It’s a chicken and egg scenario. You may not have enough energy to exercise, and yet, exercise gives you energy. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that shows that regular exercise plays a significant role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue. We’ve all heard about how regular exercise can benefit people with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc, but even maintaining good health and energy requires exercise.
Commit to wanting to be healthy, have less fatigue, and improve energy
In a study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 2008, University of Georgia researchers found that inactive folks who normally complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% while decreasing fatigue by as much as 65% by simply participating in regular, low-intensity exercise. Exercise gives us energy by increasing circulation, strengthening heart muscles, acting on our central nervous system, and creating endorphins…not to mention getting rid of toxins though our lymphatic system.
But what is exercise? It can be a stroll around your block and some easy stretches, or it can be a high intensity dance aerobics class or Crossfit. It can be a sport you love, or a way to slow down and also connect with your breathing and state of mind. Basically it’s movement that goes beyond walking around the house or office, or reaching for the remote. In Dan Buettners’s Blue Zone study, those who just did daily chores like gardening, walking to the market and back, etc. were some of the healthiest and longest living people in the world. In other words, they didn’t have gym memberships that made them healthy. What they did have was REGULAR exercise on a daily basis. The type that got their heart rates up a bit, but not necessarily putting a lot of stress on their bodies. As we’ll cover in upcoming episodes, stress, even physical stress, can sap energy. So you can exercise too much.
Figure out what you like to do
In the study out last year that shows that “sitting is the new smoking,” they chronicle the health issues that come from a lack of movement. I found a great PDF on this.
I can tell you first hand that after sitting at my desk all afternoon writing blog posts, or working on my new book, the last thing I want to do is exercise. If I don’t exercise in the morning, I’m toast. So if you have a sitting job, it makes sense to get your body moving in the morning. You have to understand your body and what your days look like and schedule it in. What someone once told me makes perfect sense “What gets scheduled, gets done.” Don’t wander around wondering if you “feel” like exercising. Do I feel like going to the gym? Do I feel like going for a walk? Should I call my friends and ask them if they want to play tennis? For almost everyone I know, they don’t feel like it until they are actually doing it. And then, energy happens and fatigue goes away!