How does exercise boost energy?
Physical activity is simply one of the best ways to kick-start your energy levels and fight fatigue. The act of movement boosts circulation, elevates your heart and breathing rates, and revs up your metabolism.
Research suggests that even small amounts of exercise can have a positive impact on energy levels. In a study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics subjects who were previously inactive increased their energy levels by up to 20% while decreasing fatigue by up to 65%, by cycling for 20 minutes at low-moderate intensity over a six week period.
Is all exercise created equal?
It’s also possible that not all types of exercise are the same when it comes to fighting fatigue. You could consider experimenting with many different types and intensities of exercise to see what has he most positive outcome.
Here are my top 3 to deliver energy-boosting results, even if you’re short on time.
5 ways to better yesterday’s workout ;
Swimming is known for its fitness benefits, yet body surfing takes it to a whole new level, making it one of Mother Nature’s best energy boosting workouts. It combines:
- Interval training – short bursts of very fast swimming to get through the breakers and catch a wave
- An adrenaline rush – Enjoy the speed and thrill while riding the wave
- Relaxation – while you stand or tread water waiting for the next wave
- A shot of vitality – Spending time outdoors and enjoying the salt water leaves you feeling refreshed and revitalised
With or without fins, you will need to swim your heart out, and time it so the wave picks you up for the ride. Keep safety in mind by swimming between the flags, and selecting waves that match your ability.
Skipping is a great way to incorporate some high intensity activity into your day. You can skip virtually anywhere, and just a few minutes will give you a real shot of energy. It also helps you to get fit, burn fat, and helps maintain the health of your bones and heart.
Start off slowly, and aim for small jumps with frequent rests, which helps to minimise the impact on your knees and ankles.
As your fitness improves you can increase the amount of time you skip for, and reduce your rest periods. Go for a short walk afterwards to cool down, and make sure to stretch your leg and calf muscles. Skipping is a high-impact activity, so it may not be suitable for people who have joint problems.
3. Stand up stretches
Sitting idle for several hours at a time can take its toll on your mind and body, and find you on the fast track to fatigue.
Prolonged sitting may tighten the muscles in your neck, shoulders, wrists and hamstrings, while your digestive and circulatory systems may work less efficiently. Short stretch breaks can improve blood flow and prevent work-related fatigue.
Try these standing stretches throughout the day to give you a surge of energy.
- Hamstring stretch – Stand on your right leg, placing the left foot on your desk or chair. With your left leg straight, gently bend forward and slide your hands towards the elevated foot until you begin to feel the stretch behind your knee. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds and stretch the left leg
- Reach for the sky – Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, raise both arms above your head and reach up as high as possible until you feel a stretch in your upper back. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds
- Trunk rotations – With feet shoulder width apart, raise both arms away from your body up to shoulder height to form a ‘T’ shape with your body. With your thumbs pointing upwards, reach your arms back behind you as far as possible, and gently rotate side to side. Keeping your chest out, and avoid fast, sudden or jerky movements