Too tired to exercise?

Being physically fit is important to keep our bones and muscles strong and to lower the risk of developing chronic disease. Most adults need 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week or a total of at least 150 minutes a week.

Biking is one way to stay fit without wearing yourself out.
Biking is one way to stay fit without wearing yourself out.

If you’re like the average adult, every day you’re trying to manage your household tasks, raising children or grandchildren, running errands and working. The list goes on. Just reading this list makes me tired and for many adults running on overdrive, by the time you’re home and have some time to spare, you’re too tired to fit in physical activity.

What can you do on those days you’d rather sit in a comfy chair and put your feet up? Try one of these suggestions from Michigan State University Extension and see what you can accomplish:

  • Sit in that comfy chair and turn on the TV. However, promise yourself that every time a commercial comes on that you will do something—march in place, walk laps around the living room or run up and down the stairs. By the end of the average one hour long show, you’ll have exercised about 15-20 minutes.
  • Does this sound like more exercise than you want to do? Try arm exercises holding a can of veggies in each hand to strengthen arm muscles. Do leg lifts and tap your toes and heels to exercise your leg muscles whenever you’re sitting down.
  • Start out with a very small amount. Tell yourself that you only need to walk around the block once or ride your bike for five minutes. If you’re still tired you can stop. Sometimes just starting will boost your energy and you’ll accomplish more. But if not, stop and pat yourself on the back for doing something.
  • Turn on your favorite music and dance. Music has a way of lifting our spirits and energy levels.
  • Tell yourself over and over: Something is better than nothing! 

Pay attention to how often you’re tempted to skip physical activity because you’re too tired. Try not to go more than two days without physical activity unless you’re ill. If you tell yourself you’re too tired every day, you might want to contact your personal health care provider to rule out other underlying health problems. Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle. Make it part of yours!

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