First off I wanted to say a big thank you for all your kind words on my last post! The amount of support I have received from people in my life, whether I know them in person or from the blogging world, has been incredible. Knowing so many people have got my back makes those cranky and sleep-deprived days far less miserable 😉
As tired as I’ve been feeling these last few
weeks months, something that I have been firm about not letting go of is my regular exercise. There have been days where my workout was far more half-assed than I would have liked, and there were phases where I went through some real fitness ruts. But I’m always preaching the benefits physical activity has when it comes to your energy levels, and this is something I totally walk the walk with.
Case in point: I’m a huge nature nerd, and early last week I found out the larch trees in my favourite provincial park had turned golden. If you aren’t familiar with larch trees, they’re trees that grow in the alpine that look similar to evergreen trees, but for a few weeks in late September/early October they turn a bright golden orange. You can find them approximately 10km into a fairly strenuous hike up Frosty Mountain.
Making the three hour drive to the park, spending the night, and then hiking all day before driving back home seemed like a fantastic idea early last week when I was fresh and rested. But after multiple late nights and 4am wakeup calls, by the time Saturday rolled around I wasn’t so sure I had made a good idea. Sundays are my day to relax and unwind! What the heck was I doing planning a 22km hike?!
Turns out that despite being as exhausted as I was, that 22km hike was just what I needed. Sure, I was complaining about my legs being tired by the last hour, and I may have been asleep before 7pm on Sunday night 😉 But being out in nature, without any wifi or cell service, without any to-do lists, without any distractions, and being surrounded by this:
made me feel totally recharged and ready to take on the upcoming weeks. Yesterday I found my insane to-do list was far less intimidating, and I didn’t want to curl up in a ball and hide at the thought of all the big new scary tasks I had to accomplish. I felt energized and ready for whatever life has in store for me!
Now I’m not suggesting you go hike 22km up a mountain the next time you feel low in energy, but I AM suggesting you make a point of getting at least some physical activity into your day. This could be a quick bodyweight circuit, a brisk walk outdoors, or 5 minutes of yoga interspersed into your work day. Especially during these months where our daylight hours become less and less and we tend to enter hibernation mode.
It seems counterintuitive, but there are three ways in which exercise can boost your energy levels when you’re feeling a little lacking in that department.
1. Exercise releases endorphins.
You know, those happy little hormones that make you feel all good inside? Endorphins can help ease discomfort caused by aches and pains, something those suffering from arthritis tend to experience more of this time of the year. They also boost our moods and reduce feelings of fatigue. Both gentle and more vigorous forms of exercise cause a nice little endorphin rush.
2. Exercise improves your sleep.
While the impact exercise has on our sleep is not always apparent right away, numerous studies have shown that consistent exercise over the long-term has a positive effect on our ability to have a deep sleep. You can find some of these studies in this post. Deeper sleep means more energy the following morning!
3. Exercise gives us a reason to engage in things we enjoy.
When you’re looking at exercise from an energizing standpoint, try to pick activities you enjoy. When you’re training for weight loss or a specific sport there may be times you’ll have to engage in a speedwork session or HIIT circuit you’re not a huge fan of, but if you’re exercising solely for the purpose of giving yourself a natural energy boost, do what makes you feel happiest and most alive!
Love doing yoga? Find a sequence on YouTube and practice in your living room after a tough day. Feel recharged after being in nature? Get outside for a hike! Feel most alive after a night of dancing? Grab some girlfriends and sign up for salsa lessons. The physical activity world is your oyster!Feeling tired? Here are 3 simple ways #exercise can boost your energy! #health #letsgetsweaty Click To Tweet
It’s important to remember that when looking at exercise from an energizing standpoint, we want to find something that makes us put in a bit of work without overdoing it. If you’re feeling even more exhausted afterwards, you may have chosen something a bit too high on the intensity scale.
How about you? What do you like to do when you feel you need an energy boost?