Some days, especially with the added stress and duties of this pandemic, I feel too tired to change the channel on the remote, let alone haul myself up off the couch to exercise.
Seems like I have plenty of company. Almost one-third of Americans consider themselves to be inactive. I suspect, if more were being honest, the number would be even higher! But exercise can help increase your energy.
It seems ironic that exercise increases energy. Shouldn't working out make you tired? Actually, energy begets energy, and exercise will boost — not sap — your energy. Exercise leads to higher energy levels by improving the delivery of blood and nutrients to your tissues, helping your heart and lungs work more efficiently, and strengthening your muscles. That primes your body to be better able to handle your daily tasks — picking up a toddler 100 times a day, lugging groceries in from the car and meeting the 2,131 daily demands of being a mom.
Also, exercise can help increase your energy because it can improve chronic conditions that drain your energy, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Here's what our Mommy M.D.s — doctors who are also mothers — do to boost their own energy through exercise.
"Exercise is the single most powerful means you have to fight fatigue," says Ann Kulze, M.D., a mom of two grown daughters and two grown sons, a nationally recognized nutrition expert, a motivational speaker, a family physician and the author of the bestselling book series "Eat Right for Life" in Charleston, South Carolina. "The more energy you expend, the more energy your body is capable of producing. I am honestly never, ever tired. I know that my daily exercise is the key to my boundless energy."
"To work in my high-stress job, I need plenty of energy," says Shilpa Amin-Shah, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Jacksonville, Florida. "I set my alarm to wake me up early each morning so I can go for a two-mile run. That really boosts my energy."
"I find that I'm most energetic when I take a walk each day," says Jennifer A. Gardner, M.D., a mom of one son, a pediatrician and the founder of an online child wellness and weight management company called Healthy Kids Company in Washington, D.C. "In the winter, when this is harder, I bundle up my son and take him to the playground and make a point to play with him rather than watching him play. Usually, there are few other kids around, so he's happy to oblige. I always feel better on sunny days in the winter!"
"No matter how tired I am, I feel so much better if I get even 10 minutes of activity," says Michelle Spring, M.D., a mom of two children and two grown stepchildren and a board-certified plastic surgeon with Marina Plastic Surgery Associates in Marina del Rey, California. "I think it's due to a combination of the endorphin rush from exercise plus the knowledge that I'm doing something good for myself. If I'm tired, I'll take a break and do 10 minutes of stretching or go for a walk."
"Exercise is a huge energy booster for me," says Ayala Laufer-Cahana, M.D., a mom of three, a pediatrician and the founder of Herbal Water Inc. and Dr. Ayala's Magic Spice in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. "Even after trying so many different types of exercise, I still can't say that I truly enjoy exercise; hiking's the one exception. But it never fails to make me feel energized and vital. I exercise every day. This way, every day is already a good one."
"Exercise boosts my energy because it helps me to sleep," says Lisa Campanella-Coppo, M.D., a mom of one daughter and an emergency department physician at Summit Medical Group, in Livingston, New Jersey. "I work alternating shifts, so I work an overnight shift, and then two days later, I work a day shift. After I get home from an overnight shift, no matter how exhausted I am, I do cardio training for 30 minutes. The exercise tires me out and 'unkinks my chi' enough so I can get to bed on time and reset my sleep schedule."
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: StockSnap at Pixabay