Exercise-Induced Fatigue And Its Causes

If you’ve ever started a workout feeling great only to run out of steam a few minutes later, you’re not alone. This issue is more common than you may think and has numerous causes. Below, we will discuss a few reasons behind sudden exercise fatigue as explained by exercise physiologist, Janet Hamilton.

Lack of sleep

High levels of stress can affect your sleeping patterns, which prohibits the body from repairing itself properly. Hamilton states that by examining the lifestyles of individuals who suffer from workout fatigue, it is easy to identify a correlation between stress, interrupted sleep, and fatigue.

Exercise places the body under a type of stress, and all types of stress is cumulative. If your going through a rough time a workout, turmoil in a relationship, or not getting enough sleep, the added strain of a workout will cause your body to basically ‘cry uncle’. For more effective workouts, try practicing stress-relieving activities such as meditation.


Anemia is a condition which limits the oxygen flow to the body’s cells due to a reduction in red blood cells. Many women who suffer from heavy periods or who have removed red meat from their diet are at the highest risk of developing this tiring condition. Aside from fatiguing quickly during physical activity, anemia can also cause leg cramps, insomnia, and dizziness.


Even the slightest reduction in your body’s fluid levels can cause the blood to become thick, making it harder for the heart to pump. If you are performing strenuous exercise that causes ample sweating, you aren’t only losing water, but electrolytes as well. Low levels of electrolytes can cause muscle cramping and fatigue.

To help determine if dehydration is the cause of your mid-workout slump, Hampton suggests utilizing a scale. Weigh yourself before and after a workout. If you lose more than two percent of your body weight after a sweat session, you should increase your water intake.

Under-active thyroid

An under-active thyroid can cause tiredness at any time of the day; however, if there is no other possible cause for your fatigue during workouts, you may want to speak to your doctor about possible thyroid issues. When the thyroid doesn’t function at optimal levels, it can cause such issues as muscle pain, depression, and fatigue. Thyroid conditions are fairly common, and is a main cause of unexplained fatigue. Roughly one out of eight women will experience thyroid issues at some point during their life, making it one of the most common reasons behind excessive fatigue.

Insufficient carbohydrate levels

Many women looking to lose weight drastically reduce their carbohydrate intake. Although the basis behind weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume, you must balance your intake of carbs to give your body the fuel it needs to get through a workout. If you’re on a diet and suffering from mid-workout fatigue, try increasing your carbohydrate levels.

Although there are numerous issues that can cause you to become easily fatigued during your workout, the above-mentioned reasons rank as a few of the most common. Taking a closer look at your lifestyle and stress levels may help reveal the cause behind any excess tiredness. Proper nutrition and ample rest goes a long way in giving you the energy you need to power through a full workout.

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