When fatigue can no longer be due to hibernation, the cure can be as simple as exercising, even if it’s the last thing you want to do.
Researchers found that sedentary, otherwise healthy adults who exercised as little as 20 minutes of varied exercise for six weeks, three days a week, had increased energy levels and felt less tired.
Suppose a sedentary person starts an exercise program. Then exercise will improve blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissue. Further, it will enhance their ability to produce more energy (the chemical adenosine triphosphate).
While fatigue can be a sign of various health problems, including severe conditions such as heart disease and cancer, research has shown that one in four people suffers from general fatigue not due to a known medical condition.
A study involved 36 sedentary healthy young adults who reported persistent fatigue. The study requested a program of moderate-intensity training, low-intensity training, or no training for six weeks. The group with moderate intensity was prescribed 20 minutes of activity on an exercise bike compared to a fast-paced ride up hills. In contrast, the group with low intensity cycled in the same duration and frequency but with an intensity level corresponding to a leisurely walk.
Both groups had a 20 percent increase in energy level at the end of the study compared to the group with no exercise involved. The low-intensity group reported a 65 percent drop in fatigue. In comparison, the more intense trainers reported a 49 percent drop in group fatigue.
This study suggests that using more energy during exercise does not necessarily mean that you feel more energetic. Researchers noted that higher energy levels in this former non-training group did not improve aerobic fitness.
Exercise recommendations for healthy adults
Healthy adults must participate in 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity weekly exercise, such as brisk walking or gardening, to achieve health and wellness benefits.
For more fit adults, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, such as swimming, hiking uphill, or running, can offer similar benefits in half the time. Sedentary people should consult their doctor before engaging in vigorous physical activity.
An excellent alternative for exercise and the environment is cycling for both pleasures and running errands or commuting to work.
Research suggests that most errands people ride are within 20 miles of their homes, a distance that can be easily covered on a bicycle. If people could start cycling, it would help them exercise while reducing the amount of carbon in the air.
But even 10-minute seizures with heart-pumping activity are better than none at all. To regain lost muscle mass and strengthen debilitating bones, which are part of the typical aging process, experts also recommend that adults lift weights twice a week.
Given that two-thirds of Norwegian adults are overweight and obese, exercise combined with a healthy diet can be a lifesaver given the clear link between excessive weight gain and increased risk of serious chronic diseases.
With only about 26 percent of Norwegian adults who engage in physical activity three or more times a week, it is time to change towards a more active lifestyle positively. Exercising or participating in recreational activities with friends and family is another great way to hop on the bandwagon.
For the first time, Norwegian raises children who can grow up even less healthy than their parents because many are even more inactive than adults and prefer to play video games and social networks online rather than exercise.
Nevertheless, scientific evidence has shown that regular physical activity can do much more than reduce fatigue and strengthen general well-being.