If you’ve been keen to increase your daily exercise for a while now, but you never seem to have the energy to hit the gym, then read on. It’s difficult to find the motivation for a regular workout when you’re constantly fighting against fatigue.
By the time you’re done with work for the day, chances are you just want to curl up on the sofa and do nothing.
However, the reality is that exercise isn’t going to make you more exhausted, it’s actually going to boost your energy, in the long term. The more you move around, the more you’ll want to move, boosting your energy and reducing feelings of fatigue.
Improving your muscle composition and body weight will also give you a significant energy boost in the months ahead.
How Can Exercise Increase Energy?
One study from the University of Georgia, in the US, found inactive people who normally complained of fatigue could improve their energy levels by up to 20% while reducing fatigue by up to 65%. All they needed to do to get this energy boost was participate in some low-intensity exercises.
Although exercising might make you feel tired after you go through an intense workout, it actually creates energy and improves fatigue, more than you’d expect. As you move around, your body takes the challenge of motion as an invitation to create more energy.
This energy boost happens on a cellular level and pushes your body to access more energy stores, like fat.
Using Exercise to Increase Energy
Although it may sound counterproductive, if you’re constantly feeling drained and tired, try doing more exercise routines, not less.
Anyone battling low levels of energy can improve their chances of reducing fatigue by simply adding more workouts to their exercise routine. However, it’s important to find the right exercise strategies.
A low-intensity option is often the top choice among professionals. When your energy levels are already depleted, you’re going to struggle to complete that challenging CrossFit or spinning session, you’ve always wanted to accomplish at the gym.
Shorter bursts of low-intensity exercise make more sense.
Going for a walk, jogging around the block, or just doing some basic exercise that doesn’t raise your heart rate too much will make a huge difference to how you feel.
As you get fitter, you might find that what counts as a ‘low intensity’ exercise for you also begins to change.
For instance, initially, you might start your energy workout with a session of stretching exercises. As you begin to develop more energy, you can look into beginning your evening with a run, then winding down into stretches before going to bed.
Get Outdoors for a Bigger Energy Boost
Have you ever noticed how you always have an easier time staying awake and focused in the fresh air? Getting outside is a wonderful way to refresh your mind and body.
A basic walk outside is enough to get started, and being surrounded by nature will make a real difference to your mood and stress levels too.
Once again, as your energy levels begin to increase, you can think about other outdoor activities that give you a bit more of a challenge, like going for a run. You can also look into things like cycling or hiking or consider taking part in a team or group-based exercise, if you need extra motivation to keep going, some days.
When you promise your friend that you’re going to meet them for a bike ride, you’re much less likely to cancel just because you feel a little tired. Having someone else to hold you accountable can give you the extra incentive you need, to get over that initial fatigue.
Seeing other people can also give you a social boost that elevates your mood and energy levels.
Be Careful Not to Overtrain
Finally, be careful not to push yourself too hard. You don’t want to overtrain and risk breaking down, especially if you’re not used to strenuous exercise.
Exercise can help you to overcome your low energy levels and feelings of fatigue, but it’s important to refrain from pushing yourself faster or further than you can reasonably handle.
Overtraining will cause you to feel more overwhelmed and fatigued, making it harder for you to get back to your routine the next day. Over time you should learn how hard you can push your body but increase the workload gently.
If you’re concerned that you’re exercising too much and not leaving enough time for recovery, or too little and feeling no difference in your energy levels, speak to a health professional for guidance.