Loss of energy or low energy levels is often what happens after accomplishing a high intensity workout that benefits your health. Low energy can even prevent you from performing your fitness workout at all. In order to stay at the top of your game, you should do what is necessary to boost energy levels that will aid you in conquering the gym and life.
Following are seven ways that you can boost energy so you can hit strength training hard and avoid quitting early.
Eating a well-balanced diet is essential to a healthy life…period. It is particularly important when involved in exercise programs. A large part of being drained of energy can be traced to a poor diet. By eating nutritious foods, you give your body the fuel it needs to operate efficiently, especially during times of exertion. During the days you plan on working out, load up on foods that provide extra energy and help with muscle growth and repair such as fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, seeds, and nuts.
If you are participating in high intensity workout programs like circuit training, or endurance workouts like long distance running, then you should load up on foods that provide carbohydrates. Many people have been led to believe that carbs should be avoided at all costs. However, carbohydrates are what your body uses for fuel. Just make sure your healthy diet consists of more complex carbs that provide long lasting energy and which are found in such foods as whole grain products and beans. Avoid consuming too many simple carbs contained in sugary, processed foods as they burn off quickly and leave you feeling depleted of energy.
The body uses iron to assist with transporting oxygen through the bloodstream into the muscle fibers. As you probably know, oxygen is vital to strong workouts and a depletion of iron can severely dampen your energy levels. Iron deficiency occurs more often in women due to their losing iron through menstruation. If you feel tired consistently, visit your doctor and receive a simple blood test to determine if you are iron deficient. To boost iron levels, include foods such as lean red meats, liver, and shellfish in your nutritious diet.
A very common factor in those with low energy reserves is simply dehydration. Again, this is particularly true with those who participate in regular, vigorous exercise. The body excretes water through sweat in order to keep the body cool. Therefore, you lose a lot of water during workouts, especially high intensity exercise and aerobic workouts. You should hydrate by drinking water well in advance of your workout, sip on water throughout your workout, and replenish your fluids after workout.
Your body provides the thirst mechanism to warn you of when it is lacking water. However, by the time you become “thirsty”, you are already dehydrated. If you practice the habit of continually drinking water throughout the day, you will not only stay hydrated, but you will also eliminate becoming thirsty.
Get Plenty of Rest
Fatigue can also be a result of not getting enough sleep. The body rejuvenates and reenergizes during periods of sleep so if you aren’t getting enough rest you will feel less than 100%. The average person requires between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. Therefore, plan your day so that you get an adequate amount of sleep. Of course, life doesn’t always run on a schedule so, if you don’t happen to get your full night’s sleep due to some event, simply catch up on sleep by grabbing a nap the next day.
Rest periods should also be observed when it comes to working out. Fatigue can occur via overtraining as well. If you are involved in rigorous exercise, especially high intensity workouts, it is essential that you listen to your body and give it breaks when required. It is much more beneficial to take an extra day, or even week, off and return fully energized than to keep plodding away until your body is exhausted and shuts down.
Mental health can be just as draining on the body’s energy reserves as physical activity. When you go through the day stressed out, you tense your muscles, clench your teeth, act out more explosively, all of which consume energy. Not only that, but those under stress also tend to eat poorly and ponder on things to the point of not sleeping well.
The combination of stress-related activities creates aches and pains, depression, anxiety, as well as depletes energy reserves and leaves you drained come time to hit your fitness routine. Incorporate periods of “timeouts” within your day for reading a novel, doing yoga, taking a hot, bubble bath or other form of relaxation so you can calm the savage seas of stress. Then, when you hit the gym, consider it a break from the frenzy and enjoy.
Mix Things Up
Exercise in itself boosts energy as it works to balance out the body’s metabolism and hormonal environment and increase muscle strength, oxygen flow, mental clarity, etc. However, if you fall into an exercise rut, you can become bored with your fitness routine and lose interest. Not only that, but everyone knows how participating in a boring activity actually makes you tired.
Well, the same goes for exercise. To ward off the workout blues, mix up your exercise routine occasionally. Instead of hitting the treadmill again, jump on an elliptical trainer or rowing machine. Instead of working out with only dumbbells and barbells, create a weight training circuit that includes a variety of machines. Instead of jogging 3 miles, hop on a bicycle and pump out 5 miles. You can even vary the intensity, incline, speed, or pace of your exercises. Not only will you keep things invigorating, but mixing things up at the gym also stimulates new muscle growth and makes you better fit.