Running can be difficult to fit into the day, and it’s especially hard on days when we don’t feel entirely up to it. Like on the days where you didn’t get quite enough sleep, you had a stressful presentation at work, and you forgot to fuel properly throughout the day. When it comes time to run, you might feel a little run down and low on energy, which can make it all too easy to just skip the run altogether. But you know that once you step out the door, you’ll feel great. So consider instead one of these techniques that you can do in just 30 minutes or less to give yourself a quick energy boost:
- Drink a glass of water. Even mild dehydration can cause you to feel tired, so have a glass of water before you do anything else.
- Take a 20-minute nap. Naps have a whole host of amazing benefits for runners, not least of which is an instant energy boost!
- Stretch. Stretching releases the tension in your muscles, which will release pent-up energy; it also causes you to breathe deeper, which will help you get more oxygen (and feel more awake). Try some simple stretches or a few of your favorite yoga poses.
- Meditate. Stress and anxiety in our everyday lives use up a lot of our energy. When you release the anxiety, you often feel a lot lighter and more energetic. Try meditating for 5 to 15 minutes, or if that’s not your thing, then just take a few deep breaths instead.
- Have a snack. If you’re feeling run down, the most obvious culprit – lack of fuel – can sometimes go unnoticed. Try having a small snack and see if it helps. Go for something with fat and protein, such as almonds or hazelnuts – not anything sugary, which will just give you a rapid-fire spike and crash.
- Watch something funny. Go on Youtube and run a search for your favorite comedian. It’s good for you – really. Laughter can boost energy levels and improve immune system function too.
- Take a cold shower. It may not sound too tempting, but cold showers are one of the best ways to boost your energy, mood, and alertness instantly – studies have even shown cold showers can be used to reduce the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Turn on your favorite running music. It has been theorized music can release endorphins, which can make you feel happier, lighter, and more energetic. Not to mention that hearing music you normally listen to while running will activate conditioning patterns in your brain that will make you feel as if you’re already doing it – i.e., full of energy!
- Warm up. Really don’t feel like running? Try doing a few rounds of jumping jacks or high knees. When you’re cold you’re more likely to feel sleepy, so once you’re warmed up don’t be surprised if your fatigue suddenly disappears.
Try one of these tips the next time you’re feeling tired and not up for that run and see if it makes a difference. You’ll probably feel so much better once you’re out the door!
Written by Varia Makagonova.