High-Intensity Exercise Might Be The Key To Fighting Burnout, According To Study - Men's Health Magazine Australia

High-Intensity Exercise Might Be The Key To Fighting Burnout, According To Study

Joining a CrossFit box or spin class might be the key to staving off mental fatigue.

Even at the height of lockdown, as most of us traded an office for a makeshift desk at home, we found ourselves victim to burnout. Though many assumed that the change in scenery and home set-up would see us unplug from our working lives and turn to those hobbies that make us a vibrant person, instead it seemed the opposite came true: unable to see our co-workers in the flesh, we found ourselves working longer, unable to step away from the computer for fear it would trigger a barrage of emails asking for our whereabouts and questioning our productivity. 

Safe to say, in a culture that wears the phrase “I’m too busy” like a badge of honour, we’re all prone to burnout. But according to psychologists at the University of New England in Australia, higher-intensity training is your best bet for avoiding the feeling of mental fatigue and the state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. 

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It might sound counterproductive to alleviate stress with exercise that is designed to get the heart rate up and see you sweating profusely, but it appears that a combination of cardio and strength training is the prescription we all need when feeling chronically overworked. This is due to the fact that this kind of training offers benefits to our emotional wellbeing. As the researchers discovered, lifting weights scored highly for boosting feelings of personal accomplishment, while cardio was better at reducing indicators of emotional exhaustion. Regardless, both kinds of training were found to be equally beneficial for reducing stress. 

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While there’s no shortage of HIIT workouts out there and a number of online programs and classes you can take that have been designed specifically with this kind of movement in mind, it also bears noting that CrossFit is a great option as it offers not only workouts that will fight burnout, but also the camaraderie of a group training dynamic. Routines at CrossFit often consist of compound movements performed at high intensity, scaled to your ability.

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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