7 Signs Your Workout Isn’t Right For You, Based On What Your Body Is Telling You
It's a good feeling when you get settled into a consistent workout routine, but if your body isn't reacting in the way you would have hoped it would, it may be time to reevaluate the type of exercise you're doing. Your body can start exhibiting signs that your workout isn't right for you, and paying attention to how you feel, both mentally and physically, can help you decide if it's time to switch up your workout routine and get yourself back on track to feeling your best.
Not all workouts are right for everybody. "The number one thing to consider is your current fitness level and overall health," personal trainer Heather L. Tyler, NSCA-CPT, tells Bustle. "If you are new to exercise, haven’t done it in a while, or have a pre-existing health condition, there are certain high impact/high intensity workouts that won’t be right you at this point."
It's not always obvious what type of workout is going to be the best fit, but there are ways to tell if what you are currently doing isn't jiving well with your body. Here are seven ways your body is trying to tell you that your workout isn't right for you, according to experts.
1. You Have Extreme Muscle Soreness
"It’s normal to have some muscle soreness after a hard or new workout," Tyler says. "But extended soreness past three days is not a good sign. If you are always sore, your body may be telling you that your workout is too intense for you right now." Slow your workouts down, reduce the intensity, and allow for more rest between workouts, "Then gradually increase the level at which you are working," she says.
2. You Are Always Fatigued
Exercise should leave you feeling energized overall, not sluggish or lethargic. "If you're constantly exhausted, perhaps you may be working out too much," personal trainer Mike Martin, tells Bustle. "Add in a recovery day, try a different workout modality (yoga, pilates, running, etc.), and make sure you're not only eating enough, but getting ample sleep to allow your body to reap the benefits of all the hard work you're putting in."
3. You Have Plateaued
If you no longer feel challenged with your workouts or don't feel internal or physical changes, your workout routine may no longer be right for you anymore. "Our body is designed to adapt and be more efficient to stay in [a state of balance]," Martin says. "[...] when you consistently do the same workout such as 20 minutes of cardio with a similar speed, resistance, or incline, after a few weeks, your body will stop [being challenged]. Instead, switch up either the duration, intensity, or resistance with each workout," and your body with respond to the dynamic workout.
4. You Dread Going
If you're dreading the moments leading up to your workout and forcing yourself through, you may not be doing the right workout routine. "Working out should not just be about your goals," Tony Carvajal, RSP Nutrition athlete and certified CrossFit trainer, tells Bustle. "It should also be an enjoyable uplifting experience that you look forward to each day. If you find yourself dreading going to the gym it’s time to change up the regimen[...] Try something different and make sure to find the gym, class, or style of training that you enjoy."
5. You're In Pain
Some soreness a day or two after a hard workout is perfectly normal. "But if you are experiencing any sort of workout pains, whether they're sharp, dull, or otherwise exacerbated by your physical activity, you need to stop before you further injure yourself," Carvaja says. "Pain is a warning sign from your body. It’s a way of protecting you, and it most likely means something is functioning incorrectly. That could lead to serious injury."
6. You Get Dizzy
Headache, nausea, and dizziness are all signs that something is going wrong in your workout. "You are likely pushing too hard for your current state, or you are doing a workout under extreme conditions," Carvajal says. "A too intense of a workout can cause all these symptoms. Dehydration is a key culprit, as is not eating enough of the right foods and getting inadequate sleep."
7. You're Sick Often
"Overtraining can cause a weakened immune system, adrenal issues, low body weight and amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle)," Tyler says. "Rather than improving performance, you are actually causing damage and weakening your body’s ability to achieve your goals. Other signs of overtraining include restlessness/sleeplessness, loss of appetite, irritability, loss of interest, and depression."
Checking in with how your body feels can help you understand if your workout is best for you.