As counter-intuitive as it sounds, you’ve probably noticed that you feel less tired at work when you’re squeezing in a daily training session. Hit the gym in the morning, for example, and you’ll find that your energy levels are less likely to nosedive in the afternoon. And here’s another surprise: according to psychologists at the University of New England in Australia, higher-intensity training is your best bet for avoiding burnout, the state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
A combination of tough cardio and strength training is an effective prescription for the chronically overworked because each kind of training confers different benefits on your emotional well-being. In their study, lifting weights scored highly for boosting feelings
of personal accomplishment, while cardio was better at reducing indicators of emotional exhaustion. Both kinds of training were found to be equally beneficial for expelling stress.
You can, of course, create your own burnout-beating programme. However, as a ready-made test of strength and endurance – with the added benefit of group-workout camaraderie – CrossFit might be your smartest solution. Routines typically consist of compound moves performed at high intensity, scaled according to your ability, putting both your lungs and quads through the wringer.
As a bonus, your own “workout of the day” (WOD) is selected for you, removing the hassle of trying to pick which cardio machine to queue at – or talking yourself into doing front squats when you’d rather be benching. It’ll add a load to your barbell, while taking one off your mind.
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