Is Your Workout Making You Feel Worse?

Exercise is meant to lift your mood, give you a sense of vitality and pump you up afterwards, so why is it that you may feel dreadful after a workout, leaving you regretting the decision to exercise and even dreading the next session?

Here are some common causes:

1. Overtraining

This can be a much-overlooked area of your plan and plays a massive part in your overall momentum with exercise.

When you overtrain, your body might respond with many physical symptoms such as extreme fatigue, persistent soreness, pains in the joints and flu-like symptoms. Mental warnings range from low moods to sleep disturbances and cravings.

2. Dehydration

Without adequate fluid levels, you’re more likely to feel extremely tired, nauseous or very sore following your sessions. These symptoms can last for extended periods too, so it’s important to ensure that your water intake is sufficient to prevent this from happening.

Drinking excessive amounts can have an adverse effect and actually induce a ‘sickly’ feeling too, so be smart with your approach and top up nicely.

3. Nutrition/blood sugar

There is a strong link between the types of food that you eat, the times that you consume food and how you feel both during and post workout.

Not eating enough is a common cause of dizziness and nausea and this can last for hours after your workout.

Sticking to a good routine with your pre-workout nutrition and in the right amounts is an excellent way to streamline your effectiveness during exercise and keep those nasty drops in effort at bay.

4. Hormones

When we train, our bodies go through a thorough and detailed process of hormonal release and while there are many benefits to the release of endorphins ( which makes us feel WOWEE! ) and other hormones to assist with growth/repair and stress management etc, with all of this going on, our adrenal glands are beavering away and can lead to feeling a little queasy.

5. Exercise induced nausea

HGH ( human growth hormone ) can be responsible at times for the onset of nausea during a workout and can even lead to flu-like symptoms. Mixing up the intensity of your workouts between high and moderate to monitor your levels is a good way to track your symptoms and work with your own rhythms.

Working way past your current fitness level:

Pushing yourself way out of your comfort zone despite feeling unwell during some sessions may indicate that you should take your foot off the pedal with intensity.

By being consistent with your exercise and working at a sensible, yet challenging level, you’re far more likely to increase your fitness level and push past any struggles with post workout remorse.

6. Medical

There are of course medical reasons for workout regret and feeling awful post workout that can be connected to some conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and disruptions to many levels in the body. These are extreme cases and not to be confused with getting the basics right with appropriate nutrition, hydration and a balanced approach to your exercise routine.

Key takeaway

Using an honest system to give yourself the best opportunity for success during exercise indicates to a few checkpoints. Beyond these simple factors, always check with your Doctor if symptoms persist.

  • Hydration
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Correct intensity/frequency
  • Adequate rest days


Louise McDonald, Cert III & Cert IV Fitness
Louise has been a Trainer and Wellness Coach for almost 20 years and is one of our experienced Support Crew members in Fitness, as our Lean and Strong Captain! Louise has worked passionately with all levels of fitness over the years across both Australia and the UK, where she has specialised in competition training with athletes for the last decade. She has worked closely with top level competitors and even our own 12WBT peeps to bring home a National Trophy! She lives, breathes, eats and sleeps weight training and is super passionate about teaching others how to reach their full potential.

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