Here’s some irony for you. When you’re low on energy, you just don’t feel like being active. Maybe if you rest for a while, your energy will come back.
But it turns out that this is exactly the wrong answer. It seems like a body might need rest so it can recharge and give more energy, but just being active creates more energy within your muscles and your cardiovascular system.
In fact, a 2017 study showed that participants with work-related fatigue improved their energy levels after six weeks of exercise intervention. This went along with an improved effort at work, sleep quality, and cognitive functioning.
Why would this be?
- Your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient when you are active, so it transports oxygen more efficiently through the day. More oxygen, more energy.
- Research shows that sleep quality is improved when you are active. How active? Just 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity over the course of an entire week. Mood is elevated as well.
- Activity benefits your mental energy levels as well. This study showed that 24 weeks of moderate aerobic exercise improved cognitive function, concentration, and even short term memory.
- Any physical activity that elevates your heart rate can raise your energy level and give you more stamina. Aerobic exercise is the most obvious, but lower-intensity exercises like yoga have also shown benefits as well.
- An excellent exercise for a long term energy boost comes from resistance training. Any kind of resistance work, done consistently, can build background muscle tone. This is important because that muscle burns more calories than anything else except your brain. The effect is that it can raise your basal metabolic rate, leaving you with more energy through the day.