Fatigue Issue 5: The Importance of Exercise

By Ganymede

The Importance of Exercise

Around one in four people suffer from general fatigue not associated with a serious medical condition. When a person is fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise. But new research shows that regular, low-intensity exercise may help boost energy levels in people suffering from fatigue.

Why exercise helps fatigue isn’t clear, but recent scientific findings suggest exercise acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue. Notably, the improvements in energy and fatigue were not related to increases in aerobic fitness.

A lot of people are overworked and not sleeping enough. Exercise is a way for people to feel more energetic. There’s a scientific basis for it, and there are advantages to it, compared to things like caffeine and energy drinks.

Exercises to help fight fatigue

Aerobic exercise: This type of exercise is the most obvious energy-producer. Plus it's heart-healthy, helps your lungs function more efficiently and increases overall energy.

Resistance exercise: Also referred to as strength training, resistance exercise builds muscle mass and boosts your metabolism, which in turn increases energy. Strength training also reduces blood sugar. Muscle mass stores excess blood sugar in the form of glycogen. We lose muscle mass as we age, which means we lose some of our capacity to store glucose. Too much glucose in the blood can lead to diabetes. As you build up muscle, you decrease the amount of glucose in the blood.

Flexibility exercise: Exercises such as yoga and tai chi are stress relievers - and we all know that stress is an energy sapper. The practice of flexibility exercise helps people to restore their levels of energy, to enhance stamina, relieve anxiety, and reduce fatigue. It gives you a sense of peace, which then allows you to sleep, which in turn gives you energy. People who are more flexible also sustain fewer injuries

Exercises that help:

  • Running

  • Low to moderate intensity walking

  • Yoga

  • Cycling

  • Boxing

  • Pilates

  • Tai Chi

  • Swimming

If you have any questions regarding the topics covered in our Fatigue series, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our HSEQ team on 0333 011 2048 who will offer you support and guidance.