Saturday, January 12, 2013

Exercise in the New Year (and beyond) 3: too tired?

Too tired? Too weak for a (tougher) workout routine?

photo source: Exercise for PINK
Yes, workouts can be hard, but there are answers to this excuse as well! (See 1st post in this series on exercising when you have no time)

Unless you are avoiding all communications media, you know that exercise is important for maintaining both physical and mental well-being.

If you work out regularly, you either love it or you at least value these benefits. If you don't exercise because you feel too tired or weak to start, you've got a Catch-22 situation: feel tired and don’t exercise and you’ll probably continue to feel tired!

Exercise actually invigorates, so if you can break that cycle, you'll feel more energized.

So what can you do if you are consistently too tired or weak to work out?

1. Start small and sneaky - just a few minutes of exercise (climb stairs, walk somewhere fast, flurry of housework) pumps oxygen into your system, which will make you feel more awake and possibly more alive.

2. If you are chronically tired and irritable, lose your appetite, or experience recurring colds and infections, have a doctor check your iron levels. We lose iron through sweating, and the non-carnivores among us may not be taking in enough to replace it.

3. If you can handle mornings, try working out early, even once or twice a week, before work, family, or other distractions call you away. Maybe you already do! It may mean going to sleep and getting up earlier, but when I do this, I'm always glad I did!

Some quick morning workouts are here, here, and here.

Exercising before breakfast (fasted training) apparently facilitates weight loss and glucose tolerance. Added bonus - you get to relax this evening!

photo source:
Exercise for PINK
4. Lighten up. When you are too tired or sore to exercise, or if chronic fatigue or disease limits you, you can walk or cycle slowly, or do yoga (if you know it). Often, just starting feels good enough to keep you going. And if not, you at least build a good habit.

5. Check your non-exercise habits! Being too tired may stem from various sources, so once you rule out medical conditions, be sure you are:
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Drinking enough water
  • Taking breaks during the day
  • Minimizing stress
  • Eating healthful food.

6. Here are some additional tips on overcoming workout tiredness.

7. If you are ill or injured, better to try some expert advice on when to skip the workout. And some further suggestions from the Lazy Runner on pushing yourself (good) vs overtraining (bad).

Next (and last?) excuse: I'm totally unmotivated

More excuse-busting articles at:


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