You get your sleep, you drink your water and you take time off to relax, so why are you still so tired all the time? It could be that you need a specific workout, especially now that it’s winter and the days run short, which can mess with your energy levels. The thing is, the average adult requires at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, certain exercises—much like listening to music music—can create benefits that decrease chronic fatigue and other low-energy symptoms when they incorporate low to medium levels of aerobic exercise for about 20 minutes at a time. Here are five such exercises that you can switch up every morning to keep things fresh.
One of the keys to building energy is doing an exercise that is regular and low-intensity, getting your blood pumping without tiring you out. Using a rowing machine on a manageable resistance setting can activate your core abdominal and back muscles, forcing you to regulate your breathing with each steady repetition. This will increase your heart rate to a moderate level and get you sweating with the full-body movements required, without pushing you into a high-intensity workout common to muscle-building regimens.
Walking on the treadmill
You may have noticed that when you go for a faster run, you feel invincible and full of energy—that is, until you stop. In higher-intensity workouts like running, your body creates energy beyond its usual limits, which is why you get stronger with each session. However, getting moving at a brisk walking pace during a breezy session on the treadmill can help you maintain that energy high so you can coast on it the rest of the day.
Jumping rope or on a trampoline is one of the best cardio exercises out there, and one that is just tough enough to jumpstart your body without going into overdrive. Splitting 20 minutes of calm, measured rope jumping into two to three minute sets can give you a nice boost of energy almost anywhere thanks to the rope’s portable nature. Not convinced? Next time you’re nodding off at work, jump around for just one minute, paying attention to your breathing. We guarantee you’ll find some energy you didn’t know you had.
Interestingly, while most energy-boosting exercises stick to the low-intensity formula, push ups work especially well because they only target a single muscle group for a fairly tough workout, leaving much of your other muscles unscathed and your body creating just enough energy without tapping it. Just keep your breathing under control (down, inhale, up, exhale) and you’ll even build some chest and core muscles in the process.
Squats utilize your body’s largest muscle group much the same way jumping does; however, these won’t make you feel silly behind a desk, and you’ll have much more control over your movements. Keep your back straight and shoulders level as you bend your knees to just around 85 degrees (anything beyond a right angle can harm your knees), focus on breathing in and out. After around 30 of these—and before you start feeling a real burn—you’ll notice a nice boost of juice running through your veins. To up the challenge, slow the pace down and hold a basketball in front of your chest, and optionally extend one leg at a time while maintaining your balance.