8 exercises that will boost your energy

Fighting fatigue? Check out these 8 exercises that will help you kick that sleepy feeling.

By Woodson Merrell

Why exercise for energy?
Nothing raises your energy faster and more effectively than exercise. The simple act of moving can jump-start your metabolic machinery. Recent research shows that exercise has a direct, immediate effect on energy – if you do nothing more right now than stand up and hop up and down for three minutes you will feel a surge of energy and you will feel more alive.

Kindergarten teachers have known this for years, but now even the top medical researchers have shown on a molecular level that exercise – just a moderate, brief bout – increases the level of energy producing chemicals in your cellular energy factory, the mitochondria. This power surge happens everywhere in your body from your biceps to your heart to the parts of your brain that control memory and intelligence.

When you exercise, you are also training your DNA. That's an amazing thought – that you can actually change the DNA that you inherited – and in such a simple way. Studies show that, with moderate exercise, the mitochondria literally grow in size and become more efficient – it's like trading up your cellular batteries from triple AAA to lithium. This all means that the more you move the more energy your body will make.

Eight simple energy­-generating exercises

1. A brisk walk: If I had to choose one energy-generating activity to recommend above all, it is walking. Walk at a pace brisk enough to increase your heart and breath rates; maybe tackle a few flights of stairs while you are at it. As you walk, actively engage your core, monitor your posture, be aware of the range of motion in your hips and thighs, and breathe consciously, working your ribcage like a bellows. You might look a little strange to the casual observer, but you'll feel so much better when you are finished. With a little practice (and creative visualization), you may even give the impression to others that you are expert enough to be counted in the ranks of professional walkers – after all, racewalking is an Olympic sport.


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Excerpted from The Source, copyright 2008 by Woodson Merrell. Used by permission of Random House Canada.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

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