One of the most common reasons people don’t exercise is because they’re too tired. Who isn’t these days? When you’re already exhausted, it seems insurmountable to get up and exert yourself. I’ve felt that way countless times and have skipped exercise because of it more often than I’d like to admit. Unfortunately, in case you haven’t heard, a lack of activity makes fatigue worse. Good grief, are we doomed? Of course not. I’m going to share with you some ideas that can help you get over that slump, and get the energy momentum going in the right direction!
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High Intensity Isn’t Necessary
A University of Georgia study found that among initially sedentary volunteers, engaging in regular, low-intensity exercises reduced fatigue by a whopping 65%, and moderate intensity exercises reduced it by 49%. That means you don’t have to knock yourself out when you exercise, especially if you’re too tired.
According to the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, aerobic exercises including regular fast walking, can significantly increase your energy. The researchers reasoned that increasing oxygen flow to the brain and improving circulation are part of the improvement. Also, low intensity exercise can leave you feeling more confident, in a better mood, and change your frame of mind – all of which can increase your energy. Combine that with better sleep, and you are on the way to feeling a whole lot better.
When you’re too tired to exercise: If you’re starting from a sedentary lifestyle, identify a short distance to do initially, and add a bit each day. You can download my free graphic to help you start identifying short distances. If you’re already a walker, make an agreement with yourself to do an abbreviated route, a shorter time on the treadmill, or use an incline rather than run. As you get moving you may find your energy is increasing and your motivation may rise with it.
The act of connecting with your body not only is good for your health, but you might feel yourself perk up a little and want to do more. In a study at the University of Waterloo, subjects participating in 25 minutes of yoga had a greater increase in energy levels and brain function, when compared to meditation alone and quiet reading.
When you’re tired: Yoga experts have identified certain postures that are believed to increase energy. By focusing on the breath, quieting the other “mental chatter” and connecting with our body, you can feel more grounded, and feel a bump in energy levels. If you’re concerned you can’t do it because you’re not flexible, there are beginner poses you can try – adapting as necessary to your own tolerance/comfort level.
March in place:
When you’re too tired: Since you don’t have to go anywhere, you can wear whatever you have on, and don’t need any equipment beyond a good pair of athletic shoes. So, you just saved yourself the step of changing your clothes. By telling yourself how simple it is, it’s harder to find excuses not to do it. Pick a time frame and go (there’s no time like the present!) If you feel better after you get going, you can bump it up a level by raising your knees higher or jog in place.
Declutter an area:
Ouch. This one really doesn’t sound fun, does it? Wait, hear me out! If you stop and think about how you feel when you’re surrounded by clutter, then compare it to how you feel in a clear and organized space, don’t you notice a difference? Decluttering an area that’s been bugging you has multiple benefits – you will be moving, and getting rid of stuff that’s probably dragging your energy down at the same time.
When you’re tired: Pick one category of items like junk mail, old magazines, expired food, or anything you can grab to make quick progress. Get yourself going by committing to that one category. As with all the other exercises I’ve mentioned, you just might feel a little more pep and end up doing more than you thought you would!
It Can Be Done
Exercising when you’re too tired is not only possible, but totally doable. The most important thing that can make or break us in these moments is what we tell ourselves. A quote commonly attributed to Henry Ford is “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right“. By telling yourself “It’s doable, I don’t have to knock myself out“, you’re taking the first step in counteracting the fatigue that is such a problem for so many of us!
Too Tired to Read a Whole Blog Post, Let Alone Exercise?
Check out my exercise tips that take 30 seconds or less to read!
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had lots of days when I’m too tired to exercise, but I’m working on it! I have started putting reminders up to get myself moving, after, say, I’ve been sitting at the computer for too long!
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