A 20 Minute Workout To Help Fight Fatigue And Tiredness

“I’m always so tired.” Sound familiar? Fatigue, that never ending feeling of exhaustion, has become an all too common complaint in our modern world. We are constantly stressed, sleep deprived and survive on junk food and stimulants. To cope, we turn to caffeine and energy drinks to make it through the day, but stimulants are only a temporary solution, and an unhealthy one as well.

Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, many related to your lifestyle including:

  • Stress leading to a condition known as chronic stress and eventually adrenal fatigue.
  • Lack of sleep or a lack of quality, uninterrupted sleep.
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiency or conditions like anemia caused by deficiencies.
  • Poor dietary choices including too much sugar leading to hormonal imbalances.
  • Emotional conditions including sadness and depression leading to apathy.
  • Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, or cardiopulmonary conditions.
  • Or simply your sedentary lifestyle and the de-conditioning as a result of lack of exercise.

The simplest step you can take to increase your energy level is to exercise. It sounds crazy that physical activity and burning energy would help combat fatigue and increase your energy level, but the more unfit you are, the more tired you will be. Fatigue causes inactivity which leads to more fatigue – a cycle that can only be broken with regular, moderate and consistent exercise.

In addition to increasing energy levels, 20 minutes of moderate exercise can help you to sleep better and improve your mood. Your fitness program should include a balance of cardiovascular exercise (jogging, running or biking) to improve your endurance and stamina and decrease fatigue, and resistance training using weights or your own bodyweight to build strength and stamina to combat fatigue.

10 Steps To Beat Fatigue

Image Source – nutritionist-resource

Time to get busy! Your 20-minute workout:

Warm up: 3 minutes

Start every exercise session with a warm up to increase your body temperature and the circulation to the muscles you are about to train. Warming up also wakes up your brain and prepares you mentally for exercise and prevents strains and injury.

What to do: Find that new jump rope and start jumping, start slowly and build up momentum. Each time you misstep, immediately start jumping again, your goal should be 3 full minutes non-stop. Alternative: If you don’t have a rope, try 3 minutes of non-stop jumping jacks to elevate your heart rate. If you need a low impact alternative, head out the door and walk briskly around the block.
See Also:  Shorter Warm Up Helps In Preventing Muscle Fatigue

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Jumping jacks: 1 minute

Once your warmup is complete, move immediately to side straddle hops or jumping jacks.

What to do: Start while standing with legs together and keeping your arms at the sides. Now jumping up, spread your feet wider than the width of your shoulders shoulder while you simultaneously raise your hands above your head and clap. Jumping again, lower your arms to the sides and bring the feet together.

jumping-jacks

Regular pushups: 1 minute

As soon as your 1-minute is up and you complete your last jumping jack, immediately drop down into your pushup position.

What to do: Keep the hands palm down on the floor directly underneath the shoulders and keep the arms straight. Keep the lower body supported by the toes and the back straight from neck to ankles. Bend the elbows, lowering the upper body and slowly lower the chest to the floor, keep the head up and back straight. Pause for a brief moment at the bottom and then push up again to the start, pause again and repeat for your minute.

pushup

Bodyweight squats: 1 minute

Once you complete your last push up, jump up to a standing position. We want the heart rate elevated for the entire 20-minute circuit.

What to do: Stand with the feet wider than the width of the shoulders and the toes pointed outward slightly. Keep the arms at your sides or crossed across the chest and imagine sitting in a low chair behind you as your bend deeply at the knees and slowly squat down. Continue downward until the top of the thighs are parallel with the floor. Concentrate on keeping the back straight and heels flat on the floor. Pause momentarily at the lowest point and slowly stand, there is no bouncing up and down, only slow controlled movements.
squats

Image Source: Neila Rey

Planks: 1 minute

After your last squat, lie face down on the floor and assume your pushup position in preparation for planks.

What to do: From the pushup position, lower each arm until you are supported only on the forearms, palms and toes. Straighten the back and hold the body straight and rigid, and hold, and hold, for the full minute. Planks are an excellent abdominal and core strengthening exercise.
plank exercise

Image Source: Neila Rey

Bodyweight lunges: 1 minute

Stand up and prepare for another lower body exercise, lunges.

