“Energy creates energy.” – Sarah Bernhardt
It’s hard to feel energetic when you’re out of shape. Exercise increases stamina, strengthens muscles, and improves mood, all of which lead to more energy. So, if you could use more energy in your life (and couldn’t we all) you have to accept that initially, it’s going to take some energy in order to create some energy.
How Exercise Improves Energy Levels
Exercise makes your body more efficient at taking in oxygen and using it as fuel, which gives your body more energy. When you exercise to increase energy levels, your heart pumps oxygenated blood through the body quicker. This helps deliver nutrients to tissues faster than it normally would, which can help increase your energy levels throughout the day.
There are two main areas of exercise to increase energy; strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
There are many ways that you can perform strength training or resistance training. The most popular are free weights (e.g. dumbbells and barbells), weight machines, resistance bands, and your own body weight (e.g. push-ups and pull-ups.) Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and squats require little or no equipment but can be very effective for developing strength if done correctly.
Free weights are the most common method of building muscle strength and require you to use more stabiliser muscles than with a weight machine. Weight machines allow you to target one muscle group at a time (e.g. leg press) and may be easier to use than free weights if you are new to strength training.
Examples of resistance training moves that benefit the cardio system include squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, and bicep curls using dumbbells.
Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of moderate to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. Aerobic means “relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. Once again, the faster the oxygen moves through your system the more energy you can draw from.
The standard recommendation for cardiovascular exercise per week is at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (or a combination of both.)
For an excellent boost in energy levels, while burning calories, try brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing, or a fitness boxing workout. For a supreme cardio workout try Meta-HIIT 30-minute workouts.
Bonus Mood Booster
Working out also releases endorphins into your body. Endorphins bind to receptors in your brain and help reduce the pain and stress caused by hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Endorphins are considered natural painkillers and trigger positive feelings and a general sense of wellbeing. “I’ll have what she’s having!”
Pro Tip: Exercise first thing in the morning to get your metabolism going for the rest of the day. This will help you burn extra calories all day long, keep your metabolism ramped up, and set a positive mood. Also, consider exercising outdoors. The fresh air will leave you feeling invigorated and energised.
Authentic Energy Improvement
Without doubt, exercise gives you energy because whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges through your body to your heart, muscles, and brain. Regularly prioritising a workout into your day will help keep your energy levels and attitude at their peak.
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