Do you do exercise when you have low energy?

Low energy is one of those obstacles that can stop us, isn’t it? “I’m just too tired today.” OR “I’d go but my brain is frazzled after such a busy day on the computer” I’ve become very aware of energy as each year passes as the complexity of family life increases alongside the inevitable changes of my physiology and overall health and capacity to physically do the things I do.

My ‘energy management’ had become central to the conversation during my coaching sessions.

How do I harness the right energy at the right time and for enough time to do and achieve what I want to achieve each day, week, month, year and decade?

Do I change the parameters of my goal, or do I completely change tack!?

To help and improve outcomes and the balance life, we can work with an analogy of energy being like a complex and high-performance car.

Increase your energy by pushing the ‘Full Throttle’ button

Not only do we need to know the best speed at which we can cruise, we also need to be able to have capacity to go ‘full throttle’ when we need it. Then there’s the fuel, the maintenance, the repairs. And last but not least, there’s how we can train ourselves to become the best driver that can flex and change at each turn life throws us! – this is our resilience and mindset. Too Fatigued? Well, that could mean you need more not less exercise. There’s lots of evidence to show that exercise improves fatigue. It is also shown to raise mood and energy which could be at a low ebb if life at work is stressful. Over 90% of a set of studies looked at showed that a sedentary person that begins an exercise training schedule has improved fatigue symptoms compared to those that didn’t exercise. 

So maybe time to shake up the routine and get moving more – even in these darker evenings we can plan to do indoor exercise or go walking or running with a friend wearing reflecting gear to stay safe.

Exercise training or chronic exercise is the cumulative acute bouts of physical activity that are part of a plan that is structured, repeated and cumulative. This type of repeated exercise results in improvement or maintenance of one or more components of physical fitness, including cardiorespiratory capacity, muscle strength, body composition, and flexibility. It really is the small steps that make all the difference and when we are pushed for time and energy it’s important to remember the small stuff counts when repeated!

By making a habit of regular moving, the benefit is that it then becomes what you are and what you do and in time easy to do.

On top of this the god news is that you can feel better before you see any results in terms of weight or strength too! The boost of positive emotions can occur within 2 weeks. It boosts the feel-good hormones called endorphins and also improves heart rate and blood flow that helps us feel awake.

Of note HIIT is shown to raise endorphins more than a lower intense option. But what about over doing it and becoming too tired due to this? It can happen and worth taking into account to prevent too much stress on the body. In my own experience exercise can tip me over into more exhaustion if done when my body intuitively says “no”. I have learnt to listen and respond. There is plenty of evidence too that exercising when the body is exhausted can increase risk of injury.

So, let’s talk intuitive exercise. Intuitive exercise is all about connecting with the body to work out how it feels and then decide what type of movement is best and what it needs that day. So we remove the “should dos” and instead respond to the body’s cues and decide on the best type, intensity and duration of movement to do. It isn’t about not moving! We know stopping moving is harmful overall and increased risk of chronic disease, injury, pathology as well as a reduced lifespan.

If you are lacking the inspiration to get going, check out my blog here on how to inspire yourself on your journey.

Inspired? How to inspire others and ourselves

Let’s end on a few tips

Lean in – do that movement and you can bet that the energy will pick up and over time you will benefit in body mind and soul!

Plan it out – plans help with action – you can always switch the type of movement if your energy levels shift.

Change it up – have a list of exercise or movement you enjoy and pick the best fit for you.

Try other types of exercise – if you have run out of ideas – try new ones – ask a friend for ideas – my suggestions are hoola-hooping, dancing, interval walking and skipping. 

Reflect and review regularly – keep that energy curve in the green zone!

Ensure the minimum – – dont stop moving – do whatever you can

Celebrate and give yourself a High Five!

We can develop the skill of both listening and talking to our bodies, in this way a fabulous balance of energy develops that helps us live life to the full, healthier and longer.

Puetz, TW et al Psychology Bulletin Nov 2005 New release Uni of Georgia.

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