Many people muster up the courage to enter a gym for the first time or they are trying to get back on track after years of inactivity. What ever the case, did you ever feel that you just don’t have the energy or strength to continue on? Do you just give up and chalk up your fatigue to aging? Partying? or that you- “just don’t have it in you anymore”? Think again, because fatigue many times has an excuse and we continue to live with it thinking there are no options.
I am a firm believer that exercise is the fountain of youth. Those of you who think diet is more important must realize that diet will help us achieve greater success but in the big picture, movement is life and if I had to pick which is more important, in my opinion it’s exercise. keep in mind though without proper nutrition you may not be able to exercise at your highest level and even though you make it through a workout many times you’re worse off when you’re done. Tired, achey, irritable and just plain exhausted. This is where you need to step back and take a long hard look at your diet. Small adjustments in our diet or supplementation program can make all the difference.
So how can you tell if your lacking certain nutrients that could be ruining your gym “mojo”?
Energy is dependent on two main things in general; energy in the form of ATP which is made from glucose (food) and the bodies ability to utilize that energy i.e.. vitamins and minerals.
The best place to get vitamins and minerals which are utilized to help convert food into energy is from fruits and vegetables. You don’t even need large amounts. Studies have shown that even if you eat a diet that has more than adequate amounts of calories, you still could be deficient in many vitamins and minerals and feel tired and lethargic, especially if those calories are not the right ones. Combine that with high levels of saturated fats which clog the arteries and now you have a limited ability to transport those needed nutrients.
So how does one determine if there is an underlying cause to your fatigue? See your doctor and get a blood test before starting your exercise program, so they can evaluate what may be causing your low mojo. It could be a simple fix like adding vitamin D to your diet or a b-complex vitamin or Co-Q10 which helps the heart produce energy: NOTE: If you are on cholesterol lowering statin drugs they deplete your body of Co-Q10 and you should be taking supplemental Co-Q10. If you are not, discuss that with your doctor. Don’t just take it based on what I’m saying here. You are a team with your physician.
Over the years as a personal trainer, many of my clients have come to me with energy related problems and the cause was discovered through a simple blood test and was corrected. From my past experience as a personal trainer working with hundreds of people, I’ve compiled a list of key markers in the blood that may be the culprit for your fatigue. These are suggestions and are by no means meant for anyone to be self diagnosing themselves. I am providing this for informational purposes. It’s always best to seek your doctors approval before starting an exercise program and Knowing certain things before your doctor visit will help you be more prepared when you do begin. I would hate to see someone suffer for years when the fix could be a simple one. Also, your fatigue could be a more serious sign of an under lying medical problem that needs immediate attention.
CBC’s– Complete blood cell count (Be sure it includes a cholesterol, liver and Kidney panel)
Vitamin D levels– Bones / Mood and immune function
TSH– Thyroid stimulating hormone
T3– (He or she will tell you it doesn’t need to be done but insist on doing it!!!)
C-Reactive protein– Detects inflammation
Sed rate– Indicator of inflammation and autoimmune disease
Calcium levels– Muscle contraction / Bone density
B12– Energy production
Cortisol– Adrenal gland function and belly fat
Ferritin– Detects Anemia and may indicate hypothyroidism if its low. Also could identify Vit C deficiency which effects healing.
Total iron– energy
Hemoglobin– Goes with Iron, shows body’s ability to carry oxygen.
Potassium– Heart muscle health
Homocycteine– Good indicator of possible heart disease and Folic acid can lower it.
If anyone is interested I’m available for online personal training. If you are interested in getting nutritional counseling as well I provide that to.
All the best