As lockdown measures begin to lift, you may find that you’re still in a groggy and lethargic state from staying at home. This feeling of exhaustion is completely understandable – the last few months have taken a physical and mental toll as we adapt to a new normal. Furthermore, studies show that the anxiety, stress and information overload from the lockdown can cause fatigue and tiredness.
But, what happens when you have fitness goals to achieve and your regular routine to go back to? Here are just some of the ways to improve your energy levels so that you feel ready to get back to your peak fitness levels.
Sleeping well goes beyond simply making sure you’re in bed for 7-9 hours a night. Around 30% of people experience poor sleep which can lead you to feel tired and grumpy. You can improve your sleep by letting yourself wind down an hour before bed. This means no phones or blue-light emitting devices. Reading, having a warm bath or shower and gentle stretching can help to prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep.
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Many people do not consume enough protein throughout the day, and this can be a primary factor in experiencing fatigue. Protein is vital for energy as well as helping to build and repair the muscles in the body. While there is still debate around the right levels of protein to consume, the minimum recommendation is at least 0.8g of protein per kilo of body weight. Where possible, protein should come from whole food sources such as tofu, nuts and legumes.
It may help to keep to food tracking diary, to make sure you’re getting sufficient levels of protein every day.
When you’re checking your protein levels, make sure you’re avoiding added sugar too. This may give you a quick energy boost but will result in sugar spikes and crashes. Research shows that those who eat high-sugar food feel more tired than those eating complex carbohydrates.
If you’re struggling to find the energy to work out, the best thing you can do is hit your workout mat or machinery and try your best. While you may not feel like it, even doing five minutes of exercise can really help to boost your energy. We guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards.
Studies have shown that people who regularly feel fatigued can reduce their tiredness by up to 65% by participating in low-intensity cycling. If you really can’t bear the weights or a HIIT class, try going for a quick walk beforehand which can be an incredibly effective energy level pick-me-up. Afterwards, you may feel ready to take on a harder workout, if not, sign the day off as a rest day, get good quality sleep, fuel your body and start again tomorrow with energy!