11 Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels
11 Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels
With increasingly busy lives, many people regularly find themselves feeling tired and drained. If this sounds like you, then it’s worth taking a look at your lifestyle to see which healthy changes you can make to boost your energy levels and make you feel great. Fret not! Being tired and drained is not the end of the world, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Below are some natural and healthy changes you can make to boost your energy levels and make you feel great.
1) Get More ZZZZZ’s
Sleep is something that easily gets put on the back burner when you’re busy. From pushing back bedtime to meet a deadline to missing out on a few hours of sleep due to shifts at work, many people cut back on hours that should be spent in bed.
This lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep. It’s recommended that you aim for around 7 hours of sleep per night, although some people require a little more and others need a little less.
If you don’t sleep as much as you need to, you can try winding down from your day with relaxing behaviors before bed. This could be taking the time to have a bath, read a book or get into bed half an hour earlier than usual.
You should also try to avoid using phones and other screens around bedtime. The use of screens before bed has been linked to poor sleep quality, lack of sleep and increased sleepiness through the day.
If you’re trying to get more sleep but are struggling due to worries and stress keeping you awake at night, you could try natural sleep aids.
2) Lower Your Stress
Stress is an energy killer. When you’re stressed-out, you’re likely worn out as well. If you suffer from chronic stress, the effect is cumulative and can result in worsening physical and mental conditions over time. Most stress is the result of worrying about things you have no control over or agonizing over making the wrong decisions. In short, living with non-stop stress can obliterate your energy.
In many instances, it may not be possible to completely remove sources of stress from your life. However, if you reduce lifestyle related stress, it could increase your energy levels.
Strategies to improve your energy levels include:
- Taking some time for yourself throughout your day to relax, go for a walk.
- Mindfulness or meditation apps, which may reduce anxiety.
- Increase exercise to burn off the chemical effects of stress and anger
- Quiet pursuits: listening to relaxing music or reading a book
- Natural stress relievers
In the end do whatever relaxes you, whether that’s reading an engrossing novel, going for coffee with a friend, watching a favorite TV show or movie, exercising vigorously, gardening, playing sports, working on a hobby, taking a drive, going out for dinner and so on. It isn’t what you do but how relaxing the activity makes you feel that will lessen the tension and reduce stress.
3) Get up and shake it (or just go for a walk)
Regular exercise is important for helping reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. If you live an inactive lifestyle, it could also boost your energy levels
While it may seem as if moving about when you feel exhausted is the quickest route to feeling more exhausted, the opposite is true. Experts say that increasing physical activity, particularly walking, increases energy.
Luckily, you don’t need to take part in killer workouts to experience these benefits. Try getting away from your desk and going for a walk on your lunch break. A brisk 10-minute walk is enough to elevate energy levels and the effects last up to 2 hours. Do regular daily walks and you’ll have not only increased energy and stamina, your mood will also improve. Challenge yourself to taking a 10 minute walk for 3 weeks and you might just be surprised how much better you feel.
4) Slow Down on the Alcohol
Drinking alcohol is another lifestyle habit which may make you feel tired. This is because alcohol can act as a sedative and make you feel drowsy. While alcohol initially helps you fall asleep, it also interferes with deep sleep, so you’re not getting the rest you think you are, even if you sleep a full eight hours.
Alcohol can also act as a diuretic, meaning that if you drink it before bed it can make you get up at night to pee, disturbing your sleep.
If you want to enjoy a drink, avoid drinking alcohol close to your bedtime. By cutting down on alcohol before bedtime, you’ll get a better night’s rest, which is bound to result in more energy the next day.
5) Mamma Said No, No, No, To Skipping Breakfast
Your mother probably told you that breakfast is the day’s most important meal. That is the same advice nutrition experts have said for years. A healthy breakfast can supply your body with a jolt of fuel that sets the tone for the whole day. Moreover, studies have shown that missing any meal during the day led to an overall greater feeling of fatigue by day’s end.
It’s tempting to skip this vital meal, though, especially when busy schedules mean every minute counts, yet don’t fall for that excuse. It doesn’t have to be a long, sit-down affair for you to gain the benefits of breakfast. Just make sure you eat wisely. Go for breakfasts that help you power up your morning, include fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which provide a slow and steady release of fuel, your energy will be consistent and balanced, so by day’s end you’ll feel less tired. If you have an erratic meal pattern and regularly skip meals there are solutions out there. RTD’s (ready to drink) meal replacements and powders are a great way to get the nutrients you need.
