Do you feel drained, hungry and irritable after a hectic day at work? The cure may be as simple as exercise.
Going for a run or a brisk walk is probably the last thing you feel like doing. You likely want to get home, put your feet up and unwind. Fair enough. But, before you do, take this into consideration: studies have shown again and again that the biggest benefit from exercise is energy. It may seem paradoxical that exercise, which makes us feel tired afterwards, is one of the most important things we can do to boost our energy and fight fatigue, but it does! Exercise improves energy levels by improving circulation and the body’s regulation of blood sugar; reducing body fat; increasing muscle mass and the heart’s pumping volume; and heightening mood capacity.
Instead of reaching for that sports drink, energy bar or cup of coffee for a quick (but temporary) energy boost, opt for physical activity instead.
Yes, it will require some effort. It means you’ll have to change into your athletic gear and lace up your running shoes, but don’t think about it, just do it! Don’t let your mind tell you it’s not an option. Don’t think of a million reasons not to get your heart pumping and your body moving, rather, focus on how amazing you’ll be feeling post-workout!
Then you’ll be able to come home, get into your fuzzy slippers, comfy sweat pants and turn the television on. You won’t only be re-energized, but you’ll also be feeling incredibly satisfied with yourself.
And the reason why you will be feeling so high on life? Because physical activity produces endorphins, which are chemicals that get released during exercise, producing feelings of pain relief and well-being. In fact, the term “runners’ high” refers to the joy and excitement that comes from the release of endorphins into the blood stream while you are exercising. These endorphins have strong effects on your mood, lifting your spirit and creating a blissful high.
If you work late then an early a.m. workout may be better suited to your schedule than an evening one. When the alarm goes off, skip the caffeine and head straight out the door to a spin class or go to the pool for a few laps. Once you have exercised, you’ll be feeling so wide awake that you won’t need the caffeine that you thought you needed to get you going after all.
If both mornings and evenings aren’t available to you, don’t sweat it, you have another option. Exercise during your lunch break! Put it on your to-do-list in the morning, get your lunch ready for when you come back and then head out to a hot yoga session or a group fitness class. You’ll come back to the office, feeling re-charged and more alert than before, ready to take on the rest of the day, as well as, anything else that might get thrown your way!
If you are struggling to find motivation and just can’t seem to drag your feet out the door, whether it’s before work, during work or after work, then try the 10-minute rule. Make a deal with yourself to exercise for at least 10 minutes, and if after 10 minutes you are regretting your decision to exercise, then stop. However, once you get into it, chances are you’ll stick with it and keep going because you’ll be feeling those feel-good endorphins in no time!
So, next time you’re feeling tired, beat your exhaustion with exercise – be it yoga, strength training or cardio! In addition, you’ll also find that it will benefit you in other ways. It will release tension and relax you, and may even make you feel empowered and unstoppable in achieving your goals, meeting your deadlines and getting through another crazy day at work!