How to Exercise when you are too Tired to Exercise
My son just started crawling and with that he decided to stop sleeping, I’m not sure why. Needless to say, I have been so tired! Today I think I felt the most sleep deprived I have felt almost ever. The more tired I feel, the harder it is for me to want to exercise. I know that studies show that exercise makes you less tired but getting the motivation to go is the real tough part. I decided to take advantage of my mood and brainstorm ideas to help get the motivation or energy to go when you are so tired it seems impossible. Here is what I came up with:
Take a short power nap: Sometimes a short 15 minute nap can do wonders. If you were short on time, take 15 minutes out of your workout. You will probably get a lot more out of your shorter workout than you would have with a longer, more tired workout.
Pick a workout that you really enjoy: If you are really dreading running on the treadmill, do something else! If you really enjoy cycling classes or yoga, do that instead for the day. It is a lot easier to be motivated about something that you are excited about.
Simplify your workout: If you are dreading an hour workout, just go out for 30 minutes, or even just 15. A lot of times after you finally get going, you will find that you actually do have energy to go a little longer. You can trick the brain to keep your body going sometimes like this. When I am tired on a run, sometimes I will tell myself that I will run until I get to the next street and then when I get there I will tell myself the next street and then the next and it keeps me going.
Go on a walk: It is okay to not do something super strenuous. A walk is a great form of exercise and the fresh air is refreshing and could get your energy up.
Watch a movie: If you don’t have the energy to leave the house and all you want to do is watch a movie, turn on a movie and workout at the same time. I like to do this while I am doing a workout video. I like it because it keeps me distracted from the workout that I am doing.
Wear your best workout clothes: If I put on my favorite workout clothes that I look my best in, it makes me more motivated to workout. This may be just the little boost that you need to get you moving.
Change up your routine: Park farther from the store, take the stairs, walk over to the neighbor’s house instead of driving. Find ways to get a little more calorie burning activities in your day without actually going to the gym for a workout. I find it easier to do this if I stay in more comfortable clothes that are easier to move in. This way, even if you don’t have the energy to exercise, you are at least burning some more calories than a completely sedentary day.
Rest: If you really can’t find the energy to go workout, take a rest day! Rest is good and it sounds like it is really needed. Make sure it is a rest day though, take a nap, take a bath, recuperate so that you are ready to tackle the next day. Make sure that you don’t make it a habit to skip workouts because then it is hard to get back into the habit of working out again but take a day if you really need it. Your body is probably trying to tell you something.
I ended up turning on a show and doing a workout video and I was able to workout for a half hour. I felt accomplished that I was able to get through it and it did end up giving me a little more energy! It really does feel good to make a little goal to get through a workout and complete it, especially when it is on a day that seems like working out is the last thing you want to do. You can do it! The hardest part is really just getting started.