When you are tired every day, things hurt, and your energy levels are at rock bottom, the last thing you want to do is exercise.
In fact, the thought of getting to the gym, or going for a run, or doing anything that involves more than just getting through the day to day tasks, seems… quite frankly… like you are punishing yourself.
You’ve probably heard that when it comes to weight loss, that exercise on its own has very little impact. Many of us overestimate the amount of energy we burn off during a workout, and are frustrated when that hour at the gym every day doesn’t do anything to make up for our poor diet.
So if you don’t necessarily need to exercise to lose weight, why put yourself through all that discomfort, pain, sweat, and tears?
It helps with pain
Often pain in your body can come from poor posture, stiffness, tightness in particular muscle groups, and weakness in others. This can result in joints being out of alignment, putting pressure on joints that causes pain. It can also result in soreness in muscles that are forced to work harder to compensate for unnatural joint positioning.
Working with the right trainer can be invaluable in this case. They can evaluate your posture, and recommend stretching for tight muscles, and strengthening for weak muscles, as well as offer techniques such as using a foam roller to release tightness. Including core exercises, which strengthen the muscles that support your spine, can be incredibly helpful in helping with posture and pain management.
It helps prevent muscle loss with your weight loss
Whenever you lose weight, a fraction of this will be muscle loss. You want to minimise this, to keep your metabolism as high as possible, as the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you burn through the day.
Try to include a combination of resistance, or weight bearing exercises a few times a week, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Initially your own body weight can be enough without adding in any extra weights, but the fitter you get, you may wish to increase to a higher resistance.
Make sure you plan for a snack with appropriate carbohydrate and protein in the hour after exercise to help with recovery and avoid muscle wasting.
It helps with energy levels
It’s a strange thing. You would think that exercise would drain you of energy, but in fact it has been found to have the opposite effect. Aim for 25-30 mins of moderate intensity exercise in the morning (walking is a great choice), and see for yourself the effect it has on your energy levels through the day.
You want to aim for an intensity where you are just a little out of breath- you could talk, but couldn’t sing.