by Carolyn Meers
No matter what the circumstances, finding the motivation to stay fit can be a struggle. Even in the best of situations – when you’ve got the time and the gear – mental roadblocks and energy dips can hinder your willpower and keep you from reaching your fitness goals.
But fear not, there are ways to stay on track. Here, we highlight some of the factors behind why you might be feeling too tired to work out and outline some easy-to-implement solutions.
Too tired to work out? Solve the sleep issue
First things first — how are you sleeping?
While day-to-day stressors could be causing you to toss and turn, a lack of movement throughout the day can also contribute to a restless night. The National Sleep Foundation has found that exercise — no matter when it takes place — is linked to better, deeper sleep.
You can easily get caught in a vicious cycle — less physical movement during the day leads to poor sleep, which leads to feeling more tired, resulting in low energy and little motivation for a daytime workout.
In order to strengthen the depth and quality of your sleep ‚ the true bedrock of your health, so to speak — consider the following:
- Ban the blue: Avoid blue light emitting laptops and phone screens for a few hours before bedtime (they can disrupt your circadian rhythm). Incorporate a book into your nighttime routine instead.
- Time your meals: Don’t snack late at night. Ideally, you should have about 12 hours of fasting between dinner and breakfast. Doing so helps your sleep cycle match up with your body’s digestion patterns. (Check out our post on how to sync up with your body's biological rhythm for a better sleep to learn more).
- Get natural support: You can also add sleep-enhancing supplements to your bedtime routine, like FOCL Night. Each capsule is a soothing combo of hemp-derived CBD and sleep-friendly botanicals such as Ashwagandha and Valerian Root, which aim to calm your mind, get you to power down and help you wake up with more energy.
Focus on the real benefits
While it can be tempting to hone in on the physical manifestations of fitness – a certain weight, toned muscles, etc. – studies have shown that individuals who focus on the cosmetic result of their workouts are less likely to feel satisfied with themselves versus those who find inspiration in strengthening their bodies and improving their health.
Set reasonable expectations
Setting reasonable goals will help get you going and avoid triggering negative feelings. For example, aim to complete 10 pushups and eventually build up to 20, or work towards gradually increasing your flexibility so that you can touch your toes. After all, getting fit is also about feeling good.
Shift your perspective
If you’re still feeling uninspired, check in with your body and think of how a workout will strengthen your hard-working heart, your incredible muscles and your oxygen-pumping lungs. Imagine how any workout will help make you the strongest version of yourself so you can take on the world.
Go low impact
If just the thought of a long run or an HIIT workout is exhausting, switch it up. Here are some low-impact workout ideas:
- Get moving: Queue up an upbeat music playlist or put on a podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to and step out for a walk or run around your neighborhood. If you have equipment at home, hop on a stationary bike or treadmill and just move.
- Flow for you: Roll out your yoga mat and do an improvised flow. You can stream an easy sequence online or come up with your own using some basic, low impact yoga poses.
- Dance it out: No routine required, just put on some high-energy jams, set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes and move to the music.
That final push
You’ve found the time; you’ve got the gear, now you just have to pull the trigger. Here are some final ideas to get you going.
Create a fun, encouraging fitness buddy system with friends, family or colleagues to increase your accountability. Your crew can be near or far, and you can track everyone using activity apps, staying in touch on a text thread or sharing workouts on a WhatsApp group.
Need even more motivation? Set weekly activity goals with your pals and have the prize for hitting these goals be a gift card to a shop or restaurant of your choice.
Sipping moderate amounts of yerba mate, matcha, green or black tea can boost your energy before a workout and help bolster your stamina. You may also consider adding FOCL Day to your morning regimen.
Its combo of focus-enhancing Lion’s Mane and fatigue-fighting adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea can also help get your mind and body revved and ready. (Check out our post covering how to stay awake without relying on caffeine for more energy-boosting ideas.)
Have a reward in mind
This can be a delicious dessert, a fresh item for your wardrobe, a soothing bath by candlelight, an hour of guilt-free binge-watching of your favorite reality show — it’s your call. Give yourself something to look forward to and you’ll find the motivation!
Carolyn Meers is an editor and copywriter based in Los Angeles. She has more than a decade of experience in the luxury lifestyle realm—specializing in health and wellness and home design—and has contributed to publications including CSQ, C Magazine, Robb Report, 805 Living and The Knot.