Fitness Magazine

Stress Sabotages Workouts

By Heather Murphy @MrsMurphysLOF

It’s true that just the right amount of stress can be beneficial to your overall health, but too much can have serious side effects.

Along with sleepless nights and overeating, stress can derail a well- intended workout.

Here are five major ways stress could be sabotaging your workouts.

1. Exercise falls off the priority list- For many people exercise is the first to go when they feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, or maybe you’ve been working overtime to make a deadline and couldn’t possibly put forth anymore effort- mentally or physically.

make it a priority

Try scheduling your workout into your day as if they were any other appointment, and stick to it. Think of all the benefits you will get from making that yoga class. The physical activity helps clear your mind and the endorphin’s will lower stress levels.

2. Lack of sleep due to stress can prevent progression- Have you ever tried working out with only a few hours of sleep in your tank? You literally mine as well go back to bed. Not getting enough ZZZ’s can leave you dragging with intensity, load, distance- the list goes on.

Make  sleep a priority. try winding down before bed by avoiding technology and enjoying a glass of wine or hot tea.

3. Negative thinking- The negative emotions and thoughts that stress tend to arouse can be enough to make you feel like it’s pointless to even try to reach your fitness goals. You may feel helpless, or too weak to succeed.


It’s very important to be aware of negative self talk and train your brain to immediately focus your attention on something positive. It’s very hard at first but gets easier with practice.

4. Weakened immune system- Stress can do a number on your immune system causing you to catch the common cold more often and making it harder to get over any illness you may have. Sure, its okay to workout when you are sick in some scenarios but who really feels like it when you can’t breathe out of your nose and your head feels like a ton of bricks.

Drink lots of water and try not to skimp on sleep.

5. Cravings- Serious cravings are such a bummer and, unfortunately, are a given when stressed out. Obviously eating one too many brownies can hinder your weight loss, but it can also keep you from wanting to hit the gym. Who wants to workout when you feel like Miss Piglet?


It may be easier to avoid hitting up the donuts in the break room when you have a workout scheduled for later that day.

Make exercise a priority and you will find that things fall into place, even when stressed to the max.

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