If you exercise regularly, there's a good chance you've skipped an occasional workout because you're just too tired to even stand up. Don't worry. Being too tired for the gym happens to all of us. But surprisingly, you might find that a trip to the gym for your favorite boot camp or spin class is just what your body needs.
If you're moderately tired, a trip to the gym might help boost your energy levels more than spending the afternoon on the couch.
How Exercise Boosts Energy
How often do you find yourself saying that you don't have the energy to work out? Well, if you're too tired to exercise in the morning or find yourself skipping your evening fitness class, you might want to rethink those choices.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity can boost your energy. One reason you notice an increase in energy from exercise is because it helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. This can lead to improvements in your health and an increase in energy levels.
Plus, when you exercise, your body releases the "feel good" hormone called serotonin — in response to increased activity. And when you commit to a long-term plan of regular exercise, you may find that you sleep better, which means you're less likely to feel fatigued the next day.
How Exercise Helps Reduce Stress
Stress, fatigue and exercise all contribute to feeling too tired for the gym. If you are tired from stress, a workout can help relieve your symptoms. A good workout can also help you feel more relaxed and full of energy.
In addition, the mental health benefits of exercise can help reduce stress, which may reduce your feelings of fatigue. As a helpful aside, exercise can also combat the sleep problems that often accompany stress.
Read more: How Exercise Improves Mood
Is It a Medical Problem?
Sometimes fatigue is the result of a medical problem, such as the flu, chronic fatigue syndrome or a thyroid disorder. Time at the gym rarely helps if you feel tired for these reasons and actually can exacerbate your tiredness.
If you're too tired for the gym just once a week, this probably isn't the issue. But if you're always feeling unusually tired and telling yourself that you'll exercise tomorrow, you might want to check with your doctor. She will be able to help you pinpoint what is going on and get you back to your exercise routine.
When to Skip the Gym
Under most circumstances, feeling tired isn't a reason to skip a trip to the gym. In fact, it can be a reason to get your body moving and head to the gym. However, if your feelings of tiredness stem from an overly full schedule or a medical problem, you might want to skip that session and give yourself permission to exercise tomorrow.
But before you make this a habit, remember that it doesn't mean you should stop exercising. Instead, adjust your calendar to make room for fitness in your day. And if your energy levels don't perk up, it might be time to talk with your doctor about any underlying health conditions that are causing you to feel tired.