7 Ways to Regain Energy After a Workout for Chronic Pain and Illness

It's week two of being back in actual yoga class.

Since I got bronchitis from hell over December, oh, and January, and did I mention February? 

Yep. Three months of bronchitis. Three months of coughing with adhesive arachnoiditis. Gee and I thought bronchitis was bad before...

Where was I? Oh yeah, yoga.

I did private lessons for the last 6 weeks rebuilding the strength I lost during my three months of bronchitis. I finally made it back to class. The class was fine. After class was fine. That night though...I was a little tired. However, I did not expect day two to be a day from hell.

I was so tired I couldn't even. I mean seriously. Nothing. Not even move from the couch. I ate freaking Mac n Cheese for lunch. I haven't done that in for-ev-er! (Thank goodness it was Amy's so at least it was organic and not so many chemicals)


I then proceeded to eat my husbands leftover pizza for dinner because oh yeah I was so in the throws of IUEV that I couldn't even make logical or rational decisions.



Me eat.


So when I started my cycle the next day I thought well no wonder, it was just the day before Satan's Waterfall. (Sorry if TMI but I'm trying to keep it real, plus if you know me IRL and I was a total ass to you, well now you know it wasn't me. It was Satan.)

Flash forward to this week.

Monday - Yoga.
I felt fine and got some good things accomplished that day, however, I did fall asleep on the couch watching TV with #leohusband.

Tuesday - Total Train Wreck.
I wasn't quite as bad as last week, but still bad enough where I spent the majority of my day on the freaking couch or in bed.

From IUEV.


At least I made better food decisions, mainly because I had leftover roasted vegetables and chicken in the fridge for lunch, and stuff to make a super fast and easy lettuce wrap for dinner.

Ok, so I may have stuffed a handful of 80% cacao chocolate in my mouth in a moment of weakness before I decided to throw in the towel and crawl into bed. 

Whatever. At least I didn't eat pizza this time, that box of Amy's was calling me though...

So now I know that it is simply recovery time from my 90 minute Monday yoga class, I need to start planning in advance.

7 Ways to Regain Energy After a Workout for Chronic Pain and Illness

1. Hydrate Before, During, and After

I normally hydrate plenty but I'm going to make a special point to drink only water or coconut water on Monday's. I had a cup of coffee in the afternoon both this and last Monday, so I'm going to avoid that in the future. I don't want the diuretic effect of the caffeine to dehydrate me, leading to a greater energy suck.

2. Protein and Healthy Fats

Days when I have yoga I'm going to load up on protein at lunch and healthy fats, post workout. I'm also going to switch to a smoothie bowl (thank goodness it's getting warm enough to eat one) before and load it with superfoods and plant-based carbohydrates.

3. Avoid Long Hot Showers or Baths

Again, I'm glad it's getting warmer because since my thyroid is so low, I get cold very easily. I tend to take hot showers which are not only bad for my skin but saps my energy as well. Taking a warm shower or bath at night adjusts your body temperature so you're nice and groggy by the time you hit the sack so you wouldn't want to do it during the day unless you want a snooze fest!

4. Caffeinate Before Your Nap

So I know I said no caffeine, this does seem contradictory. I'm going to avoid caffeine on Monday, but the day I need it, Tuesday, I'm going to drink a cup of mushroom coffee - superfood - and then straight to a nap. This way when I wake up, the coffee has had a chance to take effect.

5. Rest or Take a Nap

Seriously, one of the biggest things I deal with is IUEP. When you have a chronic illness you just have to rest to recoup your energy. This may be going to bed earlier than planned or sleeping in or taking a mid-day nap so you can clean the kitchen and fix dinner.

Mainly you can't run on empty, that will cause a pain flare.

6. Do an evening walk

I'm lucky in that I have a big fluffy dog to take out for a walk at night. He makes me keep moving even when I don't want to. Yes, you do need rest but you do need to do gentle movements as well. Nothing strenuous so a slow walk is just the thing.

7. Have dinner ready

The last is this, to avoid eating bad things that are easy or comforting because let's face it when you are really drained, comfort food is number one on your list.

So identify your healthy comfort meals and always have them ready. That may mean making them ahead so you can reheat or have some frozen. Either way, the goal is to be able to just grab something from the fridge and eat it without much thought.