Why does Working out Stress you Out? (CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS)

Working out can cause stress for various reasons. Maybe your gut feeling already knows what’s happening in your case but you are here to confirm if it is true or not.

In general, there are six main reasons why working out may lead to stress: pushing yourself too hard, not getting enough sleep, unhealthy eating habits, insufficient exercise, lack of motivation, and uninteresting workouts.

Nevertheless, each of these issues is fixable.

As a beginner, I was surprised to discover that working out could be a tedious activity.

Curious about whether others felt the same, I conducted research and found that this was a common issue.

In this blog post, I will share my findings on how exercising can become stressful and the ways you can address it. Additionally, I will answer some of the other questions related to workout stress.

Top 6 Reasons: Why Working Out Can Cause Stress

1. Pushing Yourself Too Hard

If you are experiencing stress during your workouts, it’s likely because you are pushing yourself too hard.

Overexertion can lead to both physical and emotional stress. When exercising, pay attention to your body’s signals and ease up when necessary.

Check out the video below to see how pushing yourself too hard can be detrimental to your health:

2. Inadequate Sleep

Lack of sleep can hinder your body’s ability to cope with stress. When you’re exhausted, your body is under stress and more likely to respond negatively to stressful circumstances.

It’s critical to get enough sleep every night to better manage workout-related stress.

In addition to stress, insufficient sleep can harm your fitness objectives. Discover how in the 4-minute video below:

3. Poor Diet

If your diet is unhealthy, your body may not be adequately prepared for future workouts.

Consuming unhealthy foods can cause physical and emotional stress. To help your body manage stress better, ensure that you consume a well-balanced diet of nutritious foods.

For recommended post-workout meals rich in essential recovery nutrients, see our article here.

4. Insufficient Exercise

Similar to overexerting yourself in workouts, insufficient exercise can also be detrimental to your fitness goals.

Physical activity causes the brain to release endorphins, which can lower stress levels. If you don’t exercise enough, your brain won’t release enough endorphins.

As a result, you may feel fatigued, and the lack of progress from your workout routine may cause stress.

Make sure to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day to help your body experience positive outcomes.

5. Lack of Results

If you are not seeing results from your workouts, it may be necessary to try a different approach. As every person is different, there are several types of exercises and training programs available.

Rather than stressing over the lack of progress, consider changing up your workout routine or joining a training program.

Continue experimenting with different strategies until you discover one that works best for you.

If you want to know the components of a successful training program, watch the video below:

6. Boring Workouts

Repetition of same exercises over and over again leads to an ever growing requirement of self-discipline.

This struggle between mind and willpower can lead to mental stress, which can be eased by taking active rest days and varying your workouts.

To make your workouts more engaging, try doing different exercises for specific muscle groups on different days. This will add variety to your routine and help prevent boredom.

Some other Exercise and Stress Issues and their Solution:

1. Can Over Exercising Cause Anxiety?

There is some evidence that shows that over-exercising can lead to anxiety. When people work out too much, they can experience increased levels of cortisol – a stress hormone.

Cortisol can lead to feelings of anxiety, as well as other negative side effects such as decreased energy, and disrupted sleep patterns.

However, it is important to note that not all people who over-exercise will experience anxiety. Some people may be more prone to it than others, or may only experience anxiety when they push themselves too hard.

If you are worried that you may be over-exercising and are experiencing anxiety as a result, it is important to speak to a doctor or therapist.

They can help you to figure out if your exercise routine is causing your anxiety, and offer suggestions on how to modify it if needed.

2. How to Overcome Exercise Anxiety?

Exercise anxiety can be a real thing, especially if you’re new to working out.

It can be tough to muster up the courage to go to the gym, especially if you feel like everyone else there is in great shape and you’re the only one who looks out of place. But overcoming exercise anxiety doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Start small: If you’re completely new to working out, don’t try to go all out at the gym on your first day. Start with something small, like a 10-minute walk or a light jog. Once you get comfortable with that, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
  2. Find a workout buddy: Working out with someone else can help reduce your anxiety and make the experience more fun. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone to chat with during your workout.
  3. Join a group class: Group classes can be a great way to overcome exercise anxiety because they provide a sense of community and support. You’ll be surrounded by other people who are also working out, so you won’t feel as self-conscious or anxious.
  4. Give yourself time to adjust: It may take some time for you to feel comfortable working out in public. Don’t be too hard on yourself – just keep trying and eventually you’ll feel more at ease.
  5. Visualize yourself having a great workout: Before you head to the gym, take a few minutes to visualize yourself having a great workout. See yourself feeling confident and happy as you work up a sweat. This can help put you in a positive frame of mind and make the experience more enjoyable.

3. Should you Workout if you are Anxious?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Exercise is a powerful way to combat anxiety and improve your mood.

In fact, research has shown that regular exercise can be as effective as medication in treating anxiety disorders. When you’re feeling anxious, working out can help you to feel more in control of your body and your thoughts.

It can also help to release endorphins, which will improve your mood. Exercise is a great way to take your mind off of your worries and focus on something positive.


In this article, we explored six reasons why workouts can be stressful and provided their solutions.

We also answered three important FAQs on exercise and stress-related anxiety.

If you found value in this article, please share it on your social media. Best of luck on your fitness journey!