The very excuse for avoiding exercise—lack of energy—will decrease if you get up and get to the gym.
It’s a common excuse: “I’m too tired to go to the gym.”
That’s what StrongPath.com founder and bestselling author of Choosing the StrongPath, Fred Bartlit, hears all the time.
“I travel the country telling people to get up and get to the gym, that doing so changed my life, allowing me to fully embrace every minute of life at age 86,” said Bartlit. “But so many say, ‘I don’t have the energy.’ What they don’t realize is how much energy they’ll gain if they get started.”
It’s a vicious cycle. The longer you sit, the more tired you’ll get. But the opposite is certainly true.
In a published report by Harvard Health on boosting energy, exercise is key to boosting energy. In fact, it beat out the much-touted, but false claim of taking supplements and herbs.
“Exercise almost guarantees that you’ll sleep more soundly. It also gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen,” the report said.
Harvard health also reports that being sedentary and not exercising actually weakens the system—the mitochondria are the energy center or our cells and are critical to our feeling energetic. Not working out drains that system. As we age, the number of mitochondria in our system shrinks, so it is an increasing cycle of fatigue. Exercise stops the cycle.
Fred hits the gym hard every day and increases intensity regularly. That’s something to strive for sure, but his advice to people who don’t currently work out: “Just get up and get started.”
Experts agree. It only takes a modest amount of exercise to start to feel more energetic. Even 20-minutes a day to get you off the couch will reveal results. Start with a brisk walk, then slowly work your way up to strength and endurance workouts.
The results will surprise. You’ll avoid frailty syndrome and losing muscle as you age. Your muscles will get stronger and work more efficiently. That means that brisk walk eventually won’t feel so challenging. While you’re at it, drink lots of water. Eat heart-healthy foods like salmon, tuna, and nuts.
Fred tells people one great exercise for boosting energy is to skip. He doesn’t use a rope, just alternates lifting one leg at a time, skipping across the room. Hopping up and down one the move or in place, is considered one of the best energy boosters out there.
And eventually, be like Fred. “At 86 I look and feel more youthful and energetic than I did when I was 64 and not working out,” he said. “And now, I’m setting lifetime strength records, skiing faster, and enjoying life to the fullest, which is the most important factor of all.”
Before you start on any exercise routine, if you’re concerned, speak to your doctor. Then get out there. There’s a lot of life to be lived.