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Exercise for energy| how does exercise boost energy levels?

Tiredness or fatigue may be your go-to excuse for not exercising. If this is the case, we  have some good news; exercise has actually been found to increase your energy levels.

In fact, exercise has many benefits to physical and mental health including:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced stress and tension

increases Energy

The amount of energy you have is a direct result of your diet and the number of mitochondria your body produces. The more active you are, the more mitochondria your body produces.

"For example, the more you exercise aerobically, the more mitochondria the body makes to produce more energy to meet your needs” says nutritionist Samantha Heller[1].

This means that, contrary to popular understanding, the more energy you use, the more your body will have available.

This may seem hard to believe if you’ve experienced fatigue after high intensity training. However, you may have noticed that a couple of hours later your energy levels picked back up and you felt more energised. This is because it takes some time for your body to produce the extra mitochondria it needs. To avoid this post training lull you can start with low-moderate training instead and build up.

The evidence:

A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reported that inactive people who normally complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% and decrease fatigue by as much as 65% by simply participating in regular, low-intensity exercise[2].

Improves sleep quality

Not only does exercise increase your energy, it also improves your sleep quality. It helps you to fall asleep faster, get better quality sleep and deepen your sleep[3]. This means that you’ll feel more refreshed in the mornings.

Try to exercise at least 1-2 hours before you go to bed. If you exercise any later, the production of endorphins, and the high that it leaves you on, could leave you struggling to sleep[4]. The increase in body temperature that exercise causes could also have the same effect.

Reduces stress

Regular aerobic exercise has been found to decrease tension and elevate and stabilise mood[5]. This is in part because when you exercise your brain produces endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that make you feel good[6]. Therefore, exercise is a great remedy for stress.

Exercise that requires deep breathing is particularly good for relieving stress because deep breathing triggers the body’s relaxation response[7]. Consequently, it is unsurprising that yoga and Pilates are known to boost ‘calm energy’[8].

If you want to start exercising more, our Move More classes are a great way to get fit in a social environment. We offer a variety of different classes such as Pilates, Zumba and Outdoor Fit. View our full class timetable or sign up to Move More to try one of our classes.