Simon Says: Too tired to work out? Start simple

Simon Goswell - owner and Head Coach of Full Circle Fitness in Dry Drayton, and a hands-on dad to two children and a dog – advises on how to motivate yourself when you feel too tired to exercise

You’ve decided that NOW is the time to strike and finally sort your health and fitness – but you have no energy, your body hurts and the fitness mountain appears impossible to climb.

This is the reality for many people who come to see me with the best intentions to get fit and boost health. It’s a pivotal moment in the process of getting into shape and if not taken in the right spirit, can lead to the individual being put off exercise for good.

When we neglect our health for long periods by being inactive, when poor food choices far outweigh the good, and other pre-cursors for good health such as sleep and de-stressing are left by the wayside, our body can soon begin to feel the effects.

Let’s take a look at just some of the specifics:

Poor mobility

Particularly in this age of lockdown and with the emergence of Zoom culture, we are spending endless hours sat down at a desk or driving. Most of us know that a sedentary lifestyle has a negative impact on our cardiovascular health, but what we may overlook is the impact it has on our joints and flexibility.


It’s no secret that what we eat, and drink impacts the way we feel. Not only does it affect our energy, sleep quality and body fat, it can also contribute to inflammation. Symptoms include muscular pain, joint paint and weakness. This is not great news when beginning an exercise regime.


Stress is so prevalent in today’s society. I’m a huge advocate for helping my clients set amazing goals that will have a massive, positive affect on their lives. Often stress reduction is an essential part of the process and must be addressed before we can move on to the cool stuff.

If you are reading this thinking much of the above applies to you, you may be forgiven for thinking that starting an exercise program is a bad idea. This is not the case. Exercise is an essential component to feeling like a superhero or heroine. If you follow my simple five-step method for getting back into fitness, you may just find the process far more enjoyable and effective.

Step 1: Hydrate

Dehydration contributes massively to cognitive processes like short term memory loss, low energy, joint pain, and increased chances of muscle injury. So, drink water to increase energy.

Step 2: Stretch and mobilise

Unless we are doing some form of stretching or mobility daily, we are opening the door to aches, pains and physio trips. In today’s busy world, little and often works. Just 10 minutes per day will make a huge difference.

Step 3: Sleep

When in deep sleep, our body produces hormones which have a big impact on repair and growth. Seven to eight hours of good quality sleep is usually enough to do this. Hone your night-time routine; ensure your room is as dark as possible, and avoid engaging in activities mentally stimulating. What we eat and drink also has a big impact on sleep - which leads me nicely on to my last point. . .

Step 4: Nutrition

Too much sugary food, excessive alcohol and highly processed fatty foods all contribute to joint and muscle pain, excess body fat, low energy and poor sleep. It has also been suggested what we eat and drink (or don’t eat and drink) can negatively impact our mental health.

Taking time to remove the association that food must be unhealthy to be enjoyable or that it must be unhealthy to be a treat is an important part of this process. Set some goals and make nutritional lifestyle changes prior to jumping into the gym to avoid feeling like you’ve been hit by a whale after your first exercise session.

Step 5: Start slowly

I am always mindful of the purpose of each training session with my clients. In the early stages of working with a new client, we prioritise technique, movement quality and other less obvious training goals such as simply becoming more confident with lifting weights or getting out of breath. This process demands that you work at sub maximal effort. Take time to enjoy the process.

Full Circle Fitness is at Unit 29, Dry Drayton Industries, Scotland Road, Dry Drayton CB23 8AT. Find out more at or email

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