7. You Have an Injury That Won't Heal
You ice it and rest it and your arm still hurts when you exercise. "Chronic injuries are often from overuse or repetitive strain," says John Higgins, MD, director of exercise physiology at the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. "Tennis elbow is a frequent chronic injury that can result from tennis or even repetitive activities such as typing, painting or using a screwdriver."
Makeover approach: First, see a doctor to determine the cause of the pain, says Dr. Higgins. In the case of tennis elbow, poor backhand technique, a racket with the wrong size grip and too-tight strings may be root causes. "Strengthen and stretch the muscles and tendons involved in your exercise routine or sport to help prevent injury," says Dr. Higgins. (Did you know? Here are 8 Common Injuries You Can Still Exercise With.)
8. You're irritable
Snapping at your spouse and tossing and turning at night could be signs of overtraining, says Carol E. Torgan, PhD, exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. "It's most likely if you also have an elevated resting heart rate and notice a drop off in improvements with training." Too much intensity, workout frequency or a combination of the two without sufficient rest can trigger these symptoms.
Makeover approach: Keeping a training diary can help you discover the problem, says Dr. Torgan. Training diaries vary in the specifics but should include categories for mental states along with sets, reps, weight lifted and specifics related to your goals. Look for free journal templates online to suit your specific goals.
9. Your Joints Hurt
Jumping into your routine without warming up and stretching first makes it likely you're going to hurt yourself, says Nathan Wei, MD, director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, Md. "Even if you're accustomed to working out but you change your routine, it can cause joint pain if you're not warmed up."
Makeover approach:Always warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio (like walking) and then stretch before you workout, says Dr. Wei. "Stretch again after your workout, focusing on the muscles you used in your workout." Plus, regardless of the exercise or routine, start off slowly until you understand the mechanics, says Dr. Wei. "Cross-training also helps. Don't do one thing like the elliptical for an hour a day for six days a week. Switch to the stationary bike or other equipment a couple days a week."
10. Your Goals Have Changed
The reason you began working out may change over time and as you age. Maybe you initially wanted to lose weight and now you're concerned about bone strength. Or you've been diagnosed with a health issue. "Any health-related new diagnosis, such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, etc., is good reason to readjust your goals," says Pire. "Or your fitness-related goal may now be a performance-related goal, such as planning to run your first 5K."
Makeover approach: Talk to your doctor about exercise if you've been diagnosed with a health issue that affects your workouts. A plan including resistance training plus impact training (jumping) was shown to maintain bone density of the spine, according to a 2011 study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
Stay in shape in a fitness class.