Before I became a nutritionist I became certified as a personal trainer. I hoped that it would help me with my own exercise consistency. That ended up turning to shit and I still wasn’t consistent.
Part of the reason for that is whenever I would start to exercise- I would GO HARD. Working out at the gym, or lifting weights at home 5-7 days per week. After my workouts, all I would want to do is sleep for the rest of the day. Usually I did end up having naps.
I didn’t realize at the time that I wasn’t exercising right for my body. My (undiscovered at the time) hormonal imbalance was keeping me tired. Not only that, my iron was low. Is all this sleepy talk making you yawn? I’m seriously do that as I write this, looking out on a dark, cold night.
Causes of Low Energy
There are numerous causes of low energy, too many to describe here. What I’m going to mention are the causes that I see most often.
Any number of hormones could be making you sleepy. If your thyroid is underactive, you may feel fatigued all day long. If your adrenals are involved, you may be sleepy all day and have trouble sleeping at night. If your sex hormones are involved, you may be sleepier before and during your period.
Toxicity is no joke, ya’ll. Years of medications, chemical personal care and household products, processed ‘food’, juice overload and using plastic ALWAYS I had a body full of toxins. I have been doing seasonal detoxes for several years now and I still find I feel just a little bit better after each one. The truth of the matter is that you have many organs helping your body to get rid of junk. Your organs work so hard, and definitely get overloaded with too much work and too many unidentifiable substances to keep up.
If your immune system is compromised, whether from infection, allergies or autoimmunity, you’re running on empty.
Do you drink enough water?
Seriously. . .are you drinking enough water?
Dehydration slows all processes in your body. Drink the cleanest water you can get your hands on, and NEVER drink it from plastic. Aim for about your body weight in ounces of water every day.
There are many different types of anemia, and all can be related to fatigue. The most common is iron-deficiency anemia. Low stamina, hair loss and fatigue are associated with this.
We need every nutrient we can get our hands on in food form. The problem is that much of our food is grown on nutrient deficient soil, is picked underripe (when nutrients are at their best), or are loaded with pesticides and other chemicals. Eat the richest sources (NOTE: they’re the brightest colours) of nutrients you can find and eat a lot of them. Some common nutrient deficiencies associated with low energy are the B vitamin family, vitamin C + D, Magnesium, Folate, Iron, and others.
I want to make changes, and start exercising- but I’m SO TIRED.
How to do it
- Start Small
- 1-3 days per week
- 10-20 minutes duration
- Low Intensity
- Think walking, stretching, gentle yoga, recumbent stationary bike, MAYBE some bodyweight exercises like squats or using light weights (~2lbs) for small movements like bicep curls, calf raises, leg lifts, pelvic tilts and chest press.
- Keep your mind on your breath while exercising. Do not hold your breath, rather breathe with each movement.
- Check in with yourself over the process
- Before: What kind of exercise does my body need today? You might have a hard time answering this one until you’ve tried several types/intensities of workouts. When did I eat last? Have I had some protein, fats and carbs to sustain my energy during my workout?
- During: How am I feeling? Do I feel strong? Do I need water?
- After: How am I feeling? Do I want to take a nap or am I energized for the next tasks of the day? Do I need water? Food?
- Next day: Am I sore? How sore? How tired am I?
- Before exercise
- During Exercise
- After Exercise
- . . .Always!
- Doing regular breathing exercises like meditation, the three-part breath, or alternate nostril breathing can help increase your lung capacity.
- Not only this, the increased oxygen will go a long way to helping you feel more energized and ready for intense exercise.