Exercise for Energy: Workouts That Work
Want to fight fatigue? Here's what kind of exercise -- and how much -- is best.
Exercise for Energy: What Really Works continued...
In addition to walking, experts say other forms of exercise that help
increase "calm energy" are yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and, sometimes,
resistance strength training, particularly
when done with slow, deliberate motions.
Further, Thayer says playing music during any workout may increase "calm
energy" while helping to reduce tension.
"In a study we did about 10 years ago, we found that music was a very
effective way to change a person's mood," he says. "And though we don't
have any data just yet, we are now studying whether workouts that combine music
and movement, like Jazzercise, can induce this state of calm energy that is so
While experts agree that moderate movement is key to increasing energy, even
if you overdo it, your end result may still be less fatigue.
"Though it's mostly anecdotal at this point, we are starting to see that
while intense exercise may tire you out, it also reduces tension, so that after
an hour or so, when your muscles begin to recover, you might see a surge of
energy but without tension," says Thayer.
Regardless of what energy-producing exercise you choose, you can get more
out of your workout time by eating some fruit just before you start, says
Pasqualoni, founder of the Strike It Healthy web site.
"This allows food, which is a form of energy, to be broken down and the
nutrients enter the bloodstream, while preparing the body for work," she
says. "The end result: You have more energy while you're working out -- and
more energy afterwards."
Heller also reminds us to drink plenty of water before, during, and after
working out to help decrease workout-related fatigue.
"Dehydration is an important
cause of fatigue, so to get the most energy out of every workout, be sure to
stay hydrated," she says.
And finally, what if you're really just too tired to do anything at
all? Experts say simply getting up out of your chair may be enough to get
those mitochondria energy factories powered up -- and for you to feel some
Says Thayer: "Even if you think you're too tired to do anything, get up
and walk around the room, and in a couple of minutes you're going to feel some
energy that wasn't there before. And that may lead you to want to move even