“I’m always so tired.” Sound familiar? Fatigue, that never ending feeling of exhaustion, has become an all too common complaint in our modern world. We are constantly stressed, sleep deprived and survive on junk food and stimulants. To cope, we turn to caffeine and energy drinks to make it through the day, but stimulants are only a temporary solution, and an unhealthy one as well.
Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, many related to your lifestyle including:
- Stress leading to a condition known as chronic stress and eventually adrenal fatigue.
- Lack of sleep or a lack of quality, uninterrupted sleep.
- Vitamin or mineral deficiency or conditions like anemia caused by deficiencies.
- Poor dietary choices including too much sugar leading to hormonal imbalances.
- Emotional conditions including sadness and depression leading to apathy.
- Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, or cardiopulmonary conditions.
- Or simply your sedentary lifestyle and the deconditioning as a result of lack of exercise.
The simplest step you can take to increase your energy level is to exercise. It sounds crazy that physical activity and burning energy would help combat fatigue and increase your energy level, but the more unfit you are, the more tired you will be. Fatigue causes inactivity which leads to more fatigue – a cycle that can only be broken with regular, moderate and consistent exercise.
In addition to increasing energy levels, 20 minutes of moderate exercise can help you to sleep better and improve your mood. Your fitness program should include a balance of cardiovascular exercise (jogging, running or biking) to improve your endurance and stamina and decrease fatigue, and resistance training using weights or your own bodyweight to build strength and stamina to combat fatigue.
Time to get busy! Your 20-minute workout:
Warm up: 3 minutes
Start every exercise session with a warm up to increase your body temperature and the circulation to the muscles you are about to train. Warming up also wakes up your brain and prepares you mentally for exercise and prevents strains and injury.