Avoiding Excessive Exercise

The month of January often ushers in feelings of motivation and excitement around new goals and routines for many of us. People often make resolutions involving their activity levels or exercise habits, but this can sometimes be taken too far. It can be tempting to slip into habits that may appear healthy, but in reality, are causing more harm than good to your body. Not taking proper rest days and overexerting your body through excessive exercise can be harmful to your overall health. Here are some tips on how you can safely work towards your new goals.

1. Find a balanced routine. 

Doing the same thing every day can get tiring and cause lack of interest and motivation. By exploring other types of exercise and styles of movement, you can keep things interesting and stay motivated. A great way to do this is through trying different group fitness classes. With different class formats and instructors, you can find classes that fit into your busy life while also making sure you have rest days incorporated as well. Once you find the classes and instructors that you love, you can stick to a consistent and balanced schedule that has all your favorites.  

2. Incorporate mindfulness and mental exercise.

Working and resting your brain is just as important as working and resting your body. Between school, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities, students have a lot going on. Exercise can be a great way to take your mind off some of these stressors, but did you know Rec Well offers ways to exercise your mind as well? Meditation classes, yoga classes, and wellbeing workshops are offered throughout the semester and are a great way to prioritize mental exercise. The skills learned at these programs can be carried over into everyday life to reduce stress.

3. Work with a personal trainer. 

When you are just getting started with incorporating exercise into your routine, it can sometimes be confusing to make a schedule or stay on track. Personal and small group training pairs certified trainers with individuals to create personalized workouts that reflect your interests, goals, and preferences. This can help you make sure you are exercising in a way that is best for you.

4. Check in with wellness coaches.

Rec Well’s wellness coaching program centers goal setting around the seven aspects of wellbeing: health, meaning, safety, connection, growth, achievement, and resiliency. This holistic approach to health is designed to help you create and choose goals for yourself while also making sure these goals aren’t overexerting your mental or physical health. Weekly meetings also help participants stay accountable and rework their goals as needed.

While incorporating intense and frequent exercise may seem like a tempting path for your new year’s resolutions, it can often do more harm than good. There are many campus resources for those looking to change their lifestyle in an approachable, attainable way. Check out Rec Well’s recreation & wellbeing services at https://recwell.wisc.edu/ and UHS’s physical and mental health services at https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/ to learn more about how to achieve your wellness goals this year in a safe way.