It seems like we’re all tired these days. With our on-the-go lives and overpacked planners, it can be a struggle to make it through the day without that afternoon pick-me-up latte. You might fear that adding fitness to the mix will only tire you out further. The catch-22 is, working out is one of the very best tactics for fighting fatigue.
While it might seem counterintuitive when you’re already gassed, adding in even a quick workout will give you a natural hit of energy—dare we say it, better than that seasonal Frappuccino (and no accompanying sugar crash.)
Just keep these key tips in mind for fighting fatigue to make sure your workouts improve your energy, versus leaving you drained.
7 Tips For Fighting Fitness Fatigue
#1 Add in Some Lower Intensity Workouts
The no pain, no gain adage? You can toss that to the curb.
While getting your heart rate up is key, you don’t have to tax your body to the extreme, where you’re left in a sweaty puddle on the floor, for a workout to count. Alternating the super intense with the more restorative options like Pilates, barre, and bike rides or brisk walks can burn just as much, without all the inflammation and crazy sore muscles.
#2 Eat For Fuel
Fasted workouts get a lot of hype, but it isn’t necessarily your best bet. If you’re barely making it through your workouts, it could be because your tank is on empty!
Fuel up pre-workout with a healthy snack of complex carbohydrates plus protein—think whole-grain toast and peanut butter, unsweetened yogurt with some berries, or a protein bar and banana. Fueling your body is key for fighting fatigue on a day to basis, and with fitness, it’s even more important.
#3 Don’t Overtax Your Muscles
Want a bigger booty or chiseled arms? Your immediate inclination might be to work them more, but overtaxing your muscles isn’t wise. Changes to our physical body (fat burning or muscle gains) happen while we rest, not mid-workout.
A good rule of thumb is to only target specific body parts 2x per week and space them apart. For example, do leg-focused workouts on Monday and Thursday, and let them repair and rebuild in between.
#4 And Speaking of, Get Quality Shut-Eye
This should be a no brainer, but if you just can’t shake the fatigue during your workouts, take a look at your sleep habits. If you’re regularly skating by with maybe 5-6 hours a night, no wonder you’re feeling so draggy!
Do whatever you have to do to prioritize getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. This will make a huge difference in fighting fatigue and helping you stay on top of both your health and fitness goals.
#5 Check Your Mindset
The mind is a powerful thing, and while mindset talk may seem a little “woo-woo,” if you’re regularly telling yourself, “this workout is so hard!” or “I’m so exhausted,” your body is listening! Try viewing your workouts as a tool for self-care, and reminding yourself that the pain you feel is making you stronger and more resilient, and see how things shift.
#6 Do Your Workouts First Thing
At the end of a long hard day, no one can blame you if working out is the last thing you want to do. Instead, get it done first thing in the morning. That’s one big thing you can check off your to-do list before the rest of the world wakes up, and you’ll get a hit of endorphins to boost your energy the rest of the day.
#7 Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Believe it or not, our hydration or lack thereof can have a huge impact on our energy levels. If you’re reaching for coffee, energy drinks, or other sugary options throughout the day, your water intake is probably low.
Start making sure you’re getting half your body weight in ounces (for example, if you weigh 160 lbs, aim for 80 ounces of plain water each day).
Let Fitness Help You Feel Energized Not Fatigued
Put these simple tips into action, and your workouts will be a part of your day that energizes you, making you feel all the more capable of tackling the rest of that busy to-do list!