What to do: Stand straight with hands on the hips and feet a comfortable distance apart. Now step off with the left foot and lunge forward until the left knee is above the ankle and the right knee is near but not touching the floor. Pause briefly and push back with the left leg until you are standing. Now step forward with the right foot and repeat, alternating left, right, left.
lunges

Image Source: Herbalife

Water break: 1 minute

You are nearing the midpoint of your workout, time for a short active break.

What to do: Walk around in circles or march in place as you drink a small amount of water and dry your face with a handy towel. Don’t relax, keep the momentum going.

Jumping jacks: 1 minute

Time to get that heart rate back up with another round of jumping jacks.

What to do: As before, stand with legs together and arms at the sides. Now jump up and spread the feet wider than shoulder width while you simultaneously raise the hands above the head and clap. Jump again as you lower the arms to the sides while bringing the feet together.

Diamond pushups: 1 minute

As soon as your 1-minute is up and you complete your second round of jumping jacks, immediately drop down into the pushup position.

What to do: The hands should be palm down on the floor but this time the hands should be touching directly below the chest with the arms straight. By touching thumbs and forefingers you will form a diamond pattern and the focus of the movement will be shifted to the center chest and triceps, the muscles on the backs of the arms. As before, the lower body should be supported by the toes and the back straight from neck to ankles. Lower the upper body by bending the elbows and slowly lower the chest to the floor, keep the head up and back straight. Pause for a brief moment at the bottom and then push back up to the start, pause again and repeat for your minute.

close-hand-pushup-fb

Now repeat the following bodyweight exercises:

Bodyweight Squats: 1 Minute

Planks: 1 Minute

Bodyweight Lunges: 1 Minute

Wide grip pushups: 1 minute

As soon as your 1-minute of lunges is up, immediately drop down into the pushup position.

What to do: The hands should be palm down on the floor but this time the hands should be much wider than shoulder width apart with the arms straight. The focus of the movement will be shifted to the widest point of the chest and shoulders. As before, the lower body should be supported by the toes and the back straight from neck to ankles. Lower the upper body by bending the elbows and slowly lower the chest to the floor, keep the head up and back straight. Pause for a brief moment at the bottom and then push back up to the start, pause again and repeat for your minute.
push up types infographic

Image Source: Neila Rey

Now repeat the following bodyweight exercises:

Bodyweight Squats: 1 Minute

Planks: 1 Minute

Bodyweight Lunges: 1 Minute

Time to slow it down as you finish with: Cobra pose: 1 minute

The yoga pose known as the Cobra opens the chest and increases energy to the heart and lungs. The stretch combined with rhythmic breathing will increase oxygen and energy flow.

What to do: Lie facedown on the floor. Keep the legs straight back, and spread the hands on the floor under the shoulders while keeping the elbows close to the body, keeping the feet, thighs and hips firmly pressed on the floor. While inhaling, slowly straighten the arms and lift the chest only to the point at which contact can be maintained through the hips and pelvis. Hold pose for 1-minute before relaxing.
The Cobra Yoga Pose Infographic

Image Source: We Are Yoga

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Camel pose: 1 minute

As your final exercise, the Camel pose will further stretch the spine and open the chest and heart to energy.

What to do: Start by kneeling at the front of your exercise mat with knees directly under the hips. Reach around with the left hand back toward the left ankle or heel, and then reach the right hand toward the right ankle or heel. The hands are there for balance, not weight bearing. Lean back as you shift your weight forward onto the knees, increasing the stretch in the quads, abdominals and chest. Relax the neck and allow the head to “hang” behind you, and hold for 1-minute as you breathe deeply in and out.
camel pose

Image Source: We Are Yoga

Finished! A simple bodyweight workout that you can perform at home or the gym in 20 minutes that will fight fatigue, improve your fitness and energy levels as you burn calories.

See Also:  The Role the Brain Plays in Muscle Fatigue

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