This article has everything you need to know about how to get your energy back.
Despite the advances in technology that our society has witnessed in the past few decades, members of the workforce are still as fatigued as their predecessors were back in the days of manual labor. While the occasional bout of fatigue can be quite common among anyone who has a job, some have also construed constantly feeling tired with aging.
Fatigue is usually a feeling that entails feeling sluggish, lethargic, or even weak, but a lower vitality is a bit more complicated. A person who suffers from lower vitality usually exhibits the following symptoms:
1.) Not being able to climb up a flight of stairs without experiencing shortness of breath or panting;
2.) The feeling of waking up feeling even more tired than when one went to bed;
3.) Reduced interest in activities that may require a certain degree of physical exertion (e.g., physical exercise, playing with one ’ s kids or pets, etc.)
Generally, most people feel tired because their activities have exceeded their energy supply for the day. However, there are also several other causes that could possibly be the culprit behind the more chronic forms of fatigue. These include:
1. Sleep disorders or difficulties.
Lack of quality sleep deprives the body of the chance to replenish its energy stores, thus leading to a feeling of tiredness in the morning. Ailments like insomnia, sleep apnea, or even restless leg syndrome are all known to wreak havoc on the amount and quality of sleep that an individual gets.
2. Poor eating habits and diet.
The body needs food to refuel itself, so if you don ’ t have healthy eating habits to start with (such as not eating your meals on time or eating too much at every meal), you can expect to feel a lot less energetic.
3. Lack of physical exercise.
Apart from providing your body with “ feel-good ” hormones like endorphins, exercise also gets the blood pumping and builds up the body ’ s muscles and energy levels. The opposite is also true for those individuals who don ’ t devote enough time to exercise: weaker muscles and low energy levels.
4. Frequent blood donations.
Those who constantly give blood also tend to have low iron reserves in the body, hence they may feel constantly tired and fatigued as a result. Thus, blood donations are also considered to be a short-term cause for lower energy levels or fatigue.
5. Low testosterone levels.
This cause behind chronic fatigue is more common among men as their bodies tend to produce less testosterone with age. The decrease in testosterone then gives rise to a host of other problems that contribute to chronic fatigue such as sleep difficulties, less sex drive, and increased body fat.
Fatigue, along with a loss of interest in things as well as feelings of lethargy, is a major symptom of depression, a mental disorder that affects millions of Americans every year.
Benefits of Busting Fatigue
Everyone gets tired. If you’ve had your fair share of responsibilities, you will most likely have felt fatigued at some point. This does not mean that you should simply yield to what your body is feeling. There are ways through which you can snap out of the rut and boost your vitality.
Sure, it can be challenging at first, but you will quickly find that increasing your energy levels for everyday activities all boils down to a few lifestyle tweaks that anyone can successfully pull off. All it really takes is a fair bit of effort and commitment. The fact that you read this an article shows that you are at willing to find out about the rest of the process – this actually brings you halfway to your goal already!
Changing your lifestyle to boost your energy levels can provide you with so many benefits for your health, among them are:
1. You will develop better eating habits.
I will tell you all about what to eat and what not to eat in order to have more energy. Much of the recommended food listed are not just good for making you feel more energetic, but they are also packed with vitamins and minerals that will enable your body to function better. I will also touch on the recommended portions for the different kinds of food, so you will be able to improve your diet even further.
2. You will be more active.
The process of banishing fatigue also involves doing certain exercises that will strengthen your mind as well as your body. Once you are able to exert the level of commitment necessary to integrate these exercises into your daily routine, you will find it much easier and perhaps even enjoyable to keep being active.
3. You will be more alert.
An energetic body and a more organized mind usually go hand in hand. Cultivating the former helps bring about the latter. Changing your diet and becoming more active will keep your mind a lot more awake and open to the possibilities of life around you.
4. Your overall mood will be uplifted.
Increased vitality can have you snap out of a rut in more ways than one. As you go along your journey towards better vitality, you may also find that your disposition and perspective on life also improves. After all, it is easier to be more patient and positive about obstacles when your mind, body, and spirit all feel great. The latter can very much be a result of your efforts towards boosting your energy.
5. Your body will build up a better resistance.
Cultivating a healthy lifestyle not only gives you more energy, but it also helps it become stronger. Regular exercise and the right kind of diet will help you build muscles and stamina. Eliminating a few bad habits will allow your body to rest well. As a result, you may find that you are less susceptible to catching the flu or the common cold as compared to before. And who wouldn´t want that?
While the average human being can expect to lose a bit of his vitality every year due to the degenerative effects of aging, that does not mean that there is no way for anyone to boost their flagging energy levels.
While doing so would require a considerable amount of effort and commitment, the process is actually quite doable. For individuals who suffer from chronic fatigue, a few small and simple changes in their diet and daily routine can already make a huge difference.
How and What to Eat to Boost Your Energy Levels
One of the most effective ways to combat chronic fatigue and to boost your energy levels is through your diet. While the word itself might evoke unfavorable memories of carefully restricting one’s intake of food, trying to implement a healthy diet is actually a little more complicated than that.
While there are certainly some kinds of food that you should eat less of, a diet that is meant to combat the effects of fatigue would also entail eating more of certain kinds of food to build up your energy stores. It is expected that certain food that might make you feel bloated and sluggish would be excluded from an energy boosting diet.
