1. Join a class from 13 Workouts for When You’re Too Tired to Work Out

13 Workouts for When You’re Too Tired to Work Out

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1. Join a class

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Have you done Zumba? This may be a good excuse to catch up with friends or make new ones. If Zumba sounds scary to you, don’t worry. Join any kind of group fitness activity. It’s great for motivation, too. Group exercises are usually not that vigorous. 

2. Walk fast

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You can do it on a treadmill or outside. People don’t usually associate walking with exercise because they do it all the time, but it is. Your body is active and burning energy. If you’re at the gym, increase the incline a little bit for a more intense (but short) workout. According to Jordan, if you had to work out just one part of your body when you’re tired, it would be your feet. “Walk, dance, etc. just to get moving.”

3. Foam rolling

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Concentrate on the hips. It’s not stressful at all but it improves your movement a lot. The official name is self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It is often used by professional and physical therapists to help muscles recover so they don’t become overactive. Another plus: Foam rollers are practically a sports massage – but a lot cheaper.

4. Body-weight workout

You sit or stand in one place and you’re building muscle. Why not do just that at the gym? Do several bodyweight exercises without a break in between, repeat the circuit a few times, and you’re done for the day in about 15-20 minutes. Do avoid, however, heavy weights. When tired, focus on less intense lifts or triceps dips, for example.

5. Shorten your usual workout

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If you have a workout schedule and you don’t like deviating, do whatever you have for the day but not as many reps. Quarter of an hour can make a huge difference. Research suggests that short workouts can increase resting metabolic rate and improve bone density. Jordan says you can make a deal with yourself to start your normal workout for 10 minutes and if after that time you don’t feel like you’d like to keep going, you can stop. “Most of the time, they’ll likely keep going. It’s all about getting over the inertia—the old ‘a body at rest tends to stay at rest, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.’”

6. Tabata training

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Tabata training is a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout that lasts only four minutes. (Just when you thought that workouts can’t get any shorter!) Tabata is perfect when you are tired – short and effective. You can even do the exercises at home because you only need your own bodyweight. Usually, such workout consists of eight intense exercises broken down in four rounds with each exercise done for 20 seconds.

7. HIIT - short, high-intensity workout

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If four minutes is just a bit too short for you, do a few more exercises. But make your workout harder, not longer. HIIT has become a very popular way to burn fat, improve endurance, and build muscle (possibly because people don’t have a full hour to spend at the gym). This method can be applied to running or to exercises such as squatting. It has been shown to boost your metabolism.

8. Stretch

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Stretching is one of the most important parts of fitness. It improves flexibility, reduces the risk of injury, and increases circulation. In fact, one of the reasons you may be feeling tired is you feel sore and stiff. Nothing fixes that better than stretches. A good one is the hip flexor/quad stretch. The seated trunk twist is another common favorite stretch.

9. Go on the stair climber

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Ah, the first among equals (of machines). Many instructors send their clients, especially women, to the stair climbing apparatus. It helps tone a person’s lower body because it engages every major muscle – hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quadriceps. You don’t have to do anything else at the gym – just a lot of reps of this one.

10. The TV workout

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Run in one place for about 40 seconds. Then rest for 10. Do planks for a minute or for as long as you can. Take another break of about 10 seconds. Now it’s time for squats. You should do this exercise for another minute or a little more. Lunges are usually a good idea following squats.  Last but not least – pushups for 30 seconds or as many as you can. Repeat this entire set a few times you can rest assured you have worked out.

11. Just the abs

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Another set of exercises you can do at home or at the gym if you need the motivation Working on your abs is a great way to stay fit, not feel wiped out and increase core strength. Use the day you’re tired to do abs exercises, and skip that routine some other time. Working on your core very often may lead to posture problems.

12. Do housework

This is another form of working out that people don’t usually associate with fitness. Tidying up can sometimes take two hours – that is 120 minutes of your body constantly moving. You use your arm muscles a lot for polishing, mopping and sweeping, and that keeps the in shape. Are you going up and down the stairs from one room to another putting things where they belong? This is an aerobic exercise. In end, by cleaning out the house you’ve killed two birds with one stone.

13. Just sleep

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Some days you just have to get let your body rest. If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, head to bed and not the gym. You don’t want to trigger a cycle of fatigue. If you’re injured, it’s important to give your muscle time to recover. If you drag your feet when you walk, go to bed right away. This is the ultimate sign you’re not just whining but physically need to get some sleep. Be honest with yourself though: Are you wiped out, meaning that “you are truly physically exhausted and you can’t take another step,” according to Jordan, or are you are being lazy because “you could move, but you are consciously choosing not to do so”?