Exercise for Energy: Fight Fatigue and Pump Up Your Health
Energy boosting workouts that anyone can do, anytime!
You might be surprised to learn that one of the best antidotes for fatigue is to exercise more, not less! Experts say, when it comes to fighting fatigue, just getting up and walking around will increase energy. But all exercise isn’t not created equal.
A study published in a 2008 issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University of Georgia researchers found that inactive individuals who routinely complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% while decreasing fatigue by as much as 65% simply by participating in regular, low-intensity exercise.1
Varying levels of intensity will yield different effects on your energy levels. For example, high-intensity exercise might consist of heavy weight lifting, 45 minutes on the treadmill, etc., while a 15-minute walk would be considered moderate exercise. The intensity of your workout will affect your energy levels.
“A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise,” says researcher Patrick O’Connor, PhD.” But if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.”
When exercising for energy, behavioral therapist and personal trainer Therese Pasqualoni, PhD, says, “You should always aim to exercise in your low to moderate training heart rate range. This will prevent you from depleting your body, and help you avoid feeling fatigued, which would otherwise prevent you from getting the maximum energy benefits.”
Before you begin, it’s important to understand your body and be realistic about potential limitations to avoid injury. What’s moderate for some may be too intense for others. Walking is generally a well-tolerated option for most individuals. In addition to walking, other forms of low-impact exercise that help increase energy are yoga, Pilates, swimming and Tai Chi.
Need All-Day Energy?
Regardless of your activity level, you can naturally increase your energy and improve performance by drinking water. Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue, so it’s important to stay adequately hydrated. This is especially important if you are incorporating exercise into your day. Always drink pure water before, during and after working out to help decrease workout-related fatigue.
If you need energy now, you can turn to certain dietary supplements for a boost. Always look for supplements that support natural energy processes, and skip artificial energy drink and sugar-laden power bars.