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Quick Tips: Having Enough Energy to Stay Active

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You may be worried about having enough energy to exercise. Remember that exercise can actually give you more energy. Most people feel more energetic throughout the day after they start to be more active.

Here are some tips to help you.

  • Eat a balanced diet.

    Unless you're exercising for long periods of time, you don't need to eat more calories or use special foods or drinks for energy. A balanced diet will give most people the energy they need for physical activity.

    • Have a healthy snack. Try an apple, a whole-wheat bagel, or a handful of baby carrots if you're running low on energy. Nutrition bars are convenient, but be sure to read the label. They can be high in added sugar.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

    It's important to drink enough fluids to balance the loss from sweating from exercise. To protect yourself from dehydration:

    • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you are active. This is very important when it's hot out and when you do intense exercise.
    • You can replace fluids and electrolytes by using a sports drink. Sports drinks are only helpful if you exercise for a longer period of time.
    • Avoid drinks with alcohol.
    • Take extra care to prevent dehydration in extremely hot weather. Exercise early in the day or later in the evening when it is cooler.
    • Stop exercising if you get dizzy, light-headed, or very tired.

Staying active when you're tired

It's possible to stay active even if you feel tired, but you aren't sick. Here are some tips.

  • Try a short, brisk walk or similar activity.

    You may find that walking for 5 to 10 minutes actually gives you more energy.

  • Switch back and forth between rest and exercise.

    Gradually increasing your exercise may give you more energy.

  • Avoid medicines that can make you feel tired.

    Some examples are tranquilizers and cold and allergy medicines.

  • Improve your diet.

    Eating a balanced diet may give you more energy. Don't skip meals.

  • Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.

    These can all disrupt your sleep and add to fatigue.

  • Get a good night's sleep.

    Try to get rid of all sounds and lights in your bedroom. Don't eat just before you go to bed. And use your bed only for sleeping and sex. Don't read or watch TV in bed.

  • Cut back on screen time.

    Spend time with friends or try new activities to break the cycle of tiredness.


Current as of: October 10, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine