You may be worried
about having enough energy to exercise. These tips can help.
remember this: Exercise can actually give you more energy. After they start to
be more active, most people feel more energetic throughout the day.
Eat a balanced diet
Unless you're exercising for an hour or more, you don't need to eat
more calories or eat special foods for energy. A balanced diet will give most
people the energy they need for physical activity.
Have a healthy snack like
an apple, a whole-wheat bagel, or a handful of baby carrots if you're running
low on energy. Nutrition bars are convenient, but be sure to read the label.
They can be high in calories.
Drink plenty of fluids
Many people do not drink enough fluids to balance the loss from sweating
from physical activity. To protect yourself from dehydration:
Drink plenty of water
before, during, and after you are active. This is very important when it's hot
out and when you do intense exercise.
Use a sports drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade, if you will be exercising for
longer than 1 hour, and try to drink it at least every 15 to 20 minutes.
Avoid drinks with alcohol.
Don't take salt tablets. Most people get plenty of salt in their diets. If you are
worried about replacing minerals lost through sweating, use a sports
In extremely hot weather, take extra
care to prevent dehydration. Exercise early in the day or later in the evening
when it is cooler.
If you get dizzy, lightheaded, or very
tired, stop exercising.
Make sure you're rested
If you feel weak and tired but aren't sick:
Try a short, brisk walk or similar
activity. You may find that walking for 5 to 10 minutes actually gives you more
Switch back and forth between rest and exercise. Gradually increasing your exercise may give you more energy.
Avoid medicines that can cause tiredness,
such as tranquilizers and cold and allergy medicines.
Improve your diet. Eating a balanced diet may give you more
energy. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast.
Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. They can
actually make you feel tired.
Cut back on watching TV. Spend that time with friends, try new activities, or travel to break
the cycle of tiredness.
Get a good night's sleep:
Try to get rid of all sounds and lights in
Don't eat just before you go to bed.
Use your bed only for sleeping and sex. Do not read or watch TV in
If you feel weak and tired because of a cold or the
Get extra rest while you
are ill. Let your symptoms be your guide.
If you have a cold, you may be able to go
on with your usual routine and just get some extra sleep.
have the flu, you may need to spend a few days in bed.
Return slowly to your
Drink plenty of fluids so
you don't get dehydrated.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerHeather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science