I have a question: Is it possible to be too tired to go to the gym or to work out?
I leave for work at 7am and don’t come home until 6pm. I’m perpetually tired and sleepy. I often come back from work and think I’ll rest for an hour and then go to the gym, but then I realize that I am too tired and end up sleeping. Am I too tired for the gym?
The real question isn’t if you’re too tired for exercise. The real question is why you’re letting this excuse prevent you from enjoying the benefits of regular exercise – like increased energy, better sleep and the release of “feel good” hormones.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, experts agree that regular exercise boosts energy levels. In fact, a recent review of 12 large-scale studies found a direct link between physical activity and reduced fatigue. And though it may feel challenging to hit the gym when you’re depleted, the good news is that even small increments of exercise can help. According to one study from the University of Georgia, even a simple walk may be better than a nap for reducing fatigue and increasing energy.
If you feel too tired to workout after a long day of work, try these tips:
- Go directly to the gym after work. Don’t go home first. It’s easy to get caught up in television shows, talking with friends or napping. Keep yourself on track by bringing your gym bag to work – and then going straight to the gym.
- Try working out in the morning. If you’re more of a morning person, try going to the gym when you wake up. Obviously, you’ll have to shift your sleep schedule accordingly – but you’ll probably have more energy to power through your workout. Moreover, it will energize the rest of your day.
- Enlist the help of gym buddy. One of the biggest benefits of a workout partner is accountability. If you know that you’re meeting a friend at the gym, you’re less likely to skip it.
- Take an after-work yoga class. I’ve always found yoga to be both energizing and de-stressing, especially after work. Moreover, you’ll get a great workout and increase flexibility! Check your gym’s schedule for classes.
- Don’t workout every day. If you’re just starting out, exercise a few times per week. Anything else will be unsustainable – and your risk of burnout will increase exponentially. Going to the gym should be a wonderful treat for your body. It shouldn’t feel like a prison sentence for your schedule.
- Change into your gym clothes at work. It’s a simple and silly trick – but it works! Before you leave work, slip into the bathroom and put on your gym clothes. It gives your brain and your body the message that it’s time to workout.
- Know the difference between a tired mind and a tired body. Angry customers or phone calls or endless meetings may exhaust your mind – but your body is still fired up and ready to go. Don’t confuse mental exhaustion with physical exhaustion.
- Focus on the benefits. Don’t view going to the gym as just another commitment or as an expense of time. On the contrary, exercise is an investment in yourself and it comes with a number of fantastic benefits. Rather than dreading the gym, focus on the benefits of exercise that inspire you – like increased longevity, decreases disease risk, improved sex life, better sleep, boosted energy and so on.
What it really comes down to is this: Your low energy levels are a reason to workout – not an excuse to skip the gym. To that end, I hope the above tips help.
P.S. If you can relate to Edward’s question, let me know in the comments below! Do you have any additional tips or trick that have helped you?