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Paige Waehner

Fit Fact - Exercise increases energy

By June 5, 2009

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Life can be exhausting at times and that often leads to the most common excuse for skipping exercise: "I'm too tired to workout today." The irony is, exercise can actually fight fatigue...if you can overcome it long enough to get your body moving.

Scientists have looked into our energy crisis and found that low-intensity exercise might just be the answer for fatigue. In one study, scientists followed 36 healthy, sedentary adults with persistent fatigue, assigning them to three groups: Moderate-intensity exercise, low-intensity exercise and no exercise. The participants exercised 3 times a week for 6 weeks and, in the end, the group that did low-intensity exercise experienced the most favorable changes in energy.

Exercise for More Energy

If energy is a problem for you, it may be hard to contemplate exercising at all but, remember Newton's law of motion - an object at rest stays at rest, while an object in motion tends to stay in motion. You didn't know there would be a science lesson, did you?

The point is, if you can take that first step, it'll be easier to take the second step and even easier to take the third step. Before you know it, you're actually exercising and, even better, your fatigue starts to fade away. Some tips:

  • Put on your workout clothes - When you're tired, even the thought of changing clothes can keep you on the couch. Put on your workout clothes as soon as you get up or when you get home to get rid of the barrier right away.
  • Make it easier to get going - Make a rule that you can't turn on the TV or sit down at the computer until you take a walk or do something active.
  • Make it fun - If you're trying to create more energy, the last thing you want is a workout you hate. Choose an activity you enjoy, put on your favorite music and ease into it.
  • Enlist some help - A dog that needs to be walked or a child who needs to burn off some energy are great motivators.

I want to hear from you. How do you exercise when you're feeling tired? Does exercise help with fatigue? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

More about how to generate more energy.


Puetz, Timothy W., et al. A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Aerobic Exercise Training on Feelings of Energy and Fatigue in Sedentary Young Adults with Persistent Fatigue. Psychother Psychosom 2008;77:167-174

June 5, 2009 at 10:20 am
(1) ray says:

i work a 9-5 mon through fri and go to the gym after work. but believe it or not i look forward to getting up sat morn and hitting the gym,early,7am. great way to get your sat going. i have that pep in my step all day long. you get to a point where your body needs that buzz. i get restless if i don’t have it or am idle.

June 5, 2009 at 11:00 am
(2) Brad says:

There’s something to the “Nike Nag”…”Just do it!”. I think of this to help me get off my duff and go for it. Once you get going, it’s normally easy to build up some steam and get the momentum going.

June 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm
(3) JP says:

I print my workout routine the night before, so when I get up the next morning, its ready to go.

June 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm
(4) Laura says:

Absolutly right….
I was not doing much but playing doubles tennis once a week feeling very tired and complaining how tired I was. I hired an online trainer, started working out about 3 weeks ago, and I have so much more energy. I feel I can do more, and have the strength and energy to do it!

June 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm
(5) Kim says:

This is 100% true. I hit the gym daily or walk or bike or play tennis and I always feel better when I workout. I have a lot more energy. You just have to get up and do it no matter what it is and you will see what I am talking about…Get going !!!!

June 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm
(6) Sharon says:

It is so true that exercising regularly helps with a desk job. My energy, concentration and enthusiasm are totally different when I get up and exercise before work. My whole day is different! So my biggest tip is for people to get their daily exercise in before work and then do bonus activities in the evening (running, playing tennis, swimming, playing basketball).

June 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm
(7) kuri says:

get PUMPEDD or get RAPED!

June 11, 2009 at 12:32 am
(8) Mary says:

I notice that when I wake up tired I really have to push myself to exercise, but, once I get going I find that I have much more energy throughout the day!

October 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(9) peggy says:

I just began an excercise program. A trainer 2x a week and 20 mins on the treadmill at least 4 days a week. When will I start feeling an increase in energy, I am on week 3. I have also completely changed my eating habits and drink water out the wazoo.

December 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm
(10) Sarita says:

I’m a mom of three kids and have experienced fatigue and low energy for years. I also didn’t exercise much except for a walk around the block once in awhile with the kids. The last three days I’ve been walking/jogging a mile every day and am blown away by how much more energy I have. I don’t have the urge to crash on the sofa or bed for a mid-afternoon nap and I’m getting a lot more done around my house. I’ll definitely be keeping the exercise regimen going! :)

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