Ten Ways to Naturally Boost Your Energy 2011
People today lead busy lives between work and home responsibilities so it isn’t surprising that many people feel they lack the energy they need. Drinking caffeinated beverages or energy drinks or eating sugary foods are ways that people try to boost their energy, but these ways generally give you a burst of energy that crashes an hour or two later. Instead of looking for quick ways to boost energy, the best way is to increase energy through healthier lifestyle habits. Here are ten ways to naturally boost your energy.
Eat a Healthier Diet
Our energy comes from the foods we eat so if you aren’t eating a healthy, balanced diet, then your energy level will suffer. You should eat more foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and protein to sustain energy as well as a variety of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy. Some foods that boost your overall health and energy levels include oatmeal, blueberries, bananas, beans, salmon, whole-wheat pastas, almonds and yogurt.
Reduce Sugar in Your Diet
Refined sugar spikes your blood sugar levels which makes you feel like you have more energy but then you experience a crash not long after the high. Sugar contains no nutrients while being high in calories and, according to the Cleveland Clinic, too much sugar in the diet can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, inflammation and other health concerns. When you want a snack, reach for fruit, trail mix, pretzels or yogurt instead.
Drink Plenty of Water
Your energy decreases when your body isn’t sufficiently hydrated. Extreme fatigue, headaches, concentration problems and lethargy are all symptoms of dehydration. Drinking coffee, tea and soda can also contribute to dehydration. Drinking water is the best way to hydrate the body throughout the day. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to replace fluids lost through normal bodily functions and increasing this amount in proportion to the amount of exercise you participate in.
Take Time to Exercise
Exercise raises endorphins in the brain, increases stamina and fights fatigue. Several studies have found that people who exercise have more energy during the day and are less likely to suffer from chronic fatigue. Even people with chronic health conditions report that they feel less fatigued if they follow a regular exercise program. The American Heart Association suggests participating in moderate exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If your exercise routine is vigorous, try to work out at least 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. However you choose to exercise, you will begin to feel the benefits of increased energy and a healthier body.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy in the morning but you will feel more energized if you take time for a healthy breakfast. Eating a breakfast that consists of whole-grains, fruit and low-fat dairy will give you the energy you need throughout the morning and help you resist the urge to grab a sugary donut or candy bar half-way through the morning. Try eating whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, a banana, apple, strawberries or blueberries and a glass of skim milk or cup of low-fat yogurt.
Have a Positive Attitude (and Avoid People Who Don’t Have One)
People who have a positive attitude feel more energized than people who are always thinking negatively. Positive people also feel less stressed and are healthier overall. If you find yourself in a negative environment, try changing it around with a brighter attitude. Organize, problem solve and keep a sense of humor. If there are people around you who are sapping your energy with their negativity, try to help them build a more positive attitude too. If that doesn’t work, avoid them as much as you can so you can keep your energy level up.
Take Small Breaks during the Work Day
Constant stress for 8 hours straight during the work day can deplete your energy. If it is possible, try taking small breaks away from your desk or work situation throughout the day to calm down and re-energize. A simple walk to the water cooler, a trip to the restroom and even a short walk around the work area can help lower your stress level and build up your energy. Can’t leave your workstation? Try stretching your back, arms and legs, taking deep breaths or closing your eyes for one minute to refocus and calm stress.
Get Some Sunshine
Sunlight boosts your mood and elevates energy, especially when you are feeling down or stressed. Open the shades or blinds in the daytime to let in as much sunlight as possible. Go outside on your lunch break and soak up some rays. What about cloudy, rainy or snowy days? Turn up the lights at home or work to brighten your mood. Multiple studies have proven that sunlight and bright lights improve mood, prevents depression and increases energy.
Make Time for Yourself
This is especially difficult to do when you have work, home and family obligations but it is important to try to make some time for yourself to fill your energy reserves back up. Even spending only a few minutes each day doing something you enjoy will help you feel refreshed. Work on a hobby, listen to music, garden or play your guitar – do whatever it is that makes you feel happy.
Set a Sleep Schedule
Sleep refreshes the body and mind and is essential for giving you energy in your daily life. In order to benefit from sleep, however, you need to get enough quality sleep each night. The recommended amount of sleep is 7 to 8 hours a night. Setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it helps you get a better night’s sleep. Other ways to get a restful night’s sleep include not eating or drinking before bed, not watching television, playing video games or using your computer at least one-half hour before bed and making sure your bedroom is a dark, quiet environment for sleeping.
Taking care of your body is the best way to build up your energy level so you are not constantly fighting fatigue. Not only will a healthier lifestyle restore your energy, but it can also help you lose weight and feel healthier overall.