5 signs you're working out too hard

Running, walking, hiking, group exercise courses, cardio equipment, lifting weights at the gym, at home on-demand workouts – there is no shortage of ways to move your body and get in a good workout.

Even with many gyms opening up again, you may not feel ready to go back yet. Or you may feel uninspired by your current routine.

Are you looking for something new, but not sure what is right for you? Consider these 5 questions to help you find your most perfect workout routine.

Why Are You Working Out?

First of all, ask yourself why you are working out. Do you want to increase muscle definition? Feel more confident in your bathing suit when summer rolls around again? Reduce stress? Lower your cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar? Those are all valid reasons to exercise, and your exercise plan should ideally match your goals.

What Is Your Current Fitness Level?

It is very discouraging to start a workout program with overly ambitious goals, only to feel defeated. Choose a plan that is realistic to start, and increase intensity based on your individual progression.

Do You Prefer Exercising Alone, or With Others?

Do you feel unmotivated to go for a walk unless you make an appointment with a friend? Are you inspired by the company of others who are striving to reach the same goals as you? Then group fitness classes at a gym may be your thing.

CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness, and Pure Barre are examples of popular group fitness programs.

Many gyms also offer group fitness classes, including kickboxing, spinning, low-intensity cardio, pilates, and yoga.

On the other hand, some people like to use their workout time to block out the world and focus on themselves. Putting on your headphones and working up a sweat by yourself may be just what you need to recharge. Individual fitness apps such as Couch to 5K are good for that.

Do You Like Working Out From Home?

On-demand streaming workout services or home video DVDs may be a good option for someone who wants the flexibility of being able to exercise any time from the comfort of their home. You also save time by not having to add in travel time to and from the gym. Beachbody on Demand, Daily Burn, Aaptiv, Obe Fitness, and Peloton are just a few of the most popular at-home streaming exercise services.

How Much Guidance Do You Think You Need?

Are you self-motivated? Then you may be able to find a variety of Pinterest workouts that suit your needs. Or do you do better with a coach pushing you? A personal trainer or structured workout program may be more beneficial for you.

What Kind of Activities Do You Enjoy?

Most importantly, you need to find an activity you enjoy and that makes you feel good. The more you dread exercising, the more likely you are to come up with excuses to skip it. Hiking, riding a bike, and even yard work, are great for those who enjoy being outside. If you simply hate running, then training for a 5k is probably not a good idea.

Exercise should not be a punishment for the extra glass of wine or piece of chocolate cake you had the night before. It should be a celebration of what your body can do.

Watch Yourself Soar!

Now that you’ve considered several options, have fun trying out some new things! And remember, you can switch up your exercise routine any time you are bored, struggling, or need a new challenge.