Eight Exercise Energy Zappers

1. Boredom

Fewer things can be more monotonous than running on the treadmill or cycling on the exercise bike for miles on end with nothing to do but check your heart-rate and look at your own reflection in the mirror. To add a bit of stimulation to your routine, try listening to a podcast or putting on some music while exercising. Another good way of staving off the boredom is to add some variety: try joining classes, exercising with a friend, or experimenting with some new machines at the gym.

2. Skimping on carbs

There’s a reason why so many long-distance athletes choose to ‘carb-load’ before the big day: doing so provides plenty of energy to the muscles to help them keep going.

3. Not getting enough sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for a whole host of reasons, not least because it helps your body to repair itself and to metabolise food more efficiently. As a result, you’ll feel more refreshed and relaxed.

4. Poor planning

Maintaining a regular exercise routine takes planning. Have you ever planned a 30-minute run in the morning but overslept? Or tried working out in the evening but you’re too tired? You’re not alone. A common cause for abandoning regular exercise is simply that people find it difficult to fit into their daily routine. And, when they do find the time, they’re too tired. So try to schedule your workout at times when you’re feeling energised and likely to get more out of it.

5. Not drinking enough water

Drinking enough water is important no matter what you’re doing. But when it comes to exercise, staying hydrated becomes even more essential. Therefore, aim to drink one glass of water half an hour or so before any exercise, then follow this with a few sips every 10-15 minutes during the workout, and finally, when you’ve finished, have another large glass. Remember: don’t wait until you feel thirsty. By the time thirst sets in, you’ll already be around 2% dehydrated.

6. Not getting enough iron

Iron is vitally important, especially during exercise, for helping your body to deliver enough oxygen to your muscles. Not getting enough iron can leave you feeling more tired more quickly. To prevent this from happening, make sure you eat plenty of dark green, leafy veg, lean red meat, and fortified cereals. And remember: if you feel you have an iron deficiency, a simple blood test from the doctor is an easy way of finding out for sure.

7. Not eating enough beforehand

One common reason for feeling drained during exercise is simply that you haven’t eaten enough beforehand. Nutrients and carbohydrates are essential for replenishing your energy reserves, and this is especially important before workouts.

8. Feeling stressed

Stress can leave you feeling miserable and low on energy at the best of times. And this problem can be exacerbated during exercise. Therefore, try looking at exercise as an opportunity to de-stress; a chance to get away from it all, rather than simply another chore to add to the list. Perceiving exercise as a break will fire up your workouts and make them more enjoyable.


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