Do you have no energy to work out? Here's how to fix it

Do you have no energy to work out? Here's how to fix it

If you feel as though you have no energy for gym workouts and lack that get-up-and-go, you’re not alone. Many of us once took morning exercise in our stride, but these days it can be hard getting through your 9 to 5 job - let alone finding the energy to workout. Feeling exhausted at the end of a working day is one thing, but when you feel like you have no energy to work out at anytime, something’s gotta change! Of course, we should usually expect to slow down a bit as get older. But when even getting out of bed feels like a struggle, how the hell do we expect to find the energy to exercise? In this instance, it’s important to look at why you have no energy to workout, and what you’re or not doing that may be leaving you feeling fatigued. So, if you’re thinking ‘I have no energy to workout’, here’s how to fix it.

Reduce stress

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the many demands of work and home can zap you of all energy. Although we can all manage a certain level of stress, when it gets too much, it’s easy to feel like you have no energy to exercise. We all manage stress differently. But here are some proven ways to help handle stress and get your energy back.
  • Yoga - Although yoga is a great way to help you destress when you already feel stressed, it can also be done for general relaxation. Combining physical poses with controlled breathing, yoga can help you fight stress and find serenity.
  • Meditation - Meditation is a wonderful way to enter into a deep state of relaxation. When you take a moment to find focus, you can work to eliminate any jumbled thoughts that may be causing you to feel stressed or overwhelmed.
  • Mindfulness - Practicing mindfulness allows you to find mindful moments in everyday tasks, taking the time to take a breath and enjoy simple things. Whether it’s going for a walk, self care or journaling.
  • Speaking to a friend or family member - If you feel as though something is worrying you, try speaking to your partner, a friend or a family member. When you feel ready, try opening up with someone close to you to help work through any worries.
  • Seeking the help of a therapist - Some problems are easier to face when speaking to someone completely impartial. If you feel as though you can’t speak to a friend or family member, try seeking the help of a therapist or counsellor.
When you’re able to face any feelings of overwhelm and stress in your life, you’ll begin to notice increased energy levels. When stress gets too much, it can feel easy to feel like you have no energy to exercise - or do anything in fact.

Take care of your mental health

It’s not just the physical effects of life that can make us feel like we have no energy to exercise, or even get up in the morning. One factor that can have both a mental and physical impact is - depression.
Also Read: How to get back into working out after Covid
Many of us don’t realize the effects of low mood on our mental health and energy levels. As well as feeling like you have no energy for gym workouts or other exercises, other signs of depression include a lack of sex drive, feeling low, hopeless or helpless. But it’s not just your lack of energy for exercise that may be flagging poor mental health, as you could experience chronic pain and headaches too. As mentioned above, there are a variety of ways to help you manage stress by practising yoga and moments of mindfulness. If you feel as though you’re suffering from depression, it’s no surprise you’re feeling fatigued. When you feel comfortable doing so, reach out to a medical professional for help.

Cut back on caffeine

When you have no energy to exercise and the last thing on your mind is hitting the gym, it can be tempting to grab a coffee for a quick energy boost. While we all love a good cup of coffee in the morning, drinking too much caffeine can disrupt your sleep routine and keep you from entering and staying in a deep sleep. While I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a cup of coffee each day, but try to limit your caffeine intake. If you decide to go cold turkey on the caffeine, you may experience an element of caffeine withdrawal. Instead, try to cut back gradually if you’re consuming quite a lot. Feeling like you have no energy to work out is one thing, but when you wake up feeling tired, it could be due to too much caffeine.

Allow recovery time

If your exercise regime is pretty intense, ensure you’re giving your body enough downtime. Not including a rest day could be the reason why you feel like you have no energy to workout - as your body is simply overworked. Try to avoid working the same muscle group several days in a row, as this could be preventing your body from repairing.
Also Read: How a lack of sleep can affect your workouts
As we age, our endurance levels may start to dip, and we may not recover as quickly as we did back in our 20s. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy regular exercise. Try to incorporate at least one rest day into your routine, giving your body a break from exercise. If you still feel think, ‘I have no energy to workout...’ don’t try and push through intense exercise. Instead, try dial back your sessions! Whether it’s cutting down on the length of your workout or the type of exercise you’re doing - it could be worth switching a couple of sessions to lighter exercise, such as a brisk walk or yoga.

