When you are under a lot of stress, whether it’s your job, your relationship, or an illness, your adrenal glands can be overwhelmed and unable to keep up with your production of cortisol and other stress hormones. When your adrenals are fatigued, it can affect every area of your life, from your sleep schedule to your libido.
People with adrenal fatigue are also more likely to get sick, and less likely to find the time to do things for themselves, like exercise.
A lot of people with adrenal fatigue give up on exercise for a few reasons. One, they’re exhausted all the time. It’s hard to exercise when you just feel like crashing. Two, they have lost a lot of ambition for the things they used to love. It’s harder to get out of your house when you aren’t excited about, well, anything.
But, as far as breaking out of adrenal fatigue, exercise can be one of the BEST things you can do! Exercise boosts your metabolism, your mood, and releases the same feel-good endorphins as sex and chocolate. This can help you begin to address your adrenal fatigue and get to feeling back to normal.
If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, here’s an easy 7-day exercise plan to help you kickstart your recovery!
Before we begin…
There are a few important things we should cover:
It’s easy to want to jump in and exercise as much as you possibly can, especially if you were an exercise junkie before you got adrenal fatigue. However, when your adrenals are already stressed, it’s easier to start slow and build back up to more intense workouts. Remember, you don’t want to make your adrenal fatigue worse by making it hard for your body to recover from the exercise!
The best tip is to keep your exercise down to only 30 or 60 minutes a day to make sure you don’t overstress yourself.
Check your diet.
When it comes to exercise, you also want to make sure you’re eating well. Your body needs the best nutrients available to recover from any exercise you do, and even to have the energy to exercise in the first place!
Get the nutrients you need both by making sure your diet is full of adrenal-boosting foods and by taking an adrenal support supplement. One of the best supplements on the market, FlexNaturals, has all the most potent ingredients shown to benefit adrenal health. You can get it on Amazon.
There are exercises to AVOID.
Similarly to taking it slow, you want to avoid some bad exercises (and exercise habits) that can also make it more difficult for you to recover from adrenal fatigue. Exercise by nature produces a temporary increase in your cortisol levels (which isn’t necessarily bad, even in adrenal recovery), but if you produce too much cortisol, you won’t be doing your body any favors. Avoid high intensity and high volume exercises.
Okay – now that we’ve got that covered, let’s start on your 7-day adrenal recovery exercise plan!
(Note: this exercise plan was designed specifically to help people who are struggling with moderate to severe adrenal fatigue. If you are in the earlier stages of adrenal fatigue, you can step it up and do more challenging exercises with a lower risk of worsening your condition.)
DAY ONE: Start with WALKING
Duration: 30 minutes
Walking is one of the best exercises on every system in your body. It’s low impact, is great cardio, and everyone knows how to do it without any specialized training. The best part? You can do it anywhere. Start off your seven day adrenal fatigue recovery by taking a quick walk around your neighborhood, inside on a treadmill, or just in circles around your living room!
Want to hear some other cool benefits to walking? It strengthens your heart; lowers your risk for diabetes, cancer, and dementia; helps you lose weight; boosts your vitamin D; and it gives you more energy – a perfect remedy for adrenal fatigue!
DAY TWO: Do some light WEIGHT TRAINING.
Duration: 30 minutes
Take some light weights (between 3 and 5 pounds to start – you can go heavier if you feel like you can), and do some basic weight training. Remember to keep your pace slow and listen to what your body says it can do. Some perfect exercises are bicep curls, squats and chest presses. If you don’t have weights, use something from around your house, like water bottles (full, of course) or even a bag of flour!
By the way – studies have found that people with more muscle tone are better at managing stress, which is exactly what you need to combat adrenal fatigue.
DAY THREE: Rest with STRETCHING.
Duration: 30 minutes
Take a half an hour to just relax and stretch out your muscles. Stretching helps improve your balance and flexibility, which in turn decreases your risk of injuring yourself when you do pretty much anything else. Your joints and muscles will work more effectively. Stretching also increases your blood flow to the muscles you’re working with, and increased circulation has been shown to provide people with more energy.
DAY FOUR: Go and do some more WALKING.
Duration: 45 minutes
I’ve already covered why walking is so great for you, so take another day to do some more walking. This time, bump up the time to 45 minutes and, if you can, keep up a more brisk pace!
DAY FIVE: Practice YOGA or TAI CHI.
Duration: 45 Minutes
Similar to walking, yoga is extremely low impact. Similar to weight training, it uses your own weight as a tool in your exercise. And, finally, similar to stretching, yoga focuses on your muscles and helps increase balance and flexibility. Tai Chi is much the same. However, the other huge benefit to yoga and tai chi is that they have also been shown to help reduce your stress and even aid in your ability to manage stress outside of the workout.
You don’t need to go to a yoga studio, either. There are videos online that can guide you through the motions to get the full benefits of yoga in the comfort of your home.
DAY SIX: Rest with MEDITATION.
Duration: 10 Minutes
This is your chance to really relax and move inside yourself. Many people don’t consider meditation an exercise because it does not focus on your body, but it definitely is an exercise of the mind. Meditation, like yoga, will help you refocus yourself and manage your stress better, which is one of the best things you can do to fight off adrenal fatigue.
DAY SEVEN: Do something FUN, like DANCING or SPORTS.
Duration: 60 Minutes
On the last day, go out and do something FUN and ACTIVE. Turn on the music and dance around your house. Call up a few friends and go play frisbee in the park. Climb trees, swim in the lake. It doesn’t matter! Just get up, be active, and enjoy yourself. A huge part of breaking out of adrenal fatigue is to get back to doing the things you love to do, and if you can be active while you’re doing it, you’re well on the right track.
Listen to your body.
When it comes to exercising with adrenal fatigue, make sure you listen to your body. If you are having a hard time, give yourself more time between sets or stop the exercise early. Reduce the weight or resistance if you need to, and take breaks to drink a lot of water. Remember, you’re trying to help your body release those feel-good endorphins without stressing it out so much that it can’t recover!
BE CAREFUL. Did you know exercise can actually LEAD to adrenal fatigue…
Exercise is so good for us, so many people don’t realize that it could be actually causing their problem in the first place. In fact, some people are so addicted to exercise to stay thin and healthy that it can be considered a form of bulimia. That’s right. Excessive and extreme working out is considered to be an eating disorder.
Exercise can be stressful on your body, so if you are so intense with your workouts that you struggle to recover on a regular basis, your adrenal fatigue could have been caused by it!