If you’re eating a lot of processed foods high in sugar and fat, you may find that they affect your energy levels as well as your health. You can improve the quality of your diet by eating whole and fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables and legumes.
It’s also important that you eat enough food to fuel yourself during the day. Extreme dietary restrictions can result in a lack of both calories and essential nutrients, such as iron, which can negatively affect your energy levels. Also, cook and eat at home, not from fast-food establishments.
6) Stay Away From The Sugar Monster
Besides adding to your waistline and more pounds on the scale, eating a diet high in sugar will also leave you feeling drained. While sugar initially spikes blood sugar and provides an energy boost, that increased energy is short-lived, quickly followed by a rapid blood sugar drop.
This is because high-sugar foods cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, sometimes referred to as a blood sugar spike. This results in your body releasing large amounts of insulin to bring your blood sugar back down. It is believed that this rise and fall in blood sugar is what causes a rush of energy followed by a slump. Limiting added sugar in your diet is not only good for your energy levels but also for your health. To keep your energy levels more stable and reduce fatigue, try avoiding foods high in added sugar.
If you can’t cut the sugar out completely because you just have to have it for your coffee or tea, products like Stevia extract, a no-calorie natural sweetener and coconut sugar, which has 20 calories per teaspoon (the same as table sugar), can be an excellent alternative to regular sugar for coffee, tea, or baking.
7) Stay Hydrated by reaching for a tall, cool glass of water.
Another nasty cause of lack of energy is dehydration. Dehydration in its simplest form means, your body is starved of life-saving water. Dehydration can affect your brain function, mood and energy levels.
During the day, you lose water via urine and sweat. So in order to stay hydrated, you need to drink enough water to compensate for this loss.
To stay hydrated, drink lots of water at regular times throughout the day. Strive for eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. If you have trouble downing that much plain water, go for fruit-flavored, sugar-free water. In so doing, you’ll be benefiting every organ in your body, including muscles, which are re-energized with water. You’ll also find that you’ve got a little more energy by keeping up your water-drinking habit.
Additionally, keep in mind that older people may not always feel thirsty, even when they need to drink, and may need to make a conscious effort to drink more.
8) Make Friends, Get Social.
Social connections are incredibly important for maintaining good health. Social isolation can cause low mood and tiredness, especially as you get older. In fact, people with stronger social networks are thought to have better physical and mental health as they age.
If you feel tired and in low spirits, it can be helpful to get out and socialize with friends Try organizing social activities with friends or neighbors or join a social club or maybe pick up that new hobby you always wanted to start. Just make sure that it gets you out and about.
9) Don’t Let Yourself Reach Burnout Level, Take a Powernap
Research has shown that both information overload and pushing our brains too hard can zap energy. Studies by the National Institutes of Health found that participating subjects who took a 60-minute power nap were able to prevent burnout, reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload and better retain what they have learned.
While not everyone has the luxury of taking a 1-hour nap every day, if you do opt to take time for a snooze, remember that 60 minutes is more beneficial in preventing burnout than a half-hour nap.
10) Mow Down a Power Snack
Power snacking on things such as nutrition bars is more than just eating between meals, snacking on some power foods can give yourself an instant energy lift. A combination a protein, little bit of fat and fiber and you’ll be doing yourself and your energy levels a favor. The carbs offer a quick pick-me-up, the protein keeps your energy up, and the fat makes the energy last.
If you’re a fan of yoga, you might already know that the Savasana pose (also called the corpse pose) is beneficial in reducing fatigue. The Savasana pose is what you do at the end of your yoga session. It looks like taking a quiet nap on the floor while resting on your yoga mat. You are resting, yet fully conscious for the 10-20 minutes you allocate for this restorative energy exercise.
The bottom line is you can naturally reduce the feeling of fatigue by just doing a few simple things. So if you are feeling tired and worn out and want to reach for an unhealthy snack or sugary drink. Don’t, reach for a power snack, take a walk and drink some water instead.