Muscle fatigue means that the muscles cannot generate enough force to carry out simple activities, such as getting up from a chair or picking up an object. A sufferer can often feel exhausted after performing simple, everyday tasks, such as housework. There are a number of causes of muscle fatigue, some of which are outlined below, and solutions can come in the form of various lifestyle changes, such as particular exercises. Read on to find out more about what causes this condition and which exercises you can do to reduce it.
Common Causes Muscle Fatigue
Fatigue is a complex disorder that can be traced back to many factors. These include:
Natural hormone decline
Menopausal women often find muscle fatigue to be a problem because of declining levels of female sex hormones. Estrogen and progesterone both play a major role in sustaining muscle mass and strength. On average, a postmenopausal woman will lose 0.6% muscle mass each year.
Free radicals are compounds that can cause damage to parts of the body. Antioxidants have a chief role in ridding the body of these radicals in order for the parts to repair themselves. Therefore, a diet high in antioxidants should help protect against muscle fatigue.
Exercise and dietary habits are a contributing factor when it comes to muscle fatigue. Some habits - such as smoking and being sedentary - can encourage it, whereas others, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, can actively stave it off.
Muscle fatigue can make exercise feel impossible, so it is important to make the most of the periods in which you have more energy. However, the amount of exercise carried out per day should be gradually built up, as doing too much too soon will only worsen muscle fatigue. Below are a few relaxing exercises that you can do to build muscle strength without overexerting yourself.
Yoga is low intensity, but it is renowned for building muscle strength. Going to a class for beginners will help you learn to gradually tolerate the exercise and increase muscle mass and general flexibility.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for muscle fatigue because the water supports the whole body and reduces pressure on muscles and joints. It can be as low or high intensity as you wish to make it, and is flexible enough to be useful for those who enjoy solo exercise as well as those who prefer to do it in groups.
Progressive muscular relaxation
Tight, tense muscles are only going to feel more tired more quickly, so an exercise focusing on relaxing them is a good way of reducing muscle fatigue. It is best to do it in a quiet, secluded place. Lie or sit down comfortably and then tighten each muscle for 20 seconds before slowly releasing it. Try to focus on the sensation of relaxation.
Relaxing exercises are important for anyone, no matter how athletic, but are of particular importance to inactive people, as it is an easy and non-tiring way of easing themselves into a permanent active lifestyle. Starting off with exercises such as the ones above should relieve muscle fatigue, and then as you feel more energetic, exercise can be increased in time and intensity. Read more about the best approaches for treating menopausal fatigue.