Fatigue -- feeling weak, tired or worn out -- is a common condition that affects many adults. There are a number of factors that can leave you feeling fatigued, including lack of sleep and health conditions. However, exercise and training, when done properly, can counter the effects of fatigue and leave you feeling more energized.
Causes of Fatigue
There are two forms of fatigue: peripheral and central fatigue. Peripheral fatigue "deals with the capacity of muscle to do physical work" while central fatigue "involves the central nervous system," according to Bodybuilding.com. These are also known as physical and mental fatigue. If you are an otherwise healthy person and your body is tired from lack of exercise, too much work and lack of recovery time or lack of sleep, you might feel the effects of physical fatigue. When you are worn out from dealing with psychological or emotional stress, you are feeling the effects of mental fatigue.
Exercise Fights Fatigue
Research has found that adults who live a relatively sedentary life can gain more energy by doing some physical activity each week. Just 20 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise three days per week can help relieve the feeling of fatigue, according to the American Council on Exercise. When you exercise, the increased blood flow helps muscles throughout the body produce more energy. The longer you engage in aerobic training each day, the more it will have a positive effect on your energy levels.
While more physical activity can decrease fatigue for an inactive individual, over-training can actually cause fatigue for an individual who already engages in vigorous exercise. Your muscles need time to recover, which is why fitness experts generally advise athletes to train different muscle groups on different days. If you do not allow your muscles enough time to recuperate after a workout, they will become overworked. The result is fatigue, sore muscles and a greater chance of injury.
While the amount of physical activity you do can impact your energy levels, there are many health conditions that can cause you to feel fatigued. Anemia, heart and lung problems, hormonal imbalances, cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses can leave you tired and without energy. If you do suffer from fatigue, you need to be evaluated by a health professional before beginning any exercise routine, especially If you are experiencing chronic fatigue or fatigue in combination with other health complications. Your doctor can test for a variety of illnesses and make sure you have no medical conditions underlying your lack of energy.
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