How Exercise Impacts Your Energy Levels

21st November 2018

When you’re completely exhausted, the last thing you want to do is lace up your shoes for a workout. But if you’re tired of being tired all the time, you may want to rethink the idea of regularly exercising.

 

Exercise is one of the most powerful tools we have for increasing our energy levels and you don’t need to do a lot to reap the benefits.

 

In fact, a University of Georgia study found that performing 20 minutes of low intensity exercise could decrease fatigue by up to 65%!

 

Link to study: https://news.uga.edu/low-intensity-exercise-reduces-fatigue-symptoms-by-65-percent-study-finds/

 

A physical activity as simple as walking, yoga or a leisurely bike ride (for only 20 minutes!) can do so much more for your energy than a cup of coffee or an energy drink ever could.

 

So how does exercise actually increase energy?

 

There’s a lot of amazing things going on in your body during a workout session. When you exercise, your body increases its production of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine — all of which are powerful mood boosters.

 

Dopamine, in particular, has been found to make us feel more alert and motivated. This is exactly why it pays to take that 20-minute walk during your lunch break instead of scrolling through your social feeds.

 

In addition to releasing these helpful neurotransmitters, exercise has been found to help us sleep better.

 

Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992829/?tool=pubmed

 

 

When your body gets the rest it needs on a regular basis, you will have the energy to get through your busy day.

 

But, can exercise actually work against you?

 

While a regular sweat session is typically a great thing for your body, there are some circumstances where a workout can actually affect your energy in a negative way.

 

Working out at night can make it very difficult to wind down and get a restful sleep. Experts recommend avoiding vigorous exercise up to 3 hours before bedtime.

 

Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673290

 

For those with especially hectic schedules, this can be a challenge since it may be the only time of day they can fit in a workout.

 

However, consider moving your workout to the morning to increase your energy for the whole day. But if you simply can’t, try sticking to a lower intensity nigh t time exercise routine so you can wind down when it’s time to sleep.

 

Too much of a good thing

 

Yes, you can get too much of a good thing. Exercising too much can actually have the opposite effect on your energy levels.

 

One study looked at the effects of over-exercising. Participants were put through a rigorous physical training regime for 10 days followed by 5 days of active recovery.

 

Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7894955

 

 

Not only did participants notice a decrease in performance, they also complained of extreme fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

So how much exercise is enough?

 

 

It is recommended that you get approximately 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous exercise each week to maintain good health. You’ll know you’re getting the right amount of exercise if you notice your energy levels are increasing.

 

If, after increasing your exercise efforts you’re (still) feeling lethargic or are having difficulty sleeping, there’s a good chance you may be overtraining.

 

One last point about Exercise & Energy — the food you eat also plays a huge role in your energy levels! In addition to getting regular exercise, be sure to fuel your body with whole foods throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and maintained.

 

Recipe

 

Energising Power Balls

 

This Energising Power Ball recipe is a great way to fuel your body pre-workout or to give you a mid afternoon energy boost.

 

Ingredients

 

35g sesame seeds

35g sunflower seeds

35g Salba (optional)

70g organic raisins or organic dried cranberries

70g dried figs, chopped into small pieces

70g organic raw almond butter

1 tsp. agave nectar

2 tsp. rice milk or coconut milk, *optional, but helps to bind if you have some around

 

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Roll dough into balls, approximately the size of 1 Tbsp.
  3. Chill and enjoy; place a few in the freezer and enjoy them frozen for a slightly different taste experience!



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