What kind of exercise can reduce fatigue and improve my energy levels?

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Eva B. Cwynar, MD
Internal Medicine
When it comes to exercise, the most important thing is to get your body moving. If you sign up for a spin class and then never go, it does you no good. There are many types of exercise from which to choose and all of them give you energy to one extent or another, no doubt about it. Most exercises fit into one of three categories:
  • Aerobic exercise: This type of exercise is the most obvious energy-producer. Plus it's heart-healthy, helps your lungs function more efficiently, and increases overall energy. Aerobic exercise is any type of exercise that gets the heart pumping and promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood.
  • Resistance exercise: Also referred to as strength training, resistance exercise builds muscle mass and boosts your metabolism, which in turn increases energy. Strength training also reduces blood sugar. Muscle mass stores excess blood sugar in the form of glycogen. We lose muscle mass as we age, which means we lose some of our capacity to store glucose. Too much glucose in the blood can lead to diabetes. As you build up muscle, you decrease the amount of glucose in the blood. Muscle also burns more energy when a person is at rest than fat does, so building your muscles will help you burn more calories, maintain a healthy weight, and increase your energy reserves.
  • Flexibility exercise: Exercises such as yoga and tai chi are stress relievers -- and we all know that stress is an energy sapper. This type of exercise focuses on stretching and breathing. The practice of yoga helps people to restore their levels of energy, to enhance stamina, relieve anxiety, and reduce fatigue. It gives you a sense of peace, which then allows you to sleep, which in turn gives you energy. Many forms of yoga focus on the art of reviving tired muscles and bringing them back to their energized state. People who are more flexible also sustain fewer injuries.
The best way to increase and maintain energy is to include all three types.
The Fatigue Solution: Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps

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The Fatigue Solution: Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps

        Every day, all over the world, millions of women are grappling with many of the same mind and body issues: low sex drive, weight gain, sexual dissatisfaction, chronic stress, anxiety,...

Exercise can be described as any form of physical activity, which involves repetitive movement in a planned and structured manner that increases heart rate through flexibility, cardiovascular or strength training.

Physical activity will increase your energy levels through many different means. Regular physical activity will allow more blood and oxygen providing the body energy to do work. Regular physical activity also increases production of vital hormones such as thyroid-stimulating hormone, testosterone, human growth hormone, and catecholamines, all of which help increase your metabolism and give you more energy. Regular physical activity also makes you more efficient at utilizing your body’s stores of fat and sugar for fuel, which allows you to burn them for energy and also helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevent the peaks and valleys that can cause fatigue. All of this combined will help you see a big increase in energy once you start engaging in regular physical activity.  

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
Any physical activity will solve fatigue that is related to being sedentary; you just need to make a commitment to get moving. That said, some exercises that can help you improve your overall fitness include:
  • Walking or bicycling
  • Stair stepping or stair climbing
  • Jumping rope
  • Aerobic dance
  • Ice-skating or roller-skating
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Basketball, soccer, racquetball, or tennis
  • Sit-ups or push-ups
  • Yoga or tai chi

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.