Exercise – Fatigue And Energy
The modern world offers many challenges, and one of the primary ones is keeping up with a crazy schedule. We try to cram more into our lives now than at any other time, all while working an average week that is longer than at any previous point in modern history. If you have a family then you also have to manage your kids’ lives, taking them to and from school, playdates and their extracurricular activities. You’ve also got to find time for a social life, and to do things outside of work that you are passionate about as well. Exercise can often be the last ‘to-do’ on your chaotic list, and the one that gets forgotten. After all, how can you get up early or stay up later to exercise when you are already so exhausted? As strange as it may sound, exercise will actually help you fight fatigue and increase your overall feelings of energy and well-being. Here’s a quick look at how that happens.
It’s easy enough to see why exercise may be the last thing you want to do when you are tired. Many people aren’t getting enough sleep as it is, so the idea of getting up extra early and losing another hour of sleep is enough to make you toss aside all hopes of a regular workout routine. But science has proven that exercise will combat fatigue. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, regular exercise increases the production of hormones in your body that are vital to your energy levels. Those hormones include testosterone, catecholamines and human growth hormone, as well as the hormones that target and stimulate your thyroid. All of these will increase your metabolism, and therefore leave you feeling more energetic. Because of the metabolism increase, exercise also helps your body digest food faster and more efficiently. And the less energy your body spends on digestion, the more it can give you for other tasks.
In addition, the more you exercise, the better your body becomes at using the sugar and fat in your system. You probably know that bloated feeling well, and how it just makes you want to fall asleep. And when you have more than a few extra pounds on your frame you could feel less energetic overall. Exercise will tap into those fat deposits and turn them into energy your body uses for fuel. You’ll slim down for sure, but you’ll also maintain an even flood sugar level. That means fewer peaks and valleys and less fatigue.
Regular physical exercise also improves your circulation and strengthens your heart. When your circulation is working as required your body will be warmer, and the nutrients in your food will move through your system more swiftly and completely. Each of those will add to a feeling of alertness and focus that you may find incredibly stimulating. When you add muscle-building exercise on top of the cardiovascular exercise that improves circulation, you’re also changing your body on the muscular level. Mitochondia are the small organs within our cells that produce the energy our body needs to thrive. The more exercise we do, the more energy that is created. So even though you may feel tired after the workout, you are actually increasing the overall amount of energy your body can make available at any given time. That means you can push your boundaries during your busy days and hopefully work through them, instead of hitting that wall of exhaustion.
Finally, regular exercise has been shown to actually improve your mood. It’s strange to think something so painful could make you happy. But if you’ve ever witnessed a “runner’s high”, you know it to be true. Your mood will improve in the hours after a workout, and that positive feeling will keep your energy up throughout the day.