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Exercise When Tired for Energy


Updated March 17, 2008

Everyone I talk to seems tired these days. To many people, the idea of exercising when tired just seems beyond them. They just don't have the energy. Well, I have some good news: A study showed that low levels of exercise can boost energy levels by 20% and decrease fatigue by 65%. This is fantastic.

Low Intensity Exercise Brings More Energy

In the study, 36 people who were not regular exercisers and who reported being tired all the time were divided into three groups. One group did 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week for six weeks, the second group did low-intensity exercise for the same amount of time and the third group did not exercise any more than before. Both exercise groups had a 20% increase in energy levels after six weeks. The extra good news was that the researchers found the low-intensity group reported a higher reduction in fatigue than the group working out at a moderate level. In fact, the low-intensity group reported a 65% drop in fatigue compared to a 49% drop in the moderate group while the no-exercise group just stayed the same.

How to Exercise for Energy

So getting out for just 20 minutes three times a week can really raise your energy level. Try walking, running, or really anything that just gets you moving. In the study, the low-intensity group rode an exercise bike for 20 minutes at the same level of intensity as a leisurely stroll.

Exercise More for Overall Better Health

Keep in mind, however, that this study only looks at the fatigue and energy creation benefits of exercise. Other studies suggest that more intense exercising could have important longevity and health benefits. But if you are a not in the habit of exercising, focus on a low-intensity workout for the first 6 weeks. That should give you the energy you need to rev things up a notch.


Puetz, T.W. ; Flowers, S.S.; O'Connor, P.J. A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Aerobic Exercise Training on Feelings of Energy and Fatigue in Sedentary Young Adults with Persistent Fatigue. Psychother Psychosom 2008;77:167-174.

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