Let's face it, the demands of work, family and life stress can wear us out. Usually when we are tired the first thing we drop is our exercise routine. The problem is, exercise is a powerful tool to use to boost your energy and decrease your stress. When we drop our exercises, we actually make it harder on ourselves in the long run. Over time I have learned this to be true for myself and have come up with a few keys to keep the habit of exercise alive and well, but adapt it to when I'm too tired to give my usual amount of effort. Here's what I recommend:
1. Keep your routine, but plan on shortening the duration of exercising: If you go to a gym, still go. If you walk, run or ride your bike, still get in your exercise clothes and prepare to do your usual activity.
2. Relax your pace / power back intentionally. Take advantage of moving a little slower to focus on your form and breathing pattern. Are you getting good deep diaphragmatic breathes (or are you breathing shallow mouth type breathes)? If you are lifting weights, slow your either part or all of your lifting cadence and do fewer reps / sets and /or total weight.
3. Stimulate your mind: Change your course direction, scenery, or exercise order. On some of my light workout days, I do my lifts in reverse order. If I am doing balance exercises I will still do these first and I'd recommend you do too (to avoid a fatigue induced injury).
4. Boost the Fun Factor! Try something different, a new exercise, a new running technique (skipping or bounding...etc), a body weight exercise. Just do a little, just to try.
5. Finish feeling like you could have done more- because next time you will! Good luck! Sincerely, Dr. Joe