How To Get Energy To Work Out: Our best Science-Backed Tips
Going to the gym to get in a workout always leaves you feeling good—but sometimes you need to dig deep to find the motivation and energy to get up and get after it—we’ve all been there. One thing’s for sure, you’re not alone in this struggle.
There are a lot of mental and physical factors that influence one’s ability to find the energy for a work out. From gymtimidation and anxiety to physical exhaustion and malnourishment, pinpointing the reason why you may feel energetically unable to work out varies greatly from one individual to the next.
What Is Draining Your Battery?
The good news is that there are many ways to invite more energy into your life. The first step in identifying areas of your life that may be draining your battery is to spend some time reflecting on your lifestyle habits.
As we dive into science-backed ways to create more energy in your body and mind, you may begin to realize some personal lifestyle habits that you could change. Rather than criticize yourself for your current habits, we encourage you to simply write these habits down next to new lifestyle habits you’d like to replace them with. This will allow you to build a game plan rather than panic. No, change doesn’t happen overnight, especially when it comes to habit breaking, but creating an actionable plan is the perfect first step.
Energy-Creating Lifestyle Habits
Below are some of our top recommendations for getting more energy to work out.
Fuel Your Body
There is science behind why you feel sleepy and lazy after a heavy meal versus energetic and vivacious after a well-rounded, fueling meal—what you put into your body is what you get out of it.
And that’s not to say to pass on a double-double at In n’ Out or to avoid the ice cream aisle next time you go grocery shopping. But, there is scientific evidence that supports the positive impact that healthy foods have on brain chemistry, metabolism, mood, and overall energy levels. OnHealth advises that “the best foods to maintain a good mood are those that contribute to steady blood sugar levels and stimulate secretion of substances that positively affect mood.”
When we’re talking about food to fuel your energy levels before and during a workout, carbohydrates provide energy the fastest, compared to proteins and fats. However, protein-rich foods, like eggs, lean meats, nuts, beans, and legumes will help your body repair itself after a hard workout.
Staying hydrated and making sure your body has proper electrolytes is also a vital part of fueling your body. Water makes up about 45-75% of your body mass, and, due to sweat, we lose a lot of water weight when we work out. Dehydration can result in lethargy, constipation, headaches, and can lead to harmful damage to your body.
Get Quality Sleep
Having a restful night of sleep reaps instant benefits. Quality sleep helps you feel revitalized, renewed, and ready and willing to take on any challenge that comes your way. Having a good night’s sleep before exercising clears up brain fog and puts you in a better mood to physically and mentally challenge yourself. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania did a study on sleep and the effects it has on mental wellbeing. Participants who were allowed only 4.5 hours of sleep each night for seven days in a row reported increased stress, anger, sadness, mental exhaustion, and overall lower quality of life. However, once they were able to return to full and refreshing sleep, their moods and mental functioning returned to normal.
Additionally, sufficient sleep helps your body recover after exercise more efficiently, ultimately allowing you to put in more work and create more gains in a shorter amount of time.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
We get it, there’s nothing like the first sip of hot coffee in the morning to start off your day. Caffeine is a wonderful stimulant that can make you feel alert and focused, but it can also lead to a rough afternoon crash. And if you’re drinking so much caffeine throughout the day that you’re unable to sleep at night, your body’s battery will deplete day after day, making you more reliant on caffeine.
Sleep is a vital part of maintaining high energy levels. Negatively impacting your sleep schedule with caffeine will leave you with no energy while working out. So, skip the afternoon cup of joe and try something new like herbal tea, seltzer water, or other caffeine-free beverages.
Find Ways To Control Your Stress
Energy levels take a hard hit when faced with high stress. While we are naturally hard-wired to handle stress as a means of survival and protection, chronic stress can leave us feeling exhausted and depleted.
Finding outlets to mitigate our stress and relax our minds will help us have the energy necessary for working out. For some, meditation is a way to settle the mind and let go of stress. For others, movement such as yoga can have a very positive impact. Getting outside and experiencing the awe of nature for even only twenty minutes has been proven to significantly reduce cortisol levels, a hormone released when stressed that is responsible for curbing any nonessential body functions when in fight-or-flight mode.
And because endorphins are released when you work out, exercise is a great way to manage stress and ultimately help you relax. Keeping this in mind might just be what you need to get yourself to the gym.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
Listening to your favorite pump-up music might get you amped to head out and exercise, but it’s also been proven to help you maintain high levels of exertion throughout your workout.
Additionally, music can help you maintain a good rhythm during pace-based exercises like running or weight-lifting.
Create a Routine
Routines are useful tools to help you do tasks without having to put much thought into them. For example, brushing your teeth is a common routine that most people have engrained into their daily activities. How much thought do you put into remembering to brush your teeth? It’s pretty mindless, right? Creating a habitual routine around your fitness can help you exert less energy to actually get up and get going on your workout.
In fact, this Time Magazine article on habit-changing explains just how much our habits have an influence on our existence and future. The article shares this research from Professor Wendy Wood and colleagues that found that we repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily. “For this reason, our habits have a tremendous influence on our existence—and our future.” So, there’s no bad time to build in a fitness routine, and the sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll not have to spend excess energy planning and thinking about when to workout.
Find A Comfortable Place To Exercise
Finding the energy to work out isn’t impossible, but does require some intentional effort. Some people find that going to a gym creates a designated area to spend time working on fitness. There aren’t distractions that would deter you from working out, so you can focus all of your energy on getting the best possible workout as efficiently as possible.
There are over 30 Chuze Fitness locations across Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico, find a Chuze near you start cultivating the energy you need for your best workout today.