Most times the media only shows us the extremes of physical health: either we see someone extremely overweight or someone with a rock solid physique. Most of our body types linger between the two. How can you really tell you’re out of shape? It doesn’t mean you have to put on more weight to be “officially” out of shape. Often, the signs are more subtle.
1. You’re tired all the time
When you see people working out at the gym and expending lots of energy, you probably think they are likely to be way more exhausted. This is actually not the case. Regular exercise increases your endurance and strength, and it improves cardiovascular health.
When you skip a workout because you’re feeling too tired, you’re actually not doing yourself any favors, and you’re likely to remain more tired because you don’t have the same pump of oxygen in your blood stream as you would during a work out.
2. Sex isn’t as gratifying.
Sex has biological and emotional benefits. When you are close to the person you are attracted to, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, creating a natural high. Partner this with the physical feat of having sex and you leave feeling satisfied — unless you are out of shape. The more endurance and strength you have, the better the sex will be. Targeting the hip area with weight training will improve your performance too.
3. Walking up stairs leaves you winded
This is one of the tell-tale signs you’re out of shape. When you’re not regularly doing cardio, your body gets more tired by how much oxygen is needed to mount a steep incline. Athletes even know that climbing stairs will use more oxygen, so if you are out of shape, your body doesn’t efficiently carry oxygen to all of your cells.
If you start feeling your legs grow tired, it means you are lacking in muscular strength as well.
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4. You are more tired than usual after a work out
Normally, you feel a little tired after a workout, and sometimes there is soreness the next day. This is not the same as feeling exhausted as soon as you wake up or not being able to move because you’re so sore. Usually, this is because you’ve used up all of your glycogen storage and you have no energy left.
5. Your resting heart rate is higher than normal
Normal, healthy adults usually have a resting heart rate of between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM). When you do frequent aerobic exercise, your heart rate should be significantly slower. If your heart rate is racing when you are at rest, that could mean you are really out of shape.
6. It takes a long time for your heart rate to slow down
When you exercise, your heart rate can increase anywhere from 140 to 190 beats per minute, and when you finish your work out, your heart rate should decrease by 20 beats per minutes until it returns to a normal rate. If it takes much longer time than just a few minutes, these could also signal you are out of shape.
7. You rely on caffeine to keep you awake
When you feel tired and decide to take a nap instead of working out, you’re not exactly doing your body favors. If you only have time for a nap that is less than two hours, there is a chance you will wake up right when you start a REM sleep cycle and feel even more tired than before, resorting to coffee or energy drinks to keep you awake. Exercise is beneficial for circulation in the body, and it releases hormones that give you natural energy.
8. You keep making excuses
If you haven’t been to the gym in two months, there’s a chance you’re getting out of shape. Once you stop going, it becomes extremely easy to continue making excuses for why you can’t get started back up on your fitness regime. Starting up is the hardest part of the commitment, so it’s easy to keep putting it off.