Ask Trainer Jake: Exercise Fatigue
Q: I’ve recently started to exercise again but I seem to get tired really fast. Why is this happening?
The fact that you decided to start exercising again is great and I commend you for that! Don’t quit now because you are getting tired quickly. Your body is not used to the physical stress you are putting on it so the fatigue you are feeling is totally normal. Make it a habit to workout at a moderate pace 3-5 times a week and I guarantee your body will get used to it. The goal is to condition the body to more and more physical stress at a consistent rate. It’s something that our bodies want and if you do this, all your other daily activities will go much more smoothly.
Where do you start? It is recommended that you do both cardiovascular training (increase heart rate) as well as resistance training(machines/free weights). You can walk at a pace that is comfortable until you start to want a challenge. When you’re ready to step it up, you may increase the intensity of this type of training. Try to walk one day for 15-20 minutes (or more if this isn’t a challenge) and then do some resistance training (30-45 minutes of machines). The next day just focus your cardiovascular system by jogging or biking at a quicker pace to get the heart rate up. Really get to know your body and what it can take. If you are really struggling and need to take a short break, do so. You will know your body best and if it’s too strenuous, lower the intensity to ensure still you get a full workout in.
In the first few weeks, expect to feel some soreness. I advocate to all my clients to stretch these sore muscles and put them through their full range of motion a few times throughout the day. Stretching takes some time, and if you are tight it isn’t the most pleasant feeling, but it’s definitely worth the time to work out those kinks and allow your body to relax. Your body will thank you the next time you workout. This soreness doesn’t last and you will start to gain some endurance, making the workouts easier. It’s an opposing thought to make the body work to exhaustion or close to it, but whatever we put the body through, with the exception of injury, it will adapt and grow strong to withstand the consistent conditioning.
Things to remember. Your body will only adapt if placed under consistent physical stress. This means make a schedule and stick to it. Give it a few weeks and see how you feel. Warm your body up and stretch after every workout, and don’t give up!