Flagging Before Your Workout? Here’s How to Boost Your Energy
Exercise is all well and good when we feel in the mood and raring to go, but when we don’t it can feel like the biggest uphill battle. Lack of energy is often the biggest culprit and can be caused by any of the number of things we deal with on day-to-day basis, from taking on too much at work, balancing family commitments or just navigating your way through the daily juggle that is life. Read on to discover the best ways to improve your energy so that you not only fly through the day but get your workout done and done well.
We all know just how much better we feel after exercise, but sometimes a lack of energy can prevent us from even pulling on our gym gear. Time to change that mindset and get going…
Don’t underestimate hydration
Not drinking enough water is a major cause of fatigue and low energy, so if you find yourself feeling sluggish even after a good night’s sleep, it might be that your hydration levels are low. Lack of water can also seriously diminish your performance levels in the gym, with experts estimating that even losing around 1-2% of our body weight in water is enough to impair your performance by 10-20%.
Aim to drink around 450ml of fluid in the two to four hours before you exercise and if you’re training for between 30-60 minutes, then rehydrate with water containing glucose, which will help replenish glycogen stores and keep energy levels topped up.
Rediscover your motivation
You may have set your goals with every good intention of making them happen, but it’s all too easy to lose sight of them when you’re trying to juggle a regular exercise schedule with, well, life.
When you’re lacking in energy, it can help to remind yourself of your motivation – whether that’s a long-awaited holiday or a health goal. The best and easiest way of doing that is to put it out there and make it real. Telling friends and family, adding reminders around your house and coining a daily motivational mantra are all ways you can make yourself accountable and increase your self-motivation.
Turn it up
There’s a reason why a workout doesn’t feel like a workout unless you’ve got your music on, and the same goes for your pre-training routine too. According to researchers, fast-paced music acts like a supercharge, providing an instant rush of endorphins which quash the brain’s tiredness signals, heighten levels of excitement, reduce pain receptors and stabilise the immune system.
Music also helps makes the connection between auditory neurons and motor neurons and so can give you extra motivation when you’re lacking. If you want to try something different (or you need to be on top form to tackle the Verso Climber), try out the ‘Mozart effect’ which suggests that listening to classical music can enhance brain activity.
Trust the experts
Sometimes we need a little extra help to get going which is where supplements can come in handy. Helping to support good physical and mental energy levels and performance, supplements can give you the boost you’re looking forward when you’re feeling sluggish.
When it comes to something that can help you power your way through a session – whether it’s a 20-minute HIIT or an hour’s spin – look for ingredients that can support energy production to maximise your workout as well as those that support you post-workout and help prevent the dreaded DOMS.
And don’t forget…
It’s not all about what you do before you train. How you recover afterwards is equally as important for maintaining boosted energy levels and helping you stay feeling great.
Get some sleep
If you want to maintain consistently high energy levels, get to bed. While sleep is crucial for just about every system in the body, it also plays an important role in the seesaw cycle of two chemicals involved in energy output, glycogen and adenosine.
When we’re awake, glycogen (think of it like a spare energy battery for the brain) reduces, while adenosine, a chemical which promotes sleepiness and signals to our bodies to rebuild our energy reserves, builds up. When we get adequate sleep, adenosine levels reduce, glycogen levels ramp up and the cycle continues.
If we don’t get enough shut eye however, our glycogen supplies never get fully restored and our adenosine levels get thrown off, meaning we’re more likely to experience fatigue and low energy.
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