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I'm Exercising & Drinking Lots of Water But Still Feel Tired

author image James Roland
James Roland started writing professionally in 1987. A former reporter and editor with the "Sarasota Herald-Tribune," he currently oversees such publications as the "Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor" and UCLA's "Healthy Years." Roland earned his Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.
I'm Exercising & Drinking Lots of Water But Still Feel Tired
Exercise should make you feel more awake, but other conditions can still keep you feeling tired. Photo Credit Christopher Nuzzaco/Hemera/Getty Images

You might be doing all the right things to feel healthy and energized, but for some reason you still feel tired and fatigued. It could be that you have an underlying medical condition that is undercutting your efforts. Normally, exercise boosts your energy and staying well-hydrated prevents the fatigue that accompanies the start of dehydration. If you feel tired and it's not because of a lack of quality sleep, tell your doctor.


Feeling tired and sluggish are among the first and most common symptoms of hypothyroidism, the condition in which your thyroid doesn't make enough thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism operating at a healthful level. Unexplained weight gain and an unusual intolerance to cold temperature are other common symptoms related to underactive thyroid. Your thyroid levels can be checked in a blood test.


Feeling tired and sapped of energy is the most obvious feature of anemia, particularly for iron-deficient anemia. Several types of anemia exist, such as vitamin-deficiency anemia, but iron-deficiency anemia is common. Serious cases of anemia can also include chest pains, shortness of breath, an irregular heart beat and dizziness. Changes in diet and iron supplements can usually help restore your iron levels to a healthy range and relieve symptoms such as tiredness.


Conditions such as anxiety and depression can leave you feeling tired. Often people who are depressed lose their interest in exercise and physical activity, but not everyone. Pro athletes, such as Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, battled depression during their careers when they were quite physically active. Depression carries many symptoms in addition to fatigue, including changes in your sleeping patterns. If you're depressed, you may be sleeping much more than usual or noticeably less, and in both cases you can feel tired much of the time.


Because diabetes means you have glucose building up in your bloodstream and it's not being transferred to other cells for energy, feeling tired is a common symptom. If you haven't had your blood glucose levels checked recently, you should talk with your doctor, who will likely order some blood work. A blood test can determine your blood glucose levels. If you're on the border of diabetes, a condition known as prediabetes because the glucose levels aren't quite high enough to be classified as diabetes, continuing to exercise regularly may help keep you from developing full-blown diabetes. Medication and other lifestyle adjustments may also be recommended.

Poor Sleep

An obvious answer to feeling tired is that you simply aren't getting enough quality sleep at night. You might be getting too few hours or your sleep may be interrupted. One often-ignored cause of poor sleep is sleep apnea, a condition in which the tissue in the back of your throat relaxes and restricts the flow of air, causing you to pause your breathing many times during the night. Frequent pauses in your breathing can keep you from spending time in the deep restorative stages of sleep.

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