Ways to Increase Your Energy

Are you drinking two or three or five cups of coffee to get started on your day? Reaching for that energy drink to get you through the afternoon?  Promising yourself that you’re going to bed earlier tonight so you won’t feel this way tomorrow, only to break that promise to yourself….again? Your lifestyle might not need a major overhaul, but just a few tweaks to increase your energy and keep you productive without making you looking like this:

Metro Fitness Club

 

Let’s start in the morning: eat breakfast.  “I’m not hungry” or “I can’t eat that early in the morning” or “I don’t have time” are common reasons excuses for not properly fueling your body. Research indicates that those who eat breakfast are physically and mentally more alert than those who skip it.  Eating a morning meal is associated with lower levels of cortisone, a stress hormone.

Speaking of eating, make sure you have small meals throughout the day.  Small meals with a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats keep blood sugar and energy levels constant. Larger meals require more energy to digest, leaving you feeling fatigued.

Eat foods with Omega 3 to maintain healthy brain cells.  Omega 3s also allow the body to store carbohydrates as glycogen rather than as fat. Omega 3s can be found in walnuts and fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna.

Although coffee and energy drinks will give you a sense of alertness, the caffeine in them will negatively impact your sleep that night. Instead, reach for the water.  I know, how boring….but 50% – 65% of your body is made up of water. Dehydration, even a mild case, causes the blood to thicken, making your body and organs to work harder and making you tired.

Get moving! Vigorous exercise can give you a boost of energy, as well as positively affect your night’s sleep. Studies have proven that aerobic exercise helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Monitor your breathing. Often times, stress makes us take short, shallow breaths, which reduces the amount of oxygen supplying the lungs.  Strive to take full, deep breaths, reaching all the way into the diaphragm.  This could help alleviate the physical and mental drain of shallow breathing.

An obvious way to increase your energy is to get a good night’s sleep. Aim for shutting off the computer, television, and other electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime. Light from these devices suppresses the brain’s production of melatonin, making sleep difficult.

Keep your bedroom cooler, aiming for 54 -75 degrees. The body’s temperature decreases at night and by keeping the bedroom air cool, ensures you a comfortable night’s rest.

Don’t turn to alcohol to help you fall asleep. Although it may help you initially, your body will become more alert as it metabolizes the alcohol.  It also interferes with the body’s biorhythm and increases blood pressure and heart rate.