We’ve all experienced that feeling when the alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. It’s still dark outside and cold. The last thing you want to do is get up and go work out.
But I’m here to tell you, a workout is the best thing you can do for your body and your energy levels, despite that little voice in your head whispering to you to stay under the warm covers.
It may seem that if you are tired, exercising may not be a great option. But the exact opposite is true. You may be tired because you aren’t exercising.
I’d say 95 percent of the battle is putting on your shoes. It’s a mental thing. Most people, if they can get their shoes on and get out the door, they feel better. I’ve had people say they sleep in their workout clothes to make the process even that much easier.
Exercise also improves your sleep, so if you sleep better, you wake up feeling energized. You will be more tired on days you exercise so you will typically sleep more soundly.
Typically, the more active a person is, the more energy they will have throughout the day. It comes from the endorphins our brain produces when we exercise. Endorphins are chemicals that make you feel good and activate the “happy” side of your brain when produced. The movement that causes your brain to produce and release them. If you’ve ever heard the expression “runner’s high” it’s the endorphins they are talking about.
I love exercising outside because if you get a little sunshine and soak up some Vitamin D, that can also help increase your energy levels.
Hydrate that midday slump
If you find that you are hitting a wall midway through your day, get up and walk away from your desk. Move around. Also, drink water. Being dehydrated can make you feel tired. If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated already. Your urine should be a pale yellow. If it’s darker than that, you are dehydrated.
Nobody expects you to jump up and run 15 miles on your first day, so I recommend setting some goals. This is a great time of year to do that, but I also recommend that you stick to them and don’t let the New Year’s resolution trap get the best of you.
If you are sedentary, an easy thing to do is get a Fitbit or pedometer to check your steps throughout the day. If you are under say, 4,000 steps, I’d consider that fairly sedentary. So set a goal to get to 5,000 steps and see how you feel. Just build from there. It can be four to six weeks of being more active before you reap the energy benefits, so don’t give up. Stay consistent in your increases. A good daily goal would be to average around 10,000 steps or more.
Short and sweet
You also don’t have to exercise for hours every day to see benefits. So don’t let a busy schedule keep you from doing something. Some times as little as 10 minutes of exercise can make a person feel much more energized.
Another key to success is finding something you enjoy doing. Everyone likes something different for exercise, so try a few things and see what works for you. If walking doesn’t do it for you, then go to the Rec Center or the YMCA and ask about classes. The social aspect can pull you in and you get your exercise out of it and the energy that comes from being in the social setting.
Maybe you have issues with your joints and something like running or walking is painful. Get in the pool. There are also a lot of machines out there that isolate an exercise to a joint that doesn’t hurt.
Get with the program
You should always check with your physician before starting any exercise program. But once you get clearance to begin an exercise regimen, start with 10 to 15 minutes for a week or two and see how you feel. If it’s easy, increase it by 5 to 10 minutes. If it feels hard, maintain that same time frame.
Continue to grow that, as exercise feels easier until you hit 30 to 60 minutes. Then start making it more challenging. Walk faster. Add more resistance. Run a hillier route.
People who exercise regularly, five days a week or so, report that they can definitely tell a difference in how they feel and have an increased energy level on the days they exercise vs. the days they don’t. So it does pay off in the long run.Share this Article