Need more energy for a work out? Do you ever have those days where you know you need to get to the gym and meet your workout goals, but you just don’t have the energy? Is it a struggle to work out at the end of a busy day or wake up early enough to work out before a long day? If you struggle with finding enough energy for your work outs than here are some tips to help you out.
Motivation. Yes, it may sound obvious but so many people lose sight of why they want to work out in the first place. You have to find out what works for you. Remind yourself of your goals on a constant basis. Write them down and post them somewhere where you will see them. Another good form of motivation is to tape pictures of celebrity beach bodies or old pictures of yourself (if you are trying to get a body back that you once had) on the fridge. Also, use the buddy system and have a pact with friends or family members that you will take turns motivating one another and dragging each other to the gym. Also, if you have a large enough support system, it is fun to make up contests or put money into pools for who is going to the gym the most or who is losing the most body fat by percentage. You have to find a system that works for you, but if you are finding it too easy to skip days of your work out, then you have to figure out a better way of motivating yourself.
Caffeine. You can indulge in a beverage with caffeine to give yourself an extra boost. Caffeine makes you more mentally alert and that will give you a burst of energy. Black or green tea or black coffee is recommended. Try not to add extra empty calories from sugar into the drink, or you will have to work out longer to get rid of the extra calories. If you must have an energy drink, check the nutrition label because even sugar free energy drinks have a lot of calories and chemicals that aren’t good for you. Also, energy drinks can leave you feeling bloated or gassy, which isn’t good before a work out. Keep in mind that caffeine will eventually result in an energy crash, so make sure you use your boost for your work out and don’t consume caffeine too soon in your day before you are ready to work out or you will crash before you even start working out. Caffeine also does not effect everyone the same way. Some have a really high tolerance to it, and some people get sick and jittery from it, so if it doesn’t work for you, avoid it all together.
Energy Supplements and Vitamins. There are so many different types of energy supplements on the market. Some people get sick from these. They get headaches, stomachaches, the jitters or dizziness. Energy supplements (and/or diet pills) are very strong, and you will definitely be able to feel them working, but whether you get an energy that feels good or whether you are up all night sick depends on how your body handles them. Also check the label because a lot of times these supplements just have caffeine as a main active ingredient, so don’t expect more than you would from a cup of coffee. If the product has ginseng or bitter orange in it, than it has more natural ingredients that are said to boost the metabolism. A lot of protein powders are marketed as energy supplements. Protein powder does not give you extra energy, only extra protein. And while the protein is good for many things, like keeping you full, supporting lean muscle, and muscle recovery, it doesn’t really give you any more energy. These powders (this also goes for bars and shakes) may have other nutrients in them that supposedly give you more energy, but check to see what those ingredients are. B Vitamins are good for the metabolism and good for helping with energy, but you have to eat something for the energy to be released. Taking the vitamins alone won’t provide any instant boosts. In fact, if you need a boost, it may be healthier and more effective to just eat something healthy instead of trying to take shortcuts or intake protein shakes or energy drinks that will add calories into your daily intake without giving you the amount of energy you really desire.
Foods that Boost Energy. Fruit in general is a great energizing food, especially blueberries and oranges. They give a lot of vitamins and antioxidants and leave you feeling refreshed. Vegetables are also great. Peppers and spinach are said to be very energizing. Salmon, almonds, olive oil, green tea and hummus also top the lists of foods that will give you that extra oomph and lots of other healthy perks too. Eating these foods about an hour or two before a work out should rev up your metabolism. Also, if you can, try to eat six small meals per day instead of two or three super huge ones. If you eat a lot and get really full it is hard to want to work out once you are in your “food coma.” Plus, you just wont feel well.
Other Factors. Make sure that you are also getting enough sleep every night, and not burning the candle at both ends. Find ways to combat your stress levels. Make your work out a priority and make it a time you enjoy and get to focus on yourself. Also break the rut of the gym if you have to and join fitness groups, or try a new fitness class. Mix it up so you don’t get bored. Also, have your play-list plugged with tunes that you know you will enjoy and make you feel good. If you consider all of these factors, you should easily be able to find energy for a work out.