If a lack of energy is keeping you from reaping all the benefits of exercise, you are not alone. Endocrinologist and author Eva Cwynar, MD, states that fatigue is a common complaint for those who are looking to improve their health through exercise. Fatigue can make it harder to concentrate, which can lead to procrastination and difficulty sticking to a fitness routine.
If you’re looking for information on what could be causing your energy levels to dip and how to increase energy so you can get the most from your workouts, then read on.
Warm Up in the Morning
If you tend to be groggy in the morning, do about ten minutes of light exercise to warm up your body. For an instant morning energy boost, try running in place, doing plank exercises or even completing 10 minutes of yoga. Working the core muscles gets the blood pumping and gives you energy that can help get you through the day.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is your body’s way of re-energising. If you don’t get enough of it, you’re most likely exercising on a partial charge. While everyone is different and there are many people who don’t need a full eight hours of sleep each night, it’s a good idea to aim for that amount as a starting point. If you find you can’t sleep that long, plan for seven hours instead and see if that helps boost your energy.
There’s an added benefit to improving your sleep patterns: the more you exercise, the better you sleep.
Drink Lots of Water
You might be making the mistake of waiting until you’re thirsty to get a drink, but by that time you’re most likely already mildly dehydrated. Even mild dehydration will cause you to feel lethargic.
Make sure that you drink water throughout the day. While water is the best option, herbal tea or a flavored seltzer can help keep you hydrated.
Add Amino Acid Supplements to Your Diet
Branched-chain amino acids are dietary supplements that provide your body with essential nutrients, stimulate protein production for muscle building and might also help improve mental acuity and muscle control. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts use them to reduce fatigue and improve workouts.
Like any supplement, make sure to talk to your doctor before taking branched-chain amino acids.
Boost Your Magnesium Intake
Increasing magnesium levels is important, especially for women, according to New York University nutritionist Samantha Heller, RS, RD. Women need as much as 300 milligrams and men up to 350 to maintain their energy.
Magnesium is naturally found in many foods; Heller recommends adding almonds, hazelnuts, bran cereal and halibut to your diet to naturally increase magnesium levels and boost energy.
Work on Interval Training
Don’t confuse energy levels with endurance. If you’re getting tired halfway through a workout, your problem might be your endurance, not your energy levels.
A great way to ramp up endurance levels quickly is to incorporate interval training into your cardio workouts. Interval training is a combination of slow, medium and fast movements. For example, if you are a runner, try alternating between a walk, jog and sprint. Once you have that down, increase the time or distance of the intervals so that you are moving faster for longer periods.
Double Up Your Workouts
If your schedule allows, try working out twice a day, several days a week to build stamina. A good way to start incorporating two workouts into your weekly regimen is to split your normal hour long workout into two different sessions. As your endurance builds, increase the time of each session slowly until you have two full workouts, but make sure you’re not overdoing it, since overtraining can lead to fatigue down the line.
Don’t let fatigue slow you down. Making small tweaks to your lifestyle can help you improve your overall wellness and increase your energy.
What are some of your favourite ways to get more energy and endurance for workouts?