Exercise and Energy
It is not uncommon for people to feel like exercise just makes them more tired rather then adds to their energy. While this may be the case to begin with as your body is getting used to the added movement, as time progresses, exercising will indeed enhance your energy levels. The more you do, the more you can do. If you are sitting on that couch all day watching Netflix and then baffled by why you are so tired, you are creating this loop on your own. Your body loves movement, it is good to start slow, a gentle walk or some low-key stretching is enough to get going and then building up to something bigger if that is what you desire and what is safe for you.
Once your muscles get a taste of regular exercise, they are going to crave it and your energy will boost. Not only is it an energy boost, exercise has many health benefits. Moving your body regularly, boosts your mood, reduces your risk of different health conditions, calms your stress response. It also improves your self confidence and body image, separate from whether it changes your weight or not. In a whole, exercise makes you feel better.
Improving your exercise levels can be something of a challenge. One of the problems might be, are you actually enjoying the exercise you are trying to do more of? If you do not enjoy it, why would you want to do it? Do movements you enjoy, that you find fun and they feel good for your body, this is different for everyone. What are you associating exercise with? If it is only associated with external factors and motivators, your ability to stick to it is lower then it would be if you associated it with internal factors.
Internal factors include, how does it make you feel? Does it relax you? Does it put you in a better mood? Does it remove a bit of that excess energy so you can feel calmer? A note on associating exercise with weight loss: I know it is common to put these two together, but they are not mutually exclusive and you might find it beneficial to separate them. When your only reason for exercising is aiming to lose weight, how much time are you spending enjoying to activity in comparison to how much time are you beating yourself up and ridiculing your body? When you are keeping weight loss as your main focus, you may be missing all the other amazing things exercise can benefit for you, you also have an unstable motivation.
Boosting your movement boosts your energy, it helps you sleep better and it clears your mind. Exercise can be so much more diverse then pouring sweat by the end of it, if you feel like there is no point unless you completely exhaust yourself, how is this train of thought working out for you? Are you motivated to move regularly? As I attempted to write this article, I was feeling lethargic, so I went out into the sun and took a walk, coming back I was in a much better place to sit and write it, I generated the benefits of exercise and I didn’t need to sweat it up. Of course, if that is what you like, go for it, I love a good intense workout in the mornings to wake me up for the day. My point is, gentle exercise can be just as beneficial as intense and moving your body is never a wasted effort even if is only for 10 minutes.
How much exercise are you doing on a weekly basis? What expectations are you holding yourself to when it comes to exercise? Is this motivating you or hindering you in getting some movement? How can you relate to exercise differently? What movement do you enjoy and would like to do more of? Walking, running, dancing, yoga, interval training, tai chi, playing some kind of sport in your yard. There so many different things you can do to get more movement, how can you be more creative with your exercise habits? What is a feasible goal for you right now? Let’s get some of those endorphins flowing, we could all use a bit of a mood boost with the chaos of our world right now and exercise is a good guarantee to start seeing a difference.