Finding the right exercise for adrenal fatigue can be difficult. This is especially true when you feel like any physical activity at all is too taxing! But the right exercise and mindfulness can help you strengthen your body and reduce your symptoms.
It’s important to know that physical activity isn’t a treatment. But, when done carefully, exercise works in conjunction with your treatment!
The key is to go slow and be patient with yourself. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too far.
Is Exercise A Good Idea for People With Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue typically comes along with a host of symptoms that make exercising difficult. Whether you’re struggling with low energy, low motivation, or sleeping problems, your symptoms can make it feel impossible to exercise. Certain exercises can even make your symptoms worse.
So, what’s the solution? Should you even try to exercise? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that you need to choose your exercises carefully. A safe exercise routine looks unique for every person who suffers from adrenal fatigue.
Exercise puts stress on your body, causing it to release cortisol. That’s a natural phenomenon and one we want. However, after the exercise is finished, we want your body’s cortisol levels to return to normal as quickly as possible. This means you need to carefully choose your exercise for adrenal fatigue.
High-intensity exercises, like cardio or an aggressive circuit, tax your adrenals by putting them under a lot of strain. High-intensity resistance exercises with only short breaks can even be worse than prolonged cardio when it comes to adrenal fatigue.
The best exercise for adrenal fatigue is low-intensity cardio and resistance workouts with plenty of rest in between sets.
3 Best Exercise for Adrenal Fatigue Tips
Doing exercise for adrenal fatigue can be a super helpful addition to your treatment when done correctly. These tips will help you reap the benefits without pushing yourself into exhaustion!
Before you start, you need to know your body. You live in it every day, so you know what causes your symptoms to get worse. Knowing your body means knowing when to rest and when to stop to avoid overstressing your adrenal system.
Everybody is different. The exercises that work for another person may not work for you—and that’s okay!
Treat yourself with the same patience and compassion you extend to other people in your life. Try to avoid comparing yourself to others. You are dealing with a unique set of limitations and strengths.
The key to successful exercise for adrenal fatigue is finding what works for you.
Remember: recovery is not linear. Some days, you will feel strong and energetic enough to push yourself in your exercise routine.
Other days, you may be in the middle of a crash and unable to get out of bed. This is a process unique to you, so be gracious!
In your daily life, you try to stay within your “energy envelope.” This applies to exercise too.
Before you start any routine, check-in with yourself. Do these activities give or deplete your energy? Where is your stopping point so that you don’t aggravate your symptoms? Pace yourself for the best results.
The Best Way to Exercise for Adrenal Fatigue
When you’re first finding your limits, or recovering from a crash, start by engaging in light activities with a friend. A short hike or a game of frisbee in the park are good options.
You’ll reap the social benefits, as well as nature’s benefits, while still moving your body. And, it’s fun!
When you’re ready to establish an exercise routine, remember to start small. Do a short workout 2-3 times a week for just 15-30 minutes that causes you to break a sweat.
Give yourself at least 60 seconds to rest between sets. Once you get your heart rate up, let it come back down and recover.
After a week of this, evaluate how your body is feeling.
If you’re more tired than before, don’t be afraid to scale things back. If you’re feeling good and energetic, you can increase your workout a little bit. Exercise should leave you feeling energized, not drained!
Types of Exercise to Try
There are actually two main categories of exercise for adrenal fatigue.
First, the below exercises are designed to be gentle on the body while promoting mobility:
- Supine or prone exercises that can be done in bed
- Exercises for bed mobility
- Seated exercises
- Passive yoga, like Restorative or Yin Yoga
- Chair yoga or seated Qigong
- Tai Chi
- Warm water exercises
Second, these alternative exercises can be good options! Just make sure to be aware of how long (or far) your body can go before you overwork it. The exercises below may be better suited to you if you experience milder symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
These exercises cause more exertion, but can help you feel better if done in moderation:
- Strength training
- Active yoga forms, like Hatha or Ashtanga
You might feel like exercise for adrenal fatigue is counterproductive because it can cause you to be more tired. It actually has real benefits!
The most important thing is to take it slow and listen to your body. No one knows your body better than you do. By recognizing and respecting your limits, you can incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.