Posted by: Tired! | 2009/01/06

No Energy to Exercise!

Hi Doc,

I' m a 21 year old female and I just do NOT have the energy to exercise! I work a full day to come home to do a BIT of cleaning and to cook, but I don' t have energy to do anything else.

My day typically goes like this:

wake up at 07:00, eat breakfast (always a cereal- at the moment it' s Wheatbix), be at work by 08:00 (office job- I don' t get much exercise from walking up and down).
Around 10:00 eat a yoghurt or fruit. Then I go on my lunch at 13:00, but I walk uphill to my flat from the office (about a 11 minute walk). I have a sandwhich/ salad/ toast... Along those lines.
I then walk back to work (again about 11 minutes but downhill).

I then work until 17:00/ 17:30 (no snacks). I walk home again but I try take a longer walk- I try make the walk at least 20 minutes but I have to stroll more than walk to do that (there are only so many roads I can walk up and down). Then I cook, eat at about 19:00- 19:30 then I go to bed at about 22:00.

I am currently a size 32, but I can feel my pants getting a bit tighter. I KNOW I have quite a bit of flab (skinny doesn' t mean fit and toned).

I am desperate to get toned and fit and all that but I do NOT have the energy. Help!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

Difficult one - I wonder whether your diet is providing enough energy to begin with. That's something work checking out with a dietician, because as things stand, you're tired without even doing exercise, and that means that your habitual diet is not providing energy, or you're deficient in some respect - perhaps that could be tested for?

On the side of exercise, you're not going to find energy for exercise until you sort out the energy without it. There is this adage that if you exercise, you'll have more energy, but I'm not sure that applies here. In terms of time, it's really important that you prioritize exercise. I know this will sound flippant, but very few people just find that they have time to exercise - it has to be made, created, and so you need to create the time. That requires some time management, restructuring of your day, and so forth, but it's important if you are serious about making exercise stick. I know it sounds impossible, but very few people do it any other way.

So my advice - check the diet, and especially the quantity of food you're eating, because you can eat the right types of foods, but if the amounts are not correct, then you're struggling anyway. Then consider that you might be deficient as a result of diet, either in energy or other nutrients. That could well take care of it. If not, then it might pay to see a doctor and just have tests, because there are conditions where excessive fatigue is the symptom.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: E | 2009/01/08

Hey there,

to save you some time at night, instead of cooking each night, how about preparing two nights meals on Sunday for the following week, in that way you dont have to cook every night and that gives you some extra time to exercise. What I do is I grill afew chicken breasts and steak on Sunday and lots of veggies for lunches and for dinner .On the days that I dont train I will than cook something simple but healthy to eat.

the same with cleaning the house, dont have to clean everynight, choose a day or two that you dont exercise and clean on those nights rather.

I also have a office job and get tired very easily but if you set yourself a goal and work through the tiredness you will feel better after you exercised. First thing you do after work is exercise and than focus on everything else

Try exercising on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for starters and than exercise on Saturday as well. To get more toned weights is very important combined with cardio (aerobics,running ,walking and cycling) for atleast 40 minutes increasing to 60 minutes.
Also relook at what you eating, you might not be eating enough combination of carbs, protein and healthy fats. Your snacks between meals are also important aswell as drinking enough water during the day.

Hope this helps,

Reply to E

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