Be a Planner
Do you set your alarm for a 5 a.m. run only to snooze until your exercise slot has come and gone? Or do you come home at night, too exhausted to hit the gym? Try to schedule your workouts for the times of day that your energy is at its peak. Even if it's a little less convenient, you’ll get a better workout and might be more likely to stick with your program.
Whether you're skimping on sleep or you're exercising too much, a lack of rest and recovery can zap your energy levels and hurt your progress, too. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep each night, so reorganize your day and your time so that you can get as much shut-eye as possible each night. After all, who wants to exercise when they feel tired and run down?
Overtraining can also lead to increased fatigue during your workout. Sometimes, even the most experienced exercisers and athletes need a break (hence the "off season"). Learn to listen to your body. Often when you're too tired to make it through your usual workout, your body just needs a break, after which it can come back even stronger.
Deal with Stress
Just as your mental to-do list can keep you awake at night, other life stressors can creep into your mind during a workout and distract you from the task at hand. Sometimes these thoughts are overwhelming, and the sheer thought of dealing with the issue can be exhausting. Other times, feeling too busy can cause you to stop your workout short because you want to work on something else other than fitness. While working out can help you alleviate stress, sometimes life hands you a little too much, which can result in fatigue, aches, pains and headaches. Instead of letting your stress prevent you from hitting the gym, think of your workout as a much-needed break. Use this small window of "me" time to mentally sort through any issues you've been dealing with lately. Or think of it as one small part of your day that isn't filled with stress, work, and a never ending list of tasks. If necessary, plan some additional de-stressing tasks into your day. Just like you take time to exercise, take some time to relax, whether through meditation, a hot bath, or just reading a book.
Who hasn't been bored to sleep one time or another? Boredom is exhausting! And that's the last feeling you want to experience when you're trying to exercise. Hate the treadmill? Don't use it. Watching the clock when on the stationary bike? Hop off and find something fun. Whether you take your indoor workouts outside or try a new fitness class, variety will keep boredom at bay and help you get better results, too. Sometimes even working incorporating varying intervals during a single workout (instead of the same intensity, pace, speed or incline) can really shake things up and keep you energized and interested.
Overall, the occasional energy slump can usually be fixed by trying some of the tasks above. Sometimes it's a combination of lifestyle changes that works best. If you feel run down all the time or exercise results in major fatigue for you, make an appointment to see your health care provider to find out why.
Article created on: 5/27/2008
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