10 ways to boost your energy
If you’re struggling with fatigue, feeling tired or stressed, you probably need some natural energy boosters. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite tips to help get you going again!
1. Drink water
Sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. Regardless of what you’re doing – working, exercising, on a day out with friends or family – if you’re feeling tired or fatigued and lacking in energy, the only product that will really enhance your performance is water. You don’t need a sports drink, or a drink packed with sugar.
A simple glass of water from the tap should suffice. The fact is, if your body is short of water it will let you know by making you feel lethargic and fatigued.
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2. Take some exercise
Another simple solution you may not have considered is that you need to take some exercise. Exercise boosts the energy levels in your cells, while helping oxygen circulate around the body more efficiently. In addition, you’ll sleep more soundly, meaning that you’re less likely to feel tired the next day. Exercise also helps the body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are stress hormones. In small amounts this can help you feel energized. You don’t have to opt for a full workout in the gym, a quick walk will really help.
3. Stand Up
If exercising is too much for you because you don’t have the time, try merely standing up! When we sit for too long, our blood vessels constrict, which can make you feel tired and lacking in energy. Stand up and walk around or stretch for a little while and this will help your heart and muscles to feel more energised. An additional bonus is that you’ll be more productive when you get back to work too.
4. Sit up straight!
If standing up is not an option, try sitting up straighter. The shift in your posture can give you an instant energy boost. If you often sit with your head and neck shifted forwards and your shoulders hunched, this affects the arteries that feed blood to the brain. Keeping your head and shoulders properly aligned is much better for you. So shift position and straighten up, as often as you can, and this will help to boost your energy when you’re hunched over your laptop.
5. Stress management
Stress can be a factor in periods of fatigue, because if you’re feeling emotional and tense, this can use a great deal of energy. Try and tackle whatever is causing you stress. At the very least, talk through your problems with a friend or relative, and practise relaxation techniques to try to reduce the burden you’re under. Meditation, yoga, tai chi and massage are all effective ways to manage your stress.
6. Manage your daily load
If you’re feeling fatigued and lacking in energy because you’re doing too much, it could be time to start thinking about rearranging your schedule. Saying no to family, friends and your boss is tough, but if it’s bringing you down and making you feel tired and lethargic, you have to put your health first. Ask for extra help if you need it, and prioritise what you need to do and when.
7. Change your diet
Boost your energy by changing what you eat along with your eating patterns. You should eat three meals a day, staggered at equal intervals, and limit your snacking. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it girds you for the day ahead and is an especially important source of energy. Healthier options that are energy boosters include porridge, fruit, omelettes, or wholemeal toast or cereals.
Try to limit the amount of fat, sugar and salt you have in your diet and increase the amount of fruit and vegetables. These along with carbohydrates – such as potatoes, bread, cereals and pasta are an important part of a healthy diet, and are a good source of energy.
Remember that sugar, in particular, will rob you of energy. It gives you a small initial boost and then steals energy away. Cut out sweets, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and chocolates.
Boost the amount of iron rich food you eat - such a red meat, cabbage and other green vegetables to prevent yourself feeling tired and faint. You can often find iron-supplemented foods, such as breakfast cereals.
8. Avoid smoking and alcohol
Smoking causes insomnia, and speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity. Alcohol has a sedative effect, and can cause an energy wind down. It can also inhibit your sleep (you’ll drop off more quickly but have trouble staying asleep). Drinking alcohol leads to dehydration which will also leave you lacking in energy.
9. Get some sunshine
Fluorescent lighting, and artificial lighting generally, can be very draining. If you’re working under poor lighting and feeling in need of an energy boost, nip outside and soak up the sun for a few minutes. Sunlight will elevate your mood and increase your productivity.
10. Don’t oversleep
If you’re lacking in energy you may well be tempted to have an early night or even take a nap, but oversleeping can be just as bad for your energy levels as not sleeping enough. Restrict yourself to 6-8 hours per night, even at weekends, and you may actually improve the quality of the sleep you do get which will boost your energy for the rest of the day.
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