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Should I Exercise When I'm Exhausted?

by
author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
Should I Exercise When I'm Exhausted?
A woman holding a water bottle on her head looking tired. Photo Credit reka/F1online/Getty Images

It's not uncommon to experience a lack of motivation when it comes to exercise, especially when you're tired and exhausted from a lack of sleep, a busy schedule or other issues. While throwing yourself into a strenuous workout may not be the best idea when you're exhausted, exercise can actually help raise your energy level so you can tackle the rest of your day. Unfortunately, if your exhaustion is a common occurrence, you may have a condition that requires more than exercise to remedy.

Boost Your Energy with Exercise

You may think that exercise will tire you out and take up your energy, when in fact it can accomplish the exact opposite. A low- to moderately paced workout can give you a 20 percent boost in energy, as compared to a leisurely walk. While you may feel so tired that exercise doesn't seem appealing, it could help remedy your exhaustion so that you feel better throughout the day.

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When to Take It Easy

If you're exhausted as the result of a lack of sleep, it may be best to avoid strenuous exercise. Attempting strenuous exercise when you're extremely tired could result in injuries due to sloppy form. Instead, start slowly and build gradually to a comfortable pace. If it's your muscles that are exhausted rather than a general feeling of tiredness, it's usually best to take a day's rest in between strength training. Recovery is a vital part of building muscle, so it's fine to take a break, or else you risk derailing your progress.

Safe Exercise

Since exercise can be safe and even beneficial when you're tired, it's important that you exercise properly. This protects your safety and helps you reap the energy-boosting benefits of exercise. By avoiding strenuous exercise, you can use methods such as dance, yoga, walking and water aerobics to help increase your energy level without a serious risk of injury. Assess your comfort level while exercising. As your energy level builds, you may be able to increase intensity, but save overall high impact workouts for when you feel more alert.

Underlying Issues

Exhaustion is your body's natural response to energy expenditure and a lack of sleep, but it can also be the symptom of a serious problem. Constant exhaustion and fatigue are common symptoms of anemia, depression, a dysfunctional thyroid gland, sleep disorders and a bevy of other diseases. If you find that you are tired the vast majority of the day, make an appointment with your doctor. In some cases, medications and other therapies should be used along with safe exercise to help increase your energy level.

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