Many people complain repeatedly about feeling tired and having low energy. Fortunately, you can have the ability to increase the energy, stamina, and vitality of your body by making changes to your routine. Every part of your body (cells, brain, muscles, heart, and other organs) needs the energy to function properly and your body’s performance is directly affected by your energy levels. ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is the fountain of energy that maintains human life. However, not much of this amazing energy source is stored in the body.
* If you incorporate all the tips below and keep experiencing low energy, you should get a thorough examination. Lethargy can be a side effect of a serious underlying condition such as chronic fatigue, thyroid problems, anemia, hormone imbalance, cancer, and depression. *
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ENERGY
Have an Energy-Enhancing Diet
Have an Organic Healthy Diet
The food you eat can energize and help your body thrive or make you lethargic and sick. Conventional foods (full of preservatives, GMOs, and toxins), as well as fast food and simple carbs, affect your energy systems negatively. Instead, choose organic foods (cleaner) and low glycemic foods which keep your blood sugar from spiking and dropping.
Simultaneously, provide all the macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients that your body needs in order to avoid deficiencies that may cause low energy. Different foods affect the energy that your body produces in different ways. So if you exercise, you need to be mindful of this fact (Meal Timing and Planning to Energize Your Workouts)
Knowing what to eat is essential but you should also know how much to eat (how many calories does your body need), and when to eat (meal timing). You can even energize your workout by meal planning and meal timing.
At the same time, you should have a meal schedule throughout the day. Some people feel energized when they eat small meals and snacks every 3-4 hours rather than three large meals a day. This approach can keep you energized as you are having a steady supply of nutrients all day. But you can also practice intermittent fasting, where you eat a few times within an 8-hour period and fast 16 hours out of your day. You can even combine these two approaches but make sure to find out what works best so your body can thrive.
Avoid Consuming Sugar Habitually
Having a sugary snack may energize you for a bit because it spikes your insulin levels. But after an hour or so, your sugar levels plummet and you feel the drop in energy. Remember that excess blood glucose turns into fat. If you eat breakfast, don’t consume conventional cereals or baked goods as this is not proper fuel if you want to have an energized day. Avoid consuming sweets, sodas, candy, and other simple carbs regularly throughout the day.
Lack of energy, also, may be caused by what you are eating. If you notice that every time you eat a certain food you feel bloated or tired, it may be because you are allergic to it or have some type of intolerance towards it. Then, it’s advisable to eliminate that food from your diet while you heal your gut. Keep a diary and visit a holistic doctor or nutritionist for a thorough examination.
Water is chemically the simplest, yet most important nutrient in the body (The Importance of Water). Therefore, staying hydrated is essential since feeling tired is one of the first symptoms of dehydration. Even though hydration-needs change across individuals and are dependent on many factors (age, sex, climate, activity levels, sweat and excretion rate, diet, among others), you should aim to drink at least 3 liters of water.
A rule of thumb is to pay attention to your urine. If your urine’s color is darker than a light yellow, you are not drinking enough water. And, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. So drink up!
There are great advantages to caffeine. Coffee can improve memory, mental functioning, and physical performance, increase alertness, decrease fatigue, speed up reaction times, boost your metabolism, and even lower your risk of liver and colorectal cancer, strokes, type 2 diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Yet, it is not recommended to drink more than 400 – 500 mg of caffeine per day, which equates to around 4 cups of coffee. Plus, it’s best not to consume caffeine later in the afternoon as it can affect your sleep. Always make sure to consume organic coffee as it’s less acidic and has fewer toxins (nowadays, you can find organic coffee in many varieties whole bean or instant).
Take supplements that help energize you. For instance, a nad+ supplement supports metabolism and provides energy at a cellular level. It is also helpful for brain health since NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is the body’s ‘anti-aging’ molecule.
Pay Attention to Your Activity Levels
As you know, exercise is key to a healthy human body and you need a certain amount of it (Are You Moving Enough?). It is a tool for managing and lowering your risk of many conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, gastrointestinal conditions, asthma, back pain, cancer, dementia, and much more.
At the same time, exercise gets your blood flowing which translates into more oxygen running throw your body and less toxin stagnation. Exercise prompts endorphin production which energizes you and triggers positive feelings.
You know you should exercise. Yet, overtraining can be damaging to your muscles and joints, and leave you depleted and feeling tired. Just like the body needs exercise, it needs recovery as well. You should take a day or two off to allow your body to heal up and reset. As a matter of fact, you can schedule a time to deload in order to avoid plateaus, maximize upcoming training, increase energy and strength, and achieve better fat loss results.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Having a good night’s sleep is essential for your body, your mind, your interactions, your safety, and overall, good quality of life. The amount of sleep varies from person to person but high-quality sleep is necessary.
