Feeling drained? Completely dead when 5 o’clock rolls around? Wish you were more energetic like you used to be? Maybe you should exercise for energy! Wait…that seems counter-intuitive; expend energy to feel more energetic…hmmm.
From health foods to supplements we are all looking for a more natural way to increase our energy levels without having to slam energy drinks and sugar-laden coffee 24/7. Along with myself and two of Cosmo’s celebrity trainers, we are going to discuss how to exercise for energy and how it can improve your energy levels!
Exercise for Energy: Get started
From Adam Rosante:
Exercise is one of the single greatest ways to send your energy levels through the roof. And though all exercise will help improve energy levels, a high-intensity workout, even a really short one, raises your post-workout oxygen consumption, igniting what is known as the “Afterburn Effect.” [Editor’s note: I will describe in more detail how to achieve the afterburn effect in a timely manner below]
Not only does that cause you to burn more calories for 48 hours after your workout, but those increased levels of oxygen in your body could raise your energy levels.
What’s even more important though is to take a look at the bigger picture. When you’re working out consistently, you crave better food and sleep much better.
A healthy, well-rested body and mind are always going to be soaring with energy.
-Adam Rosante serves simple, yet ridiculously effective fitness, nutrition, and life advice with a sense of humor. Named one of the sexiest trainers in the country by SELF magazine and one of the six hottest trainers to watch in 2014 by DETAILS, Adam has become a fixture in magazines, TV shows, and blogs, but is as easy-going and accessible as one of your crazy best friends.
From Astrid McGuire:
I absolutely believe exercise can give you energy! Once you are in it, the endorphins kick in, the sweat comes down and you all of a sudden have a clear path of all about you! To energize yourself during your workout, turn up the music & let your body heat up! I don’t know anyone that walks out of a workout regretting it nor do I know anyone that says, “I feel more exhausted”
I love a mix of cardio and strength training personally. If I feel like I am dragging, I will start with a light jog to warm up and before I know it, that light jog starts to stride out and I can put down some miles. Then for strength, I’ll start with core work because who doesn’t want to have great abs, so I will do different types of planks so without even knowing it, I am toning up my back and shoulders!! Sometimes you have to do little tricks for your mind and trust that your mind is a powerful muscle.
Go in knowing the workout will give you energy, a glow & a body people will be drooling over!
-Astrid McGuire is a highly sought-after Los Angeles-based personal trainer, fitness model and athlete, who is committed to helping people of various levels of fitness be their best while looking good and feeling great.
I couldn’t have said it better myself (maybe that’s why I don’t work for Cosmo), exercise really can make you feel more energetic.
Working out in the morning before work is a good option because it energizes you for the entire day.
Although it can really suck to wake up 45 minutes early in order to work out, it is so worth it!
One thing I would like to add to Adam’s point is regarding the Afterburn or EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) effect. It can be a great way to burn over 150+ calories after your workout is over still due to that workout (Bahr & Sejersted 1991)! It can even last anywhere from 38-48 hours…yeah it’s worth the time to read it (Schuenke et al 2002; Vella & Kravitz 2004).
I’m not going into all of the science for this article, but when it comes down to it, the scientific literature says that strength training (especially circuit training; Murphy & Schwarzkopf 1992) is more effective at eliciting a larger EPOC effect and that we should exercise 25-30 minutes (time-trade off Quinn et al 1994) with a VO2 max of at least 70% (Kaminsky et al 1990). You can convert that VO2 max to get a personalized heart rate you need to achieve and maintain during your workout by using this calculator. If you set up a strength training workout like that, you have a great time-efficient EPOC inducing workout!
Workout at a high intensity to burn calories hours to days after your workout and feel more energized and healthier as well. Exercise for energy seems like a no-brainer!
There are many natural ways to exercise for energy and increase your energy from foods to exercise. If you feel like you’re in a rut and don’t have the energy you once did maybe it’s time to go from sluggish to active with exercise.
Maybe you used to have more energy back when you were younger and more active because you were exactly that: more active!
Get up, exercise for energy, and take the life you want! What’s your favorite natural way to energize?
Bahr R, Sejersted OM (1991) Effect of intensity of exercise on excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Metabolism 40: 836–41.
Kaminsky LA, Padjen S, LaHam-Saeger J (1990) Effect of split exercise sessions on excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Brit J Sports Med 24: 95-98.
Murphy E, Schwarzkopf R (1992) Effects of standard set and circuit weight training on excess postexercise oxygen consumption. J Appl Sport Sci Res 6: 88-91.
Quinn TJ, Vroman NB, Kertzer R (1994) Postexercise oxygen consumption in trained females: Effect of exercise duration. Med Sci Spots Exer 26: 908-913.
Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM (2002) Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: Implications for body mass management. Eur J Appl Physiol 86: 411-417.
Vella CA, Kravitz L (2004) Exercise after-burn: A research update. IDEA Fit J 1.5: 42-47.
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- Afterburn It: Train to Achieve the EPOC Effect - January 2, 2022
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