ESSA highlights benefits of daily low-intensity exercise to beat fatigue

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is reminding everyone this holiday season that a small amount of daily low-intensity exercise can help boost energy levels in people coping from general fatigue.

In recent years, there has been much research suggesting exercise acts directly on the central nervous system, in turn increasing energy and reducing lethargic tiredness, not due to underlying health conditions.

Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive notes “It is a bit of a catch 22 – when you feel depleted by fatigue, the last thing you feel like doing is moving your body. But research shows that regular exercise actually increases energy…and there are clear physical and mental advantages to it, compared to the usual ‘go-tos’ like caffeine and sugar.”

To give anatomical details, when you exercise, your body produces more mitochondria inside your muscle cells, which is the part that creates fuel out of glucose from the food you eat and oxygen from the air you breathe. Having more mitochondria increases your body’s energy supply.

Exercising also increases your body’s oxygen circulation, which supports the energy production process and allows your body to use this energy more efficiently. This basically means that you need to exercise for your body to produce more of this energy giving ‘battery pack’, because without it you’ll naturally feel exhausted. In addition to helping your body create and use energy, regular exercise promotes better sleep!

ESSA notes that while Summer and the ‘silly season’ might look a bit different this year, it is important to still bring opportunities to look after our health over the holidays and suggest simple ways to move everyday including:

1) Sit on the floor rather than on a couch/chair and let your body adapt to various positions naturally.

2) Taking short (even just a five minute) walks to break up the day. Set an alarm or download some podcasts if you need a kick-start!

3) Dance! Music can be a great motivator, so throw on a song (preferably Christmas themed) and let yourself move.

For those that want to take it up a level and integrate or optimise a regular exercise routine as part of their daily movement practice, ESSA advise working with an Accredited Exercise Scientist for guidance on general fitness or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist if you have an existing condition. Not only is it important to move often, but it’s also essential to move well and safely.

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