How to Exercise During Adrenal Fatigue Recovery

adrenal fatigueThis post is about how to boost adrenal fatigue recovery. Exercise and sleep are key components in feeling better. This post is sponsored by my friends at Sleep Number. As always, all thoughts are my own.

Adrenal fatigue and adrenal stress are no joke. If you’re a goal-getter and love to exercise, overdoing it in that arena may have contributed to your stress load. Yet, exercise is likely a big part of helping you feel like “you” again. So how do you safely include exercise in your adrenal fatigue recovery?

What exercise should you do to either avoid adrenal fatigue or as you recover?

If you’re in the early stages of adrenal fatigue recovery, being mindful about your response to exercise may keep you from worsening the situation. If you’re in latter stages of adrenal fatigue, be sure to focus first on restoring your energy—the most effective ways to do that are, first and foremost, getting great sleep, as well as avoiding any additional stress that exercise can put on your body.

If you’re used to high-intensity exercise and itching to work hard again, remind yourself that what your brain wants and what your body needs may be incongruent right now. Doing less—at least temporarily—may restore your energy and even help you more with weight loss, if that’s a goal of yours

So, do you have to stop exercising altogether? Not necessarily. You can exercise, but keep it lighter and shorter than you’re used to doing. A short 10-minute walk outdoors before lunch and dinner can both enhance sleep at night and reduce ruminating over your stressors that women can tend to do. Remember to listen to your body—it will tell you what it needs.

While you’re in adrenal fatigue recovery, the goal of your exercise is not calorie burning. The real benefits of your exercise now are twofold:

  • Reduce or offset your stress by stimulating your feel-good hormones: serotonin and dopamine
  • Increase the likelihood you’ll make better choices at meals (since avoiding caffeine and sugary foods in favor of more sustainable sources of energy will help you feel better faster).

Exercise Guidelines During Adrenal Fatigue Recovery

  • Short duration is better
  • Shorter, more frequent exercise may be the best way to do more
  • More rest between sets and sessions, and reduce the weight if you’re lifting
  • Keep your activity light (especially late in the day) and practice restorative activity (yoga, stretching, or walks)

Feel like doing more? Limit exercise to 20-30 minutes until you learn how you feel afterward. If you could lie down and nap right after exercise, or it feels like you were hit by a truck the next day, you’re doing too much.

Be patient. It won’t be forever. If you listen now and keep it light, you’ll come back stronger sooner.

adrenal fatigueSleep to Enhance Adrenal Fatigue Recovery

Quality sleep keeps you performing at your best, and it keeps you feeling good. When you’ve got adrenal fatigue, sleep needs to become a top priority. Use your exercise to help you sleep better until you feel better. While you may have thought about sleep helping make you exercise better, right now your priorities are reversed. Sleep first, exercise later. Trust me.

Get to sleep between 9 and 10 pm. Many of the clients I’ve worked with in adrenal fatigue recovery get a second wind if they miss this important window want to stay up late at night.

Get up at the same time every day. Adrenal fatigue experts say there is a reset of adrenal function that occurs between 7 and 9am, so don’t skimp on sleep!  Sleep in when you can.

Make sure you’ve got a restorative environment to sleep. Love your mattress. My Sleep Number 360 smart bed and DualTemp layer combination help me restore and recharge naturally every night. Keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet is also a must.

Patience

The bottom line with exercise during adrenal fatigue recovery is don’t rush it. It’s non-intuitive in this age of pushing where little value is placed on resting, but self-care now and going forward will make you stronger and more vital again. Less exercise, with greater purpose, is your best friend. It will help you get the sleep you need, and make better choices with daily nutrition. 

For more adrenal fatigue recovery tips watch this video.

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24330030
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22426398
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23490070
https://www.pnas.org/content/112/28/8567
Christianson, Alan (2014). The Adrenal Reset Diet. Random House.
Scroll to Top