I really wish that health publications would quit lying when trying to encourage people to be more active. Many say that feeling tired when you exercise is a myth and that you feel wonderful and energized when you work out.
That’s not what’s going to happen when you start out sedentary – not right away.
At first, maybe the first week or two of starting a daily exercise program, you’re going to be tired. Depending on other factors you might actually want to sleep as much as an hour and a half more each day. The good news is that this phase is pretty temporary.1
The next week or two, you’ll gradually start feeling better. Probably you’ll be sleeping a lot harder than you’re used to, and won’t toss and turn quite so much.
It’s when you’ve been doing it three to six weeks that that energy burst kicks in. And yep, that does feel really great.
It drives me crazy when people are told that they’ll feel great right away. Many people, maybe even most, don’t. The thing is, we’re not stupid, we’re not children and we know how to endure a certain level of discomfort to get to a desired goal. Why don’t you idiots pushing the exercise tell the truth about this? It’s really okay. But when you tell someone that if they exercise they’ll feel great right away, and they don’t, you’re killing your credibility!
1Barring some autoimmune issues, mind. CFS and related diseases are outside the scope of this article. They’re real, they exist, and I don’t know enough about them and exercise to give any sort of moderately useful advice about it.