6 Reasons For Feeling Unusually Tired During Exercise

Feeling tired is a normal part of exercise. In fact, it is often a sign of a great workout. However, there are different kinds of tiredness. If you are feeling completely drained just a few minutes into a workout, or are getting exhausted by exercises that used to be easy, there might be an underlying problem. Here are the six most likely causes.


1. Dehydration

Water is necessary for healthy bodily function during exercise. Lack of fluids reduces blood volume, making it harder for the heart to supply the muscles with the oxygen they need, resulting in exhaustion. Water is also needed for sweat, which is the means by which the body cools itself. Fight dehydration by drinking water regularly throughout the day, especially as your workout approaches. The general rule is to get six to eight glasses a day (more on hot days). Drinking water during a workout is also wise.


2. Insufficient recovery time

While exercise is incredibly good for you, it also puts a lot of strain on your body. It takes times for the body to bounce back from such stress. The harder a workout, the more recovery is required. An especially intense exercise session should be followed by days of easier work. Having variety in your workout routine is also crucial. Don’t keep practicing the same kinds of exercise day after day. Mix it up by doing both cardio and strength training, and target different areas of the body.


3. Vitamin deficiency

Vitamins and minerals are vital for proper body functioning. While all vitamins and minerals are important, insufficient iron consumption is a particularly likely cause of lethargy. That’s because iron is needed for the delivery of oxygen to the muscles. Deficiencies of vitamin D, vitamin B, copper, magnesium, and potassium can all cause trouble as well. In general, the solution to a vitamin or mineral deficiency is simply to eat a healthy, balanced diet — meaning lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins, with a minimum of processed and fatty foods.


4. Lack of carbs

Carbohydrates often get a bad rap. However, while it can be good to limit carb consumption, they are not bad for you — especially when it comes to working out. That’s because exercise burns a lot of energy. The main source for energy is glucose, which is primarily derived from carbs. Consuming too few carbohydrates means exhaustion, especially during aerobic workouts. To maintain a good diet, opt for healthier carbs such as whole grains.


5. Medications

Many kinds of medications can cause tiredness, including both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Among the potential culprits are antihistamines, used to treat allergies and colds. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can cause lethargy too. Beta-blockers, which lower blood pressure, can also result in the muscles getting insufficient blood supply. Statins, which treat high cholesterol, can disrupt normal energy production. Of course, you can’t stop taking an important medicine simply because it makes exercise difficult. Instead, ask your doctor if there is an alternative.


6. Poor sleep

In light of how few people in today’s world sleep well, bad sleep might be the biggest cause of tiredness during exercise. Sleep is when the body recovers from the strains (both physical and mental) of life. Thus it is impossible to feel refreshed and energetic without quality sleep. Bad sleep means your body is likely not even fully recovered from your last workout. Aim for eight solid hours a night. Promote better sleep by following a regular sleep schedule, shutting down electronics close to bedtime, and minimizing stress.


The occasional workout off-day is to be expected, and is not a cause for concern. But if you are having more trouble, you need to address the problem. Most of the potential causes of exhaustion outlined above are serious matters that shouldn’t be ignored. If your issues with lethargy during exercise persist, visit a medical professional.

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