How to use exercise to up your energy – no guarana required.
If even reading this headline makes you want to take a nap, this story is definitely for you. Modern day exhaustion is real, partly because we are device addicts, partly because we are trying to cram more in than ever before, and partly because Netflix is the devil who is always begging us to play just.one.more.episode. So when you wake in the morning feeling like a slug, it’s only natural to hit snooze on your daily run or Pilates sesh and opt for a jumbo-size caffeine hit instead. But here’s the thing: exercising can actually help boost your energy.
Yes, it does seem counterintuitive, but as Anna Brine, Pilates Studio Manager at One Hot Yoga, explains, “you can gain more energy from adding exercise to your day than taking a nap when you’re feeling tired!” That’s because exercise helps your heart pump blood around your body more efficiently, delivering much-needed oxygen and nutrients to your body tissue and muscles… which in turn aids in energy production and body functionality. In addition, exercise produces endorphins – the chemicals produced by the nervous system otherwise known as the ‘feel-good hormones’. Naturally, these have a positive effect on your mood, which will make you feel mentally energised too. Similarly, the more sedentary you are, the more sluggish and unmotivated you’ll feel. Anna explains, “when you’re sedentary, energy levels tend to remain low, because little energy expenditure is required. Energy out creates energy in!”
So what kinds of exercise should you be doing? Anna suggests a little trial and error as each body responds differently to exercise. And the question of how much really depends on how inactive you are to begin with. However, slowly is always the key, with the aim of moving for at least half an hour.
To read more about how to exercise your way to an energy boost, click here to read the Autumn 2020 issue of Gritty Pretty Magazine.