When you’re feeling exhausted, working out is usually the last thing on your mind. Although it might sound daunting, getting in some movement can actually help you feel better. Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to skip out on your fitness routine, especially if you opt for the right type of exercise. If you’re feeling sleepy, you won’t want to engage in anything with too much intensity, but there are plenty of appropriate workouts for when you are tired.
“It is sometimes good to work out even when you are tired, because, depending on how tired you are, exercise can give you the needed energy boost to help get you through your day or evening,” says health coach Shawna Norton, CPT. “Prior to starting any workouts, ask yourself why you are tired, and then determine which routine to choose.”
If you are tired from poor sleep, fatigue, depression and/or anxiety, or jet lag, you might want to consider fitting in some light exercise, suggests Norton. However, if you’re tired because of sickness or overtraining, take some time to rest. Rather than diving into some rigorous exercise routine, you’ll want to opt for something energizing, but easy on the body. If you’re feeling low on energy, try one of these workouts for a much-needed boost.
Yoga is one of the best workouts for when you are tired. It’s movement-heavy, but still relatively low-intensity. “Yoga can help alleviate stress, and focusing on breathing really can change your energy,” says Pam Sherman, CPT. Research also shows that just 25 minutes of yoga can boost brain function and energy, which is perfect for those days when you’re feeling lethargic and slow.
Since most of pilates involves lying on your back, it makes for a great workout on those low-energy days. Like yoga, pilates consists of controlled breathing, which can help release stress, relieve tension in your body, and improve your energy. Plus, building core strength can help improve your workouts.
Light Weight Lifting
Lifting weights is a good option when it comes to workouts for when you are tired. “If you lift weights, go lighter than you normally lift, to start,” says Sherman. “If your energy seems to climb, go to your normal routine. Mix it up with exercises you may not normally do with less weight.”
Bodyweight Plyometric Workouts
“Bodyweight plyometric workouts are designed to get your heart rate up and stimulate your central nervous system,” says Norton. “They will have you awake and feeling refreshed by the end.” These require no equipment, so you can even do them at home if you’re too tired to make it to the gym. Bodyweight plyometrics include moves such as jumping lunges, push-ups, burpees, bicycle crunches, etc.
If no other workout sounds attainable, at the very least, take a brisk walk. “Grab a friend or your dog and get outside,” says Sherman. “Breathing in the fresh air is amazing and is a really great natural pick me up.” Taking a ten-minute walk can even be a more effective way to boost your energy than consuming 50 milligrams of caffeine.
Zumba or Dancing
Dancing can help improve your energy, boost your mood, and lower stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise. Plus, it can feel much more attainable than going on a run or hitting the treadmill when you’re groggy. “If you like Zumba or dance, go to YouTube and search for a quick dance workout or hit your favorite class,” says Sherman. “If that doesn’t appeal to you, put on your favorite music and dance your heart out.”
Even if you’re feeling fatigued, there are plenty of workouts for when you are tired. You might be surprised to find that getting active can actually help you feel better!