If you're feeling tired and have lower energy, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. But surprisingly, some forms of movement and exercise can actually help to boost your energy levels.
So what are the best forms to consider? Running, biking, yoga, weight training, swimming or something totally new? The best exercise for increasing energy is often going to be one that you enjoy, which can help keep you motivated and lift your mood. You should also consider how you are feeling and adjust the intensity if needed. Let's take a look at how movement and exercise affect the body.
How exactly does exercise make you feel more energized? Physical exertion triggers changes at a cellular level in the body. More specifically, it regulates the cellular processes that produce new mitochondria, the parts of the cell responsible for energy metabolism. Mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is your body's energy source. Having more mitochondria increases the overall energy supply to your body.
Exercise can also improve blood flow. Boosted circulation from exercise helps to increase your mitochondria's energy production by producing more proteins for these cells to use. Better circulation improves the flow of oxygen throughout your body, encouraging your body to use its energy more efficiently.
It's that mitochondria production, plus a release of hormones called endorphins, that create the exhilarating "post-run high" after a workout.
If you're looking for the best exercise for increasing energy, the answer will be different for each person. Here are tips to consider whether you're training for a marathon or just starting out.
Start at the right level for you. While running 5 miles or doing a high-intensity interval workout may be right for some, a brisk walk may be perfect for others. Once you build up your stamina, you can gradually continue to ramp up your exercise routine.
Focus on the basics first. Get enough sleep and supportive nutrition. This helps nourish your body on a cellular level, leading to healthier cells and mitochondria to support energy production and endurance.
Support your adrenal system while you incorporate new workouts. You want to ensure your body is in a strong position to deal with any kind of stress that comes your way.
Do what feels good to your body. You may feel most rejuvenated after a morning session of tai chi, some strength training or maybe an evening jog. Try out some different physical activities to discover your best exercise for increasing energy.
Exercise can be both a positive stressor and a negative stressor. Adopting a gradual approach to working out is vital since overdoing it can lead to additional stress and injuries. Be careful not to run-on-empty with eating too few calories, a diet high in processed foods or pushing your body passed its limits with strenuous workouts on a daily basis. Restorative practices like yoga and pilates and taking rest days between more intense workouts are important.
You can get a deeper understanding of how your body is managing current levels of stress with a simple at-home lab test that looks at the key hormones that support energy levels, mood and overall metabolism. This can give you valuable insight into any underlying hormonal imbalances and help guide you in the right direction of the additional support you need to re-energize and feel your best.
If you feel tired all the time, it can affect every area of your life - low energy, low mood, and low drive can be your body's way of telling you it needs additional support. Now you can find out your thyroid levels, adrenal output, stress hormones, blood sugar and vitamin D - to help take back control of your health with this simple at-home lab test.