Up your iron intake

Iron is crucial in our bodies, since its main role is to help red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. If you feel fatigued, it could be down to a lack of iron in your diet. Foods that are high in iron are:
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
If you’re vegetarian, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get more iron! Simply add more lentils, beans and leafy greens into your meals. As well as these iron-rich foods, an added dose of vitamin C will help you absorb iron.

Eat more carbs

While it’s great to following a healthy diet and doing regular exercise, sometimes we can go a little too far with restricting carb intake. When you do this, it’s no surprise you feel like exercise doesn’t give you any energy or you have no energy for gym workouts in the first place! When you’re pushing your body through exercise, it looks to glycogen stores for energy. In order to replenish these stores after your workout, you need to be consuming the right type of carbohydrates. However! Before you go chowing down on junk food, it’s important to know which carbs are good carbs. Stay clear of processed sugars and white flour, while packing your diet with plenty of complex cards, including:
  • Lentils
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Fruits
  • Sweet potatoes
Not only do these complex carbs help you feel fuller for longer, so you’ll feel less inclined to snack, but they also take longer to break down - giving you long lasting energy. If you feel like you have no energy to workout, get these carbs into your diet!

Get into a good sleep routine

Following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is great, but it needs to be paired with plenty of sleep! Sleep is crucial for our bodies to repair and rest, helping us feel energized for the day ahead. If you stay up late at night, or drinking too much caffeine before bed, it’s no surprise you can’t get a decent night’s sleep. Try to switch off from technology some time before sleep, avoiding your smartphone and other gadgets that emit blue light. Aim for between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. If you struggle to get to sleep, try work out the best time to exercise for your lifestyle - as this could help to induce sleep earlier in the evening. Don’t be tempted into sacrificing your much-needed rest for an early morning workout, as this simply isn’t sustainable! If you feel like you have no energy to workout, try to get into a solid routine that gives your body the rest it needs!

Get some sun

Since so many of us spend a lot of time indoors, especially when we work from home, it can be easy to not head outside for days on end. A simple drive to and from work just doesn’t cut it! When you’re lacking in vitamin D, it’s natural to feel sluggish, no matter how much sleep you get. While we’d all love to jet off to the Caribbean, that isn’t quite as feasible for everyone. Try taking a vitamin D3 supplement and get plenty of foods into your diet that are packed with this much-needed vitamin. If you feel as though exercise doesn’t give you any energy, or you have no energy to work out in the first place - try to get outdoors, get plenty of vitamins and even take your exercise outside!

Add healthy fats into your diet

Much like the right kind of carbs, not all fat is bad for you. Since fat is such an important and rich source of energy, incorporating fish, nuts, avocados and oils into your diet will help you to maintain efficient cell function. Plus, all of these foods help you feel fuller for longer! This doesn’t mean you can go ordering a ton of takeaways, but instead, introduce plenty of healthy fats in your meals. Say goodbye to having no energy for gym workouts, and hello to feeling revitalized!

Cut down on alcohol intake

After a hard day at work, relaxing with a beer or two is second nature. But if that often turns into one too many happy hours, the chances are, it’s killing your energy levels. While a couple of beers may help you nod off initially, if you drink too often you could be disturbing your natural sleep cycle. The less time you spend in a deep sleep, the higher chance you’re going to feel like you have no energy to exercise! Plus, who wants to exercise with a hangover? Absolutely nobody.

Pay attention to hormone issues

If you’re feeling constantly fatigued and have no energy to workout or do everyday tasks, there could be an underlying hormonal issue.
Also Read: Post-workout: What to Eat After a Workout
Issues with the thyroid, can cause fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and cold intolerance. Plus, a loss of muscle mass and a lack of sex drive could be flagging symptoms of low testosterone. While this isn’t usually the cause of feeling like you have no energy to work out, it is possible. If you feel as though you’re losing weight, feeling nauseous and even dizzy, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.

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