Should I exercise when I am tired?
The simple answer is that Mum’s are rarely not tired, so knowing the difference between exhaustion and low energy is vital. There are circumstances where exercise should not be prioritised over rest, however many times it can come in very helpfu and here is Funmi, one of our brilliant trainers as well as a Mum herself to tell you more about it.
How exercise can lead to more energy
Being a mum is wonderful. It’s such a blessing to bring a little human into the world. But it also comes with a lot of other things that are difficult to prepare for: extreme tiredness, fatigue, lack of focus, mood swings and anxiety to name a few.
Some things you simply can’t do anything about. That’s something I had to learn when my daughter was still very young. I just had to find ways of coping with them.
I don’t have postnatal depression but I do have days where my mood is low, I feel drained and my anxiety is worse than usual.
After taking some time to reassess my diet and lifestyle, I noticed the one thing that did make a difference: Exercise. I’ve been fairly active since my daughter was 6 months old. Some week’s I’d manage to train 4 times, others only a couple. I just enjoyed exercising and being that it is part of my job it’s just something that I did.
But I’ve been spending more time thinking about what is leading me to feeling the way I do. I usually feel good when I’ve exercised or caught up with friends. My mood and energy were low when I hadn’t been as active for a few days.
Studies have shown that exercise can ward off stress, anxiety, boost energy and improve sleep. No wonder, I felt so much better the days following a good workout!
Isn’t it amazing how doing one good thing can potentially help with so many things? Exercising leads to better sleep, which means I wake up feeling more refreshed. I then feel much more alert and ready to take on the day as I have more energy. It’s a no brainer.
Adding some physical activity to your day will pay off in so many ways for you:
Endorphins are the body’s feel-good chemicals. They help relieve pain as well as induce feelings of pleasure. The body releases endorphins after intense bursts of physical activity. Ever wondered what people meant when they experience “runner’s high”? It is thought that endorphins are responsible for that. So, increasing your activity levels will increase your release of endorphins which contribute to improving your mood.
Exercise tires you out, helps to decompress the mind and should therefore help you fall asleep faster. Studies have shown that exercise not only helps with falling asleep faster, it also improves the quality of your sleep. Of course you might still feel tired if your sleep is broken due to your baby not sleeping through the night yet, but the periods of sleep you do have are of better quality.
When your baby is napping, all you might want to do is nap too. Of course, if you are really tired, then you should absolutely do that. But if you can muster up the energy to do even a 20 minute low intensity workout, those endorphins we mentioned earlier can help you to feel more energised. Your body’s need for oxygen increases when you exercise. This causes you to take in more oxygen that is delivered to your brain and muscles, which then makes you feel more alert and energised.
I know that exercise is not a cure for everything, but isn’t it worth giving it a try if it could help you with anxiety, stress and better sleep?