What if you're too tired to exercise? - THE FIT MUM FORMULA

What if you’re too tired to exercise?

too tired to exercise

Our ever-busy lives mean we’re probably a bit tired most of the time, unfortunately. Too tired to eat properly, too tired to look after ourselves, and too tired to exercise.


In an ideal world we’d address the reasons we’re tired – late night TV? Too much socialising? Poor sleep or insomnia?


The Metro asked me to help you decide whether exercise is a good idea, or not, when you’re exhausted. You can read the article here, and my full words are below:


Sleep is important for weight loss, muscle building and workout recovery as well as immunity and mental and general health. It should always be a priority.


But exercise can actually help both improve energy levels and improve sleep quality, so it’s definitely worth making the effort. Exercise first thing in the morning is especially helpful as it’s when your natural cortisol levels are highest so you’ll be able to benefit from the hormone’s energizing effects, and tells your body morning is for waking up (on the contrary evening exercise can inhibit sleep in some people). On the other hand everyone’s body clock is slightly different so as long as it’s not right before bed, pick the time when you’re most energetic during the day to workout, and don’t forget good nutrition which is even more important when run-down. Plenty of protein and some carbs to fuel workouts and recover afterwards.


That being said if you’re really exhausted you’re more likely to get injured. It’s not the time to go heavy on the weights or aim for a PB on a run. Pay extra attention to technique – being tired is when you’ll make mistakes like letting your knees cave in while squatting and could lead to knee problems.


If you really can’t face exercising just go for a walk, ideally in nature. Often tiredness is due to stress, and both walking and nature have been proven to reduce stress levels.


To all the harcore exercise fanatics – if you’re over-doing it then this in turn will make you tired. Over-exercising lowers immunity, increases hunger, messes with sleep and can even make you lose muscle. Rest is when your body repairs and you make progress! You don’t need to workout 7 days a week if you’re programming your exercise properly, or at least switch to restorative exercise like yoga or pilates, or simply go for a walk.


Do each of the following for 1 minute followed by 30 seconds rest, it’s a 10 minute workout (remember to warm up and cooldown too) that will give you a burst of energy without leaving you feeling even more drained:


  1. Wall sit – lean up against a wall or tree on an imaginary chair, holding your core tight to stop from falling over.
  2. Push ups – full body if you can, otherwise place your knees on the floor.
  3. Crunches – use your core to sit up from a lying position, knees bent.
  4. Squats – squeeze your glute muscles as you stand back up from a sitting position, keeping knees over your toes rather than falling in or forwards.
  5. Tricep Dips – using a bench. Point your elbows backwards and let your arms do the work rather than bobbing your core up and down.
  6. Plank – find a dry space or on a matt. Keep your body nice and straight!
  7. Lunges – alternating legs. Reverse lunges (stepping backwards) are an alternative.

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