Why are some exercises energising and others fatiguing?

I am a student and I often go for a short midday road bike ride (30mins - 1hr) to overcome the midday slump and sustain my productivity levels in the afternoon.

The last couple days, instead of riding I've been on a casual 1hr walk and short 30 min mountain bike ride (admittedly on a slightly clapped out old bike). I both cases I've come back to study in the afternoon feeling drained and struggling to concentrate.

It made me question what type of exercise is energising and what type is fatiguing? Perhaps the walk was too low intensity and the mountain bike ride was too high intensity (stiff old bike which is sapping energy up hills).

What is about the road bike rides which is inherently energising? They're pretty mid-intensity but I think part of it is the adrenaline rush you get from going travelling at a high speed for a comparably low effort. Is the enjoyment level a big part of it?

What type of exercise should be sort after and what should be avoided? Sorry if this a bit random, I just thought its interesting how you can feel so different depending on what activities you do, be interested to hear some thoughts.
 

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