School is back in session and so is your frantic non-stop pace of life! While your daily schedule may leave you fatigued, usually the real culprit for decreased energy is our daily habits. For example, the foods we eat, the amount sleep we get, and (SHOCKER) the amount of physical activity we get all affect how tired we feel.
One of the best antidotes to beating fatigue and increasing energy is to exercise more, not less.
“Contrary to popular belief, exercising doesn’t make you tired — it literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger,” says nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a nutrition adviser for the Journey for Control diabetes program.
How Does Exercise Increase Energy:
As your heartbeat increases with a vigorous workout, more blood surges through the brain, more oxygen is absorbed by your brain cells, and you feel more mentally alert and energetic. Better-conditioned muscles also make daily tasks that much easier. When you exercise, your ability to recruit and use muscle fibers are increased so you require less effort to perform any physical task. And as you become stronger through exercise, so does your immune system. Being sick drains us of energy. Exercise boosts immunity, which helps averts illness, or at least reduces its length and intensity.
What can I do with limited time?
Moderate intensity movement is all you need to increase energy levels. Even a 10 or 15 minute walk has the primary effect of increased energy. If taking a short walk doesn’t feel like enough of a workout, try an intense 30 minute bout of interval training. While intense exercise may initially tire you out, it reduces tension, so that after an hour or so, when your muscles begin to recover, you will see a surge of energy but without tension. If you can’t make it to FIT for even a 30 minute session, try a 10 – 20 minute interval training workout at home. Exercise equipment is not necessary to deliver a good workout. For on the road or at home workout suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.