We’re well and truly into the swing of things, right? Vacations are over, kids are back at school, work is in full force and we’re all wondering where we left our summer chill. Long story short – if you’re feeling fatigued, you’re not alone. Despite it being the same every year, fall exhaustion levels always seem to catch me by surprise. After a long day, it can be tempting to land on the couch and get (more) familiar with my local takeout. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem doing just that, but I also know that I feel better – in my body and my mind – when I move.
But having had the luxury of a whole life spent in movement, I’m also deeply attuned to what my body needs. So when I’m feeling tired or burnt out, you won’t find me on the Tread warming up for a 45-minute intervals run. Not only will that leave me feeling even more exhausted, it’ll likely result in me feeling unsuccessful. I won’t hit the speeds I expect of myself, I’ll be tempted to call it quits, and I’ll wind up disappointed in myself.
That’s why I’m such a big believer in meeting myself where I am. And I’d recommend you do the same – find the workout that will match and elevate your mood, not diminish it. There’s no right or wrong way to work out; only the way that makes you feel great in the process.
When that mood has struck me this month, these are the workouts I’ve been reaching for. I’d love to know what your go-to workouts are when you’re feeling a little less than fresh.
What are the workouts you reach for when you’re feeling exhausted?
Walking around the block, enjoying the fresh fall air and taking in the local sights is as feel-good as movement gets. All it takes is my sneakers and a half hour to elevate my mood. To make my walk feel like a movie where I’m the main character, I’m also known to slip on my headphones while pressing play on this playlist full of uplifting and hopeful songs.
Low Impact Rides
If you’ve taken any of my low impact rides, you’ll know that I lean into a chilled-out playlist, and do my best to keep the movement gentle. So regardless of your energy levels, you’ll finish feeling accomplished without being drained. One of my recent favorite rides to teach was this 15-minute ride featuring Kings of Leon and Fleetwood Mac. I also really enjoyed this low-impact ride from Denis. He has a great way of making a low impact ride feel like a relaxed, meandering car trip (where you inevitably end up working harder than you intended– in a good way).
If you’re lucky enough to be near the water, take advantage of it. Whether it’s a pool, the ocean or a lake, I always feel better after dipping my body into water. A workout doesn’t need to be laps upon laps of freestyle. I can feel so much better in my body after just a few laps of easy breaststroke. And while I can’t say I’m a huge fan of cold-water swimming, in September, the water is still just warm enough to be bearable, and even enjoyable.
I talked in my book about my lifelong meditation practice, which is incredibly simple and requires no preparation or energy. I rely on decades of carefully honed breath work, and I know that I’ll always feel more centered and less frazzled after a meditation. While it may not be a traditional ‘workout’, I truly believe it’s one of the best things we can do for our bodies. If you really need a rest, I challenge you to put on this sleep meditation and just try to keep your eyes open past the 6-minute mark.