As much as being tired and fatigued all the time sucks, it usually affects more than just yourself. Work performance, family, and relationships take a hit also. But, fatigue is a common issue these days with plenty of people wondering how to get rid of it.
Actually, for most people, getting rid of fatigue and increasing energy is pretty simple. The biggest problem is being willing to make the necessary changes that usually involves replacing bad habits with healthy habits.
I will show you the habits I’m talking about, but first I hope to impress upon you the correlation between exercise and your energy levels. Believe it or not, a few minutes of exercise a few times a week gets rid of fatigue better than anything else.
When You are Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired
I’ve been there! Just bone-tired all the time. Constantly fighting to stay alert, especially at work, left me demoralized, and without enough mental energy to even consider motivation.
I couldn’t figure out how to change it, either. I was mostly willing myself through day to day life, hoping something would change soon.
I was always tired, but it really wasn’t as if I were sleepy, either. No, I was simply suffering from fatigue, and I needed a way out if I were going to enjoy life again. I am happy to report to you that I did get over it, and rarely feel fatigued these days.
It Started With Regular Exercise
Like most people, when I was advised to get more exercise, I thought that was insane. It seemed counterproductive to think I would use what little energy I had to get energized? It looked like I would be pouring out my last drink of water to cure my thirst.
But, the advice was good, and it was right for me and will be for you also. Regular exercise is going to improve your energy levels and make you feel good again. You’ve got to exert energy for physical activity to get energized.
But don’t take it from me, check out this one study of many.
Medical Research Proves You Cure Fatigue With Exercise
A study was done at the University of Georgia, which appeared in the March 2008 issue of the Swiss medical journal: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic showed that exercise does indeed raise energy levels.
The study included thirty-six healthy young adults who were leading a sedentary lifestyle and reported feeling persistent fatigue.
The study was divided into three groups, a moderate-intensity exercise group, a low-intensity exercise group, and a no-exercise group. The study spanned six weeks and those who were exercising did so three times a week for the six-week duration.
The group of individuals who were in the moderate intensity group was required to do twenty minutes of exercise on an exercise bike that was comparable to a fast-paced walk up a hill. This group of people reported a forty-nine percent drop in fatigue at the end of the study.
The group that was in the low-intensity group was required to do twenty minutes of exercise on an exercise bike that was equivalent to a leisurely walk. This group of individuals reported experiencing a sixty-five percent drop in fatigue at the end of the study.
However, the group without any exercise experienced no change in their levels of fatigue.
Why Does Exercising Work?
When a sedentary individual begins to exercise and be more active, it enhances the blood flow to their muscles. As the muscles are able to get more blood flow, they are also getting more oxygen and nutrients than what they are used to getting.
This allows the muscles to improve their ability to produce more energy, which leads to feeling less fatigued and better able to take on the day.
When You Are Fatigued You Need Easy Exercise
In the study above, those who did high-intensity exercise experienced less change than those who were in the low-intensity group.
This discrepancy is easily explained. If the participants in the moderate activity group didn’t take the time to develop an aerobic base before beginning a higher intensity work out, it was too physically demanding.
As a result of the workout requiring more from unused muscles, it left them feeling more physically drained. Until their bodies adapted to the new routine, they were at least as fatigued as before.
How To Swap Fatigue for Exercise
The research proves two things:
- Regular exercise increases energy levels.
- Going from a sedentary lifestyle to intense exercise has the opposite effect.
The answer is simple enough.
While exercising is great for improving energy levels, you should start slow to reap the benefits. But, and this is important, the regularity is important. In fact, regularity of exercise will far outreach the intensity when it comes to lessening your fatigue.
Something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the store instead of driving or walking down the hall to deliver a message to a coworker instead of emailing can all help you to feel less fatigued and more energized.
Feeling constantly fatigued not only affects your physical health but can also affect your mental health, as you feel less and less inclined to get out and do things.
Start making small changes in your life now, and you will soon find that you have more energy to do all of the things you want to do.
Healthy Habits That Beat Fatigue
Not enough sleep over the long haul slowly depletes your energy and will to press on. There are plenty of dissenting opinions, but research continues to show that most humans function at their highest levels with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Research also indicates that the more modern our society gets, the less people get that much sleep most nights. Instead, we mindlessly watch TV, FaceBook, play video games, or most anything electronic.
Here’s how to change that habit, get more and better sleep, increase energy, and decrease fatigue:
- Relax before bed. Turn off everything electronic 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. When you go from screen time to bed, it takes several hours for the brain to relax and get into a deep sleep. As a result, even if you’re in bed for 8 hours you are still sleep deprived. Try reading something (on paper, like a real book) for a little while before getting in bed.
- Make sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Going to bed and getting up routinely sets your brain and body up for knowing what it’s supposed to do at bedtime.
- Short naps. If you nap during the day, which is good for you, never sleep more than 30 minutes. Sleep more than that and it makes you groggy and disturbs your sleep at night.
3. Eat Healthy
A healthy diet boost energy levels and most of what we live on today drains energy and leaves us fatigued.
It’s imperative that you get enough nutrients in your diet to maintain the physical and mental strength to sustain you. The Nutrients you need come from whole fresh and frozen foods. Healthy carbs, protein, and fiber on a consistent basis keeps you healthy and activated.
Sustainable energy that doesn’t crash and burn after an hour requires unrefined carbs and proteins. A balanced diet of healthy foods that don’t come out of a package or can keep your weight at healthy levels.
Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise causes your body and mind to flourish naturally, while overweight has the opposite effect. Exercise is a tool for losing weight and reducing fatigue, but it starts with healthy diets.
4. Stress Reduction
Stress can be the #1 cause of fatigue. In fact, stress is so powerful it is known to be a primary cause of many diseases and cancers. So there is no doubt that when you are living under constant stress it’s affecting your body and life.
Most of us can’t escape the stressful situations we live in like careers, marriages, unruly children, and even bad health. However, most of us can discover and form healthy habits that allow us to de-stress and relax.
Without a doubt, exercise of any form is the best way to quickly reduce stress and anxiety, but not the only method that works. Here are a few known methods that reduce stress and fatigue at the same time:
- Get a hobby. Very few people who regularly attend a hobby deal with overloads of stress. Hobbies are anything that requires no pressure to succeed. If it does, it’s simply not a hobby. Hobbies are anything that takes your attention away from the normal grind of the day and be participated in or not.
- Massage therapy. Stress always winds up in your body. Getting a massage unwinds and releases the tension from nerve endings and muscles that have taken your bad day seriously. Need a massage every day? So do I! That’s why I use this self massage method that absolutely reduces stress and increases my energy.
- Take up anything new that activates and relaxes at the same time. Things like tai chi, yoga, meditation, reading, or merely getting in a room by yourself and listening to soothing music.
The most important thing to remember is that “if nothing changes — nothing changes. To increase vitality and decrease fatigue lifestyle changes are the answer.
And nobody can do it for you! Exercise, in my book, is by far the best first step to take, because it works the fastest. It can also help you change other things that cause chronic tiredness and exhaustion. Fatigue is always your body telling you it’s time to make some changes and improve your energy levels.
So, go ahead and take a break from the wear and tear of life and do something healthy that energizes and invigorates you today.