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Low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent, study finds
Date:2/28/2008

week for six weeks; the second engaged in low-intensity aerobic exercise for the same time period; the control group did not exercise.

The low- and moderate-intensity groups had a 20 percent increase in energy levels over the control group. Surprisingly, the low-intensity group had a greater reduction in fatigue levels than the moderate-intensity group, 65 percent compared to 49 percent, respectively.

It could be that moderate-intensity exercise is too much for people who are already fatigued, OConnor said, and that might contribute to them not getting as great an improvement as they would had they done the low-intensity exercise.

He adds that energy and fatigue arent exactly opposites of each other. A student who stays up late to finish a term paper may feel fatigued, for example, but may also feel energized as she nears the end of the paper.

The volunteers in the study used exercise bikes that allowed the researchers to control their level of exertion so that low-intensity exercise was defined as 40 percent of their peak oxygen consumption and moderate-intensity exercise was defined as 75 percent of peak oxygen consumption. For comparison, OConnor said a leisurely, easy walk is low-intensity exercise, while a fast-paced walk with hills is moderate-intensity exercise.

The teams analysis also found that the improvements in energy and fatigue were not related to increases in aerobic fitness that the exercisers experienced. Puetz said the finding suggests that exercise acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue.

Exercise traditionally has been associated with physical health, but we are quickly learning that exercise has a more holistic effect on the human body and includes effects on psychological health, Puetz said. What this means is that in every workout a single step is not just a step closer to a healthier body, but also to a healthier mind.


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Contact: Sam Fahmy
sfahmy@uga.edu
706-542-5361
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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