It’s common for tasks to seem more difficult to achieve when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Between the brain fog and the heavy eyelids, the last thing you want to do it go to the gym and exercise. While many believe that being tired is just an excuse to skip that day’s workout, there are legitimate reasons why you might want to avoid exercising when you’re tired, and here are just a few of them.

What are the Dangers?

Higher Risk of Injury

Exercising while you’re tired can put your safety at risk, as you’re more prone to injuries when you’re not completely focused on the task. As your senses are dulled and your reaction time is slower, handling weight machines or running on a track can lead to disaster.

Lower Performance

In order to maintain your fitness routine and continue to see progress, you need to get enough sleep. Without it, your performance will suffer, your workout will feel impossible to make it through and you’re likely to lose motivation to continue.

Impaired Immune Function

Sleep deprivation can threaten your immune system, lowering your white blood cells and making it more difficult for your body to fight off illnesses. These symptoms will worsen if you choose to exercise with very little sleep, as your cortisol levels will rise with excessive exercise and your body won’t be able to defend against infections.

Exercises for a Tired Body

Light Cardio

A light cardio session will make you sweat a bit while giving you a boost of energy to take on the rest of the day. You can do this on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike, it’s up to you. If you’re having trouble making it to a gym or your exercise room, then try marching in place, doing some squats or even a few jumping jacks.

High-Energy Fitness Class

If you’re feeling tired, try waking your body up with a high energy fitness class. This will get your blood flowing and your body moving, energizing you for the rest of the day. Popular classes include Zumba, spinning, aerobics or dance programs.


To make sure that you’re not straining your body too much, do some general stretches as your exercise for the day. There doesn’t need to be a specific focus or set routine when doing this. Rather, simply do what feels good, which can include reaching for your toes or lunging from side to side. Stretching is a safe activity to do when you’re exhausted, easing any aches and pain you may be experiencing due to sleep deprivation.


A more intense form of stretching, yoga challenges your body’s strength and flexibility without raising your heartbeat to extremes. It’s a great way to get a boost of energy and improve your mood. It’s an exercise that can be done in two minutes or 20.

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