Increasing energy with exercise: How does exercise increase our energy?
Improving the fitness of the heart and lungs through cardiovascular/aerobic exercise increases our VO2. The higher our VO2 the more efficient we become at creating energy for ourselves by combining oxygen with glucose to make ATP.
Increasing fitness will increase the strength of heart. The heart can work more efficiently, expelling more blood with each beat. More blood = more oxygen which means fewer beats required for any activity that increases the heart rate.
When we improve the strength of our muscles we do not need to max out our muscular effort. If we could only lift 10 lbs of groceries, and now we have increased our strength to be able to lift 15 lbs of groceries, the 10 lbs will seem easy, with less effort required. Therefore, more “energy” will be left over for other activities.
The same goes for endurance of a muscle. I had a colleague that was used to treating shoulder problems. She decided to help out on the post-operative floor getting patients out of bed. Half way through the morning, her back was sore and she needed a break. The endurance of her back muscles was not sufficient for the task at hand. Her back muscles were out of gas before the morning was over.
Flexibility and range of motion
Having the flexibility and range of motion needed for a task will help conserve our energy bank. For example, if you sit a lot, and have tight hip flexors (quad/psoas), every time you try to stand straight, there will be some relative resistance to standing straight. This ultimately results in an increased use of our extensors(back and hips) and may make standing straight more effortful.
Endorphins are released during exercise and can make us feel lighter and brighter on a physical and cognitive level . Endorphins can also decrease the experience of pain. This may result in a reduced level of stress, leaving more energy for other tasks.
Summary and support!
Exercise will increase your energy levels.
For more information, please visit my Facebook page with my (soon-to-be) exercise support group!!
Essentrics Online Group classes:
UPDATE! Wed @ 7pm (30 min Essentrics)
Sunday @ 10:30 (60 min Essentrics).
Until then, onward and upward!