Many people begin an exercise regimen to fight the kind of fatigue that can result from a sedentary lifestyle. But what about the fatigue that can settle in after a workout? Post-workout fatigue may be a byproduct of several things, but the good news is that combatting exhaustion after a workout can be somewhat simple.
Don’t push yourself so hard
Many people, especially those who have resolved to be more physically active, make the mistake of pushing themselves too hard during a workout. While it’s great to break a sweat when exercising, you don’t want to be so tired after a workout that you have no energy. One of the benefits of routine exercise is that it makes active men and women feel more energized, so if your workout is having an adverse effect on your energy levels you might be going too hard. Endurance is something that builds over time, and as you grow more acclimated to exercise, you likely won’t feel as fatigued. If you are not new to physical activity but still feel drained after your workouts, lower the intensity of your workouts and take more brief breaks between exercises and repetitions when strength training.
Revisit your workout schedule
Your post-workout fatigue may be a byproduct of when you are working out. While early morning workouts boost many people’s energy levels throughout the day, that’s not the case for everyone, especially people who tend to function more effectively later in the day. If you like to workout at night but are finding it difficult to sleep at night, you might be more suited to working out earlier in the day. Conventional wisdom has long suggested that working out at night can negatively affect sleep, but the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center notes that the best time of day to workout varies from individual to individual based on each person’s circadian rhythm. Simply put, adults who want to find the best time of day to workout may need to do some trial and error. In addition, recognize that exercising daily is more important than when you exercise, so find the time that’s right for you and stick with it.
Dehydration can have a very negative impact on your energy levels, so working out while dehydrated may tire your muscles out before you even lift a single weight, and that fatigue may still be present post-workout. If you workout in the evening after work, then drink enough water during the day so your muscles are not dehydrated when you hit the gym. If you like working out in the early morning, give your body some time to hydrate between getting out of bed and beginning your workout.
Eat right after working out
Some people find they are very hungry after working out, while others do not. But eating after a workout is a good idea. Protein helps muscles recover and grow after a workout, and that recovery can help combat post-workout fatigue. If you do not typically feel hungry after working out, as little as 10 to 20 grams of protein can do the trick. A single serving of Greek yogurt provides roughly 17 grams of protein, and that won’t make you feel full.