Are you constantly feeling tired and running low on energy? No worries, you are not alone. Fatigue is actually a common symptom among adults and can be caused by a multitude of lifestyle factors. Luckily, there are natural ways to boost energy levels. These include getting the right amount of sleep at night, improving your daily nutrition, drinking more water and less alcohol and sugary drinks or discovering the most efficient stress relievers.
In addition to those changes, there’s one more thing you can do to decrease tiredness and regain your energy: be more physically active. Keep on reading to see how a low-intensity exercise such as walking can help you effectively fight off fatigue and feel vigorous again.
Exercise Increases Energy – It’s Scientifically Proven
We all know that a simple exercise like walking can be truly beneficial not only to our physical, but also our mental health. Among others, going for a stroll on a regular basis can aid us reduce the risk of heart disease or diabetes, burn calories and lose weight, strengthen bones and muscles, relieve stress and anxiety and improve our mental wellbeing. Another benefit of walking is, of course, the fact that it can increase our energy levels. This is backed up by science.
Professors from the University of Georgia recruited 36 volunteers who were leading a sedentary lifestyle and complaining of constant fatigue. The researchers split the participants into three different groups: the first group engaged in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, the second – in low-intensity aerobic exercise, while the third remained inactive. At the end of the six-week program, scientists discovered that both active groups managed to increase their energy levels by 20%. Moreover, the low-intensity group reduced fatigue symptoms by 65%, while the moderate-intensity group – only by 49%.
This isn’t the only research conducted by professors from the University of Georgia on this matter. In a 2013 meta analysis, they examined the effects of exercise on energy and fatigue levels from 16 studies involving almost 700 participants. Scientists concluded that going for a walk longer than 20 minutes can lead to a decrease in tiredness symptoms and a boost in energy.
A different study compared the effects of low-to-moderate intensity stair walking and of caffeine consumption on energy levels in adults with chronic sleep deprivation. The results? Participants felt more energized after the 10-minute stair walk than after consuming 50 mg of caffeine.
How to Walk More Each Day
We’ve seen that walking is one of the best energy-boosting exercises. But how do you manage to sneak in more steps each day and increase your physical activity? Well, there are simple things you can do. For example:
- If the distance is reasonable, walk to work when possible. If you have to take the car, park as far away as possible from the building entrance. If you have to take public transportation to work, get off one stop earlier and walk the remaining distance.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Engage in a walking competition with colleagues to make exercise more fun.
- Go for a leisure walk after dinner instead of lying down. It will stimulate the metabolism and ease digestion.
- Take your family hiking and enjoy the scenery.
- Join a walking group in your area.
- Walk your kids to school or to the playground.
Remember to Track your Progress
If you’re set on becoming more active, it’s truly important to able to measure how much you walk. Why? Well, first of all because you’ll know if you’re meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity. Keeping track of your activity will help you understand the progress made since day one and appreciate your accomplishments. At the same time, it will allow you to adjust your goals and find the necessary drive to stay active.
You can easily track your progress with a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker. With such an app you’ll have the chance to monitor multiple metrics, such as your step count, the distance walked, calories burned or duration of your walking session. You’ll be able to set a personal goal for the metric that’s most relevant to your needs and adjust it along the way according to your fitness level. Of course, you’ll have an in-depth analysis of your activity, with insightful report graphs for each day, week and month.