, hire a personal trainer, even for a little while.  Not only will they provide you with terrific  variety and safe exercise, but also they will give you some extra motivation  along the way.  So, take the time now to celebrate the summer with your family and friends.  Fitness can be fun; you simply need to find a  way to make it that way for you.