The Energy – Exercise Paradox

Why does my body feel so good that first day I do yoga after I haven’t done it for ages, and then hurt so much afterwards?

I’ve been struggling with my energy levels for a few years now. Yes, I keep myself very busy and have a lot of commitments. My days are fairly well packed. And yes, I am getting older. We all are.

Yoga and Meditation - Mary MalinskiIn spite of all that, I’ve felt that my energy levels have not been what they could be. There are days in which it takes an incredible amount of will-power to get myself out of bed. My meditation practice has been suffering because I have been falling asleep during my meditations. I feel tired more often than I don’t.

A little over a year ago I had a medical scare – a gallbladder attack that put me in the emergency room. After consulting with my doctor and a naturopath, I chose not to have it removed. I’ve been working with the naturopath to get my body back on a healthier path.

I still struggle with fatigue, though.

I know that exercise helps boost energy and mood levels, and yet, quite often I can’t find the energy and motivation to exercise. Or if I can manage it one day, it’s gone the next. So I don’t establish the positive habit.

It’s a vicious cycle. I feel tired, so I don’t exercise, so I experience more inflammation, so my energy levels are lower, so I feel tired…

Something has shifted for me in the last week. I’m not sure what it is exactly. It could be that I ran out of my normal breakfast supplies and started eating just an apple for breakfast. It could be that Hekate’s Sickle Festival is over, and I have just that little bit less stress in my life. Whatever it is, I’ve felt the need to exercise.

Once upon a time, I was able to get up early – well, earlier than I already do – and exercise before work. That hasn’t happened for a long time. I’ve thought about exercising after work or before bed in the past, and haven’t been able to motivate myself to actually do it.

This week, it happened, though. I came home from work on Friday (the one night I didn’t have a class or meeting after work), and I got out my yoga mat. It felt SO good, and I was quite pleased with myself for actually following through.

Of course, I hurt yesterday, and really hurt Sunday morning. Instead of using the pain as an excuse not to exercise, though, I got out the yoga mat again on Sunday. I know from past experience that the best way to get through the pain of sore muscles is to keep stretching and working them.

It’s too early to tell if I’ll be able to keep the momentum going. And I really hope so. I’m ready to feel better.

How do you keep yourself motivated to exercise? How do you keep your energy level up?



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