About two weeks ago, I got back to running after a break of three months. However, I’ve noticed a drop in my energy levels which is extremely strange, considering I write about how an exercise routine supercharges your day.
While going to bed early was a welcome change, dragging my ass through work was a whole other story. This prompted me to delve deeper into what could be the reason, considering I almost entertained the idea of seeing a physician (not a ridiculous thought if the feeling persists). Here’s what I found:
- Apparently, while I adhered to the guideline of eating a light pre-workout meal an hour before getting on the treadmill, my food selection was all wrong. Trained to believe that protein is the be-all and end-all of a weight-loss diet, I’d usually load up on a lean meat salad, or just meat with a side of veg.
Studies Suggest: Exhaustion after a workout is the result of low blood sugar. The smart thing to do is to indulge in healthy carbs by way of bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, oatmeal, and the likes, before a workout. These will restore the glycogen and prevent the feeling of fatigue.
- I’m also not a big fan of drinking water while I run. Some fresh lime juice about 30 minutes after I get off the treadmill, and my last intake of fluids can be clocked to about 30 minutes before a workout.
Studies Suggest: One must drink about 8oz water, every 15 minutes. Sipping on water will prevent dehydration, replace the fluids you’re losing and keep your energy levels up. In fact, it will even help you exercise for longer by regulating your body temperature. If you’re feeling famished or fatigued after a workout, its cause your body is starved for water.
- The genius that I am, perhaps upping my speed and incline levels every third day was an overreach. Also, I figured that four days of running for 45 minutes is better than six days of running for 30.
Studies Suggest: I was doing too much, too fast. While the exercise duration is nothing unusual, I was coming back from a three-month workout sabbatical with little-to-no activity, save for using the loo, bathing, and whatnot. It wasn’t long before I noticed unexplained purple bruises on my hands and legs; ones that came without a source of impact. Point to be noted: My body needed recovery time. It also needed more rest, better sleep patterns, and maybe even some warm up exercises before I went all batshit crazy on my next run.
The truth is, I know all these things. I know the importance of stretching, the need to indulge in stamina building and recovery workouts, the reason behind pacing your routine… but, when you’re there, in the middle of it, sometimes even common sense escapes you.
Are you ignoring these obvious red flags, too?