It isn’t easy to move when you don’t want to move; that’s just a fact. There are plenty of days when snuggling in bed a little longer, or watching a movie in your favorite comfy chair, wins over getting your butt to a yoga class, or out to the park for an early morning jog. And sometimes laying low really is the way to go. After all, rest days are just as important as the days you actually exercise. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that one of the most common reasons why people skip their workouts is simply because they’re too tired, according to the results of a recent survey. And you know what? That’s totally OK.
Guys, life is so busy — regardless of who you are or what you do with your days. So like, of course you feel exhausted and burnt out after a long day, to the point where you simply don’t have the energy for anything else — even the things that make you feel good, like working out. But trust, you’re not alone here: A recent survey from Bowflex asked over 1,000 American adults about their exercise habits, and according to the results, which have been shared with Elite Daily via email, 39 percent of respondents said that being tired is their "lamest" excuse for not working out. But, I have to say, I personally don’t think it’s lame at all. It’s just true! We’re tired, y’all!
What’s more, 15 percent of survey respondents said they often skip a workout because they’re too busy, while 9 percent said they’re just too "lazy" sometimes for a workout. Again, I have a sneaking suspicion that both "lazy" and "busy" are more or less synonymous here with "tired." In other words, even if exercise is something you genuinely enjoy in your routine, it’s not uncommon at all to feel like you simply don’t have the energy to make it to the gym or roll out your yoga mat at home. However, there’s no reason at all to beat yourself up for this, because the truth is, plenty of people are in the exact same boat: According to a 2015 Gallup report, 48 percent of Americans feel like they don’t have enough free time.
Here’s what’s kind of interesting about this debacle, though: Exercise gives you energy — yes, really. Back in 2013, researchers from the University of Georgia’s College of Education found that even "a single bout of exercise consistently increases feelings of energy," as per a press release from the university. The researchers reviewed multiple studies on the subject, most of which looked at the effects of moderately intense (think weightlifting or cycling), 20- to 40-minute workouts, and their results showed that, not only can exercise boost your energy levels, but that boost is often "large enough to meaningfully improve [your] mood that day," according to UGA’s press release.
Keep in mind, the workouts that the UGA researchers studied weren’t hour-long, intense gym sessions — meaning you could see a pretty significant boost in both your energy and your overall mood, even if you just roll out your yoga mat at home and move through 20 minutes of poses, or take a half hour to gently stretch out your body.
At the same time, though, don’t forget about the importance of a good rest day. Taking that time for yourself doesn’t mean you’re "lazy" or that you’re not dedicated to taking care of your body. In fact, according to Nike trainer, former professional basketball player, and personal trainer, Holly Rilinger, rest days are crucial for a healthy fitness routine. "The most important thing is LISTENING to your body," she told Elite Daily back in June 2017. "When you feel run-down, mentally drained, constantly sore, or lacking energy, take a day. I personally take one to two rest days per week."
Bottom line: When you’re exhausted AF after a long day, take a few moments to really check in with yourself. Ask yourself whether you can actually handle a workout, even a gentle one, and whether you think you’d feel better after the fact — and be honest with yourself in your answers. If you find that you just need a nap, that’s totally cool, too.
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