A good indicator of a good night’s sleep is waking up well-rested and ready to start your day. You should feel alert shortly after waking up and, generally, in a good mood. If you are feeling sleepy during the day and/or in need of caffeine or sweets to pick you up, you are probably not getting enough sleep. Get a good night routine (How to Get the Most Out of your Sleep) and pay attention to sleep disruptors (Are You Getting a Good Night’s Sleep?).
If you feel tired, a power nap can do wonders. A 20-minute nap boosts your energy levels, mood, memory, and even creativity. Yet, don’t nap longer than 40 minutes because then you may feel groggy and your sleep can be disrupted at night.
Don’t Sit for Long
Sitting for long periods not only makes you feel tired but it’s associated with a number of health concerns. It decreases your pH levels and increases your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, which make up metabolic syndrome. If you have a sedentary job, stand up at least every couple of hours to get your blood flowing and your systems functioning.
Watch Your Posture
Good posture not only keeps your bones and joints in correct alignment so that your muscles are used correctly and efficiently but allows the body to use less energy. On the contrary, poor posture can make you feel more fatigued.
Restrict Energize-Draining Activities & Increase Uplifting Activities
Alcohol has sedative effects so drinking during the day can definitely affect your energy in the afternoon and evening. If you drink at night, avoid doing it in excess if you do not want to feel lethargic the following day.
Smoking has negative effects on your energy. It lowers your lung capacity, which translates into less oxygen to the muscles, brain, and other bodily systems.
Lose Excess Weight
Carrying excess body weight is damaging to your internal systems and increases your chances of disease. Simultaneously, that extra weight to carry is taxing to the body, leaving you with less energy to engage in normal activities. It also negatively affects your psyche and mood, making you more lethargic.
Another factor that contributes to having low energy is stress. You may not realize it but feeling “stressed out” regularly doesn’t allow you to be centered, much less enthusiastic and positive. You must accept the fact that stressful situations are part of life. Yet, you don’t have to allow them to overwhelm you. Your perception can play a big role in how you view a stressful situation (Perception and Stress) and how you cope (Deal with Stress Adequately).
Laughter reduces stress hormones (cortisol) and epinephrine (adrenaline) and increases immune cells and endorphins, those feel-good chemicals in your body. These chemical changes brighten you up and energize you.
Take More Sun
Sunlight gives life and is energizing. Unfortunately, the message to avoid the sun is widespread. Now 3 out of 4 Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Learn more about the benefits of sunlight and how to Soak Up More Sun in a healthy way.
Spending time with positive people is good for your mood and your spirit, and even helps you live a longer healthier life. At the same time, it energizes you and keeps you in a more enthusiastic state.
Listening to your favorite music is one of the best ways to lift your spirits and increase your energy. Working out with music can even augment your performance and help you burn more calories.
You may be thinking… I breathe every minute of my life and I’m still tired. Well, you may be used to shallow breathing, which prevents you from getting enough oxygen throughout your body. Deep breathing is a different story. It’s deeper and forces more oxygen into your cells, which slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, consequently, providing more energy to your body.
There are different breathing exercises that can energize you:
- Put the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Then inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat four times.
- With your mouth closed, breathe in deeply through your nose. Then, exhale with an open mouth, making a “hah” sound – similar to hissing. Repeat 5-10 times
- Sit comfortably. Take 30 power breaths, short but strong breaths when blowing up a balloon. After, draw in your breath once more fully, but without effort. Then, let the breath out. Hold until you feel moderate discomfort. Take a deep breath to close the exercise.
- Sit comfortably with your chin slightly lowered. Open your mouth and extend your tongue out slightly. Curl the sides of your tongue so it looks like straw. Breathe in slowly through the mouth and over the tongue, feeling the coolness of your breath as you do this. Hold your breath for a moment, then exhale slowly through the nostrils. Repeat 5-10 times.
Have More Sex
Sex can be a great calorie burner but also a great way to augment those endorphins that make you feel good and energize you. Learn more about the Sex and Exercise connection.
Have Goals and a Purpose
Many times, people feel lethargic because they are caught up in monotony. They don’t have goals or a purpose to drive them. Think about it, having something to live for keeps you more engaged in life. Set up those goals and leap forward.
The above natural energy boosters can raise your energy levels considerably. As you can see, there is no one simple solution. Your diet, your activity level, as well as your mindset, and spiritual practices energize you. In order to thrive at all levels, it’s important to take a holistic approach.
Learn more about how to apply a holistic perspective to your life: 28 Days to a New Life: A Holistic Approach to Get Fit, Delay Aging, and Enhance your Mindset
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor