#FitnessFriday: Energy Solutions for Your Workout

Get Energized

Do you want to start working out in the evenings after work, but your energy is lower than ever? Well, that’s because the constant mental stimulation from work can be exhausting. Additionally, sitting all day can decrease blood flow making you feel sluggish by 5 o’clock. So, in attempt to re-charge a bit, you convince yourself to go home and take a nap before you hit the gym for that evening workout. Sound the alarm! After “recharging” for a bit, you glance over at your clock and realize it has been 3 hours and it is already time for bed.

 

energy

Photo: Maze Men’s Health

This very scenario is common among many of us working a 8-5 job every day. Your goal, however, is to have enough energy to workout everyday after work. So here are five tips to combat those evening lows so you can feel energized and ready to exercise! 

 

Get better sleep at night

Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of your midday energy crash. So, just like your parents did when you were a, kid-set a bedtime. Allowing yourself 7-9 hours of sleep per night as well as maintaining normal wakeup and sleep patterns will help regulate your body’s system while you are awake. To help falling asleep, remove all stimulants from your bedroom like phones, TVs, or laptops. Also, make sure your temperature setting is on a cool and restful temperature as warm core temperatures have been linked to insomnia. Getting a good night’s rest will ensure you have enough energy to hit the gym right after work!

 

Drink water when you feel yourself slowing down

Dehydration has been shown to increase fatigue while decreasing alertness. Make sure you are drinking at least half your bodyweight in fluid ounces of water throughout the day. Try to get to the break room fridge or water cooler for a refill every two hours or so. If you still find yourself fighting your energy woes, try drinking 17-20 ounces of water two hours before you get off work and another 8oz 30 minutes or so before your workout. Drink regularly during your warmup, exercise, and cooldown to keep your body energized throughout your workout.

 

Related: Who Needs a Gym Membership?

 

Try a pre-workout snack

Simply put, calories equal energy! Eating regular meals throughout the day is an obvious energy solution but if your 3-4 meals daily just isn’t cutting it for your evening workout, get some quick energy stores from a good mid-day snack. Nutritionist often recommend a combination of protein and carbs right before a workout. Try eating an apple with peanut butter or a handful of pistachios and blueberries just 30-60minutes before your exercise. If you are looking for a more grab-and-go option, think protein shake or a banana. A quick snack before your exercise will help make sure you have sufficient calories to rev up that workout!

 

Avoid constant stimulant consumption throughout the day

Excessive use of stimulants throughout the day can suck the energy right out of you. Consuming more than 500-600mg of caffeine in a day can cause side effects like irritability, restlessness, upset stomach, muscle tremors, nervousness, insomnia and increased heart rate. Using stimulants can make falling asleep at night difficult and cause your body’s nervous system to work overboard essentially burning you out. If you need a little pick-me-up, simply try drinking one eight ounce cup of coffee in the morning and water throughout the day. If you are still lacking the energy to get you to the gym, try drinking a cup of green or black tea an hour before your workout.

 

Move throughout the day

If you haven’t heard yet, sitting is the new smoking. Sitting for too long has been linked to bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, slow metabolic rate, and various other health-related conditions. Every hour on the hour, you should get up from your desk, move around, get your blood flowing, and boost your metabolism for at least 5 minutes. Try going for a brisk walk up and down the stairs or around the building. If you can’t quite untie yourself, try performing five separate exercises while at your desk like push ups, body squats, jumping jacks, crunches, and jogging in place. This tip is sure to maintain your energy throughout the day.

 

 

 

– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC