Too Tired To Exercise?

Last week’s Facebook poll question was – What prevents you from working out – not enough time or too tired to work out.  The “winner” was too tired to workout.  Here are some tips to help with that.

Are you getting a good night’s sleep?  Let’s start here with the obvious.  If you are only getting five hours of sleep you’re not going to want to do anything, let alone exercise.  I have clients who really struggle with insomnia and for them a doctor’s prescription is the only viable answer.  For the rest of us getting more sleep might be just making a few tweaks to our night routine, such as:

  • Put your phone/computer away one hour before bedtime.  The blue light of LED screens can keep you awake and, let’s face it, sometimes social media posts can suck you in and get you agitated right as you are trying to wind down.  There are digital health apps available to limit your screen time so you can’t access your newsfeed or email.  Give it a try for a week and see if it helps.
  • Write a to-do list before you go to sleep.  Why?  When you get all of your thoughts out of your head and down on a piece of paper you can stop thinking about them.  You can see they are on a list and will be addressed in the morning.
  • Establish a night routine.  This gives cues to your body to start winding down and go into a restful state.  Routines are comforting.  Just ask your three-year-old who needs to hear the same bedtime story every night and have here teddy bears lined up in a very specific way in order for her to go to sleep.  If routines can sooth an amped up toddler it might do wonders for you too.

What time of day are you working out?  Early bird or night owl?  Each of us has more energy at a certain point of the day.  Listen to your body and exercise at that time.  When I was married but not yet a mom the perfect time for me to workout was 7 PM.  I needed about an hour to eat dinner and unwind from work before I was ready to go to the gym.  Once kids entered the mix I cannot even begin to describe how exhausted I was by that time.  I had to switch to early morning workouts before anyone woke up and needed me.  Schedules evolve with time and your fitness schedule should likewise be flexible.  The “best” time to workout is when you are able to do it consistently.


Take a coffee nap before your workout.  Coffee naps are actually a thing.  You drink a cup of coffee and then go to bed for 20 minutes.  Even if you don’t fall asleep, just the act of lying down and doing nothing/mediating can help relax you.  By the 20 minute mark the caffeine kicks in so you have the double whammy of a stimulant boost plus sleep to give you a much needed energy boost to get your workout done.

So this is hot coffee…

Try a pre-workout supplement.  There are lots of supplements out there.  While every pre-workout has their own ingredients, the gist of them are that they are the equivalent of two cups of coffee plus amino acids to help with muscle soreness.  Brands I’ve used and like include Cellucor C-4 and Bang.  I have no affiliation with them (but if you work for Cellucor or Bang and want to pay me, please feel free to send me money.)  Since they have a lot of caffeine, I only take them for a morning workout.  If you take them later in the afternoon you might find it hard to go to sleep.

Hope that helps!  Don’t let sleep deprivation get in the way of a good workout.  As an added bonus, exercise helps you relax, gives you energy and helps you sleep better at night.  Win-win!

Lisa 😉

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Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Austin Woman Magazine. She blogs at and is passionate about her clients. (c) 2012-2019 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.


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