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The Best Workouts For When You’re Tired

Life is exhausting. It seems like we’re all under so much pressure to continually perform from the minute our eyes slowly creep open in the morning until they finally give up at night. You have to be on your A-game at work, at home, with kids, in the gym. Eventually, it all starts taking a toll. Before you know it, you’re barely getting by on caffeine and are one bad day away from giving up.

When things start piling up, why is it exercise is one of the first things to get cut? If you’ve done that before, it’s time for a come-to-Jesus moment.

Look, I know you’re tired. I know you’ve got too much on your plate right now. But I promise giving up that one hour you spend on yourself won’t fix anything. It just sets you up for a tougher road.

If you hear me out, I’ll explain why you should stick with your workouts and how you can beat the fatigue and gain more energy. SPOILER: It’s not a magic pill; (sorry not sorry).

Why Even Bother?

“I’m too tired to work out.”

Have you ever said that? Want to hear something crazy? Working out actually gives you energy. It’s still hard to comprehend that when your alarm goes off for that 5 a.m. bootcamp or when you just got off work from the Monday-est Tuesday ever.

Skipping a workout because you’re too tired is a very slippery slope. The more sedentary your lifestyle becomes, the harder it is to break out of that cycle. If you’re sick or injured, you need to rest. Otherwise, don’t let the excuse of being tired stop you from something that can help you beat the fatigue.

When you get your workout in, you are creating energy by releasing endorphins, managing stress, and getting blood flow and oxygen to the brain and organs. You’ll also have improved sleep, which helps you feel more refreshed during the day (I’ll come back to this).

When you have that negative talk in your head trying to convince you it’s no biggie to skip a workout, just remember…

Get Over Yourself

Seriously, you can’t let that kind of negativity bring you down, because it will (and fast). Think about how good it feels when you finish a workout. Imagine the rush you get when you are pushing through.

If anything, just show up and commit to 10 minutes. Chances are ten turns into twenty, and before you know it, you’ll be in beast mode crushing your workout. Don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t let the excuses win.

Even if you don’t feel up for your regular workout, you’ve got options. No matter what, get your body moving. Here are some exercises that are guaranteed to snap you out of that tiredness.

HIIT Class

A HIIT class when you’re tired is like jumping into a cold pool. It’s more mind over matter – you know it’s going to be intense, but you have to stop overthinking and do it anyway. This will quickly get your body and mind in gear.

High-Rep/Low Weight

Lifting heavy weights requires a level of focus to avoid injury that you simply may not have when you’re tired. Lifting lighter with more reps can be rhythmic, and you can rely a little on muscle memory to get through the sets (don’t slack too much though).


If you need a reset and are determined to get moving, give yoga a shot. Yoga is a great way to recenter, especially if you feel mentally scattered and fatigued. It’s relatively low-intensity but can still give you a boost of energy.

Don’t Ignore Sleep

Please make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you deprive your body of restful sleep, you’ll pay for it. Workouts will require more energy. Fatigue will set in quicker.

Science has yet to pinpoint the exact reason why exercise improves sleep. Still, research studies have repeatedly shown a correlation between exercising and more restful sleep. Johns Hopkins noted recent research that indicates exercise can also decrease insomnia. 

Working out signals your body clock that it’s time to be awake. Staying consistent with your workouts can also help regulate your sleep cycles. Getting into a routine for exercise and rest makes the best combination for improved energy.

Pay attention to what time you go to bed and your activities beforehand. If you’re bingeing on Netflix before you fall asleep, or if having caffeine later will keep you awake, cut it out. Be just as intentional about sleep as you are about your exercise routine.

Check Your Priorities

Trust me, I know what it feels like to overcommit. Everyone has a million things going, and we all have our breaking point. When fatigue sets in and something has to give, I know for me, it’s time to check my priorities.

One thing I would never give up is my workout – even if I didn’t run a gym. I want to make it easy for you to get that workout in no matter what. That’s why McClure Fitness has over 60 classes every week, and McClure Fitness Online lets you workout anytime, anywhere.

No matter what, stick with your workouts – especially if you’re tired.