Furthermore, it is not advisable to go below the recommended caloric intake even if you are on a calorie restricted diet for weight loss. Remember that you need calories too especially if you are exercising.
Calories give you energy. Depriving your body of calories mean that you are depriving it of the energy it needs to have. Insufficient caloric intake can cause you to feel even more fatigued. If your body cannot find the amount of energy or fuel that it needs, it will resort to breaking down your muscle tissues to derive energy.
It would be far more helpful and satisfying if you simply eat your fill of the right kinds of food rather than deprive yourself in a restrictive diet. As long as you opt for healthier meal choices, you can pretty much have your cake and eat it too.
You may also find that some of your favorites (e.g., tasty fish like salmon, classic snacks like peanut butter, etc.) are among the recommended edibles, making it even easier for you to enjoy your meals and boost your energy at the same time!
To boost your flagging energy levels, the following diet tips are recommended:
1. As much as possible, don’t skip meals (breakfast especially).
The body, like an automobile, needs refueling at specific points within the day. Breakfast is especially important since it’s your body’s first meal after about eight hours of sleep. It provides the energy that you need to start off in the morning. For those who are trying to lose weight while maintaining their energy levels, eating a heavy breakfast of low-fat, high-fiber food is advisable as it will keep them feeling full and energetic throughout the day.
2. Eat many small meals rather than a few large ones.
If you tend to get hungry between meals, you would be better off snacking on a few crackers or nuts and then eating smaller portions of food for lunch or dinner. Not only will this help boost your metabolism and help you burn fat and calories faster, it will also provide your body with short bursts of energy as needed.
3. Don’t skimp on carbohydrates, at least not on the healthy ones.
The current diet trend might favor keeping your carbohydrate intake down to a bare minimum, but that practice will only make you feel tired. Carbohydrates are easily converted into glucose, so it is the body’s favored source of energy. Good, healthy carbohydrates, such as those that the body can derive from certain grains, can give your body a quick dose of much-needed energy.
4. Try going on a wheat-free diet.
The gluten contained in certain kinds of wheat tends to have an addictive effect on the body, so it can sometimes compel people to eat more of it. Thus, it can lead to overeating, which can make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Wheat also contains a kind of starch called amylopectin A, which can trigger a rise in your blood sugar and can lead to significant weight gain that can make you feel bloated and sluggish.
Once you have removed wheat from your diet, you may find yourself able to function on less sleep and with higher levels of energy and vitality.
5. Limit your fat intake.
The body needs fat to absorb vitamins and nutrients, so you shouldn’t cut fat out of your diet altogether, but you do need to keep your consumption of such at a minimum. A quick stir-fry of some greens in a teaspoon or two of oil, for instance, should be sufficient.
Avoid binge-eating (1) on high-fat or high-calorie snacks like sugary donuts since they can trigger the release of serotonin in your brain. The said hormone can make you feel lethargic and sluggish.
6. Consider adding some supplements to your diet.
If you happen to have a magnesium deficiency, you may benefit from taking a couple supplements of the said mineral every day. Naturally increasing your magnesium intake by consuming food like nuts and halibut might also help, but for those who might have a more immediate need for vitamins, taking supplements might be the way to go. Just be sure to consult with your physician so he can advise you on the supplement that’s right for you.
The following kinds of food, in particular, are known to help give energy levels a much-needed boost:
The high fiber and vitamin C content in apples make for a potent combination that can wake up a lethargic mood and power you up for a full day. If you wake up feeling tired and with little time for a full breakfast, eating an entire apple (with the skin on) should do the trick.
Fresh apples are also seen as a better alternative to coffee since, unlike the latter, the fuel that they provide does not lead to a caffeine or a sugar crash that can make you feel even more tired.
2. Bran cereals.
Apart from being a good source of complex carbohydrates, bran cereals are also chock-full of magnesium, the vitamin that can pave the way for better sleep and
Almonds are high in magnesium while Brazil nuts are said to encourage the body’s production of the hormone selenium. The latter hormone is said to boost waning moods, so it is helpful for individuals whose chronic fatigue is due to a mood disorder. Taken in small doses, selenium can lift one’s mood and help the body feel lighter and more energetic.
4. Tea or coffee.
The caffeine levels in either beverage can help increase one’s alertness and reflexes, and the soothing effect of coffee or tea can help you feel less stressed. It should be noted, however, that caffeine can cause palpitations in large doses. You should still keep your caffeine intake at moderate levels and perhaps balance it with constant hydration.
5. Low-fat, high-fiber peanut butter.
In case you don’t want to go through the hassle of shelling or peeling your nuts, peanut butter presents a more convenient method for you to get an energy boost due to its high iron content. A tablespoon of peanut butter on toast along with a few banana slices makes for a power breakfast, while a teaspoon of peanut butter on a piece of cracker is a healthy way to refuel between meals.
6. Salmon and other fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are not only great for cardiovascular healthy, but they are also quite good at increasing your vitality levels. Substituting salmon for a fatty cut of meat in one of your meals, for instance, can help you feel a lot less lethargic and bloated.
Exercises for Boosting Your Energy
Thinking that you cannot start working out before you build up your energy levels is a common misconception. While you certainly cannot expect to come out of your first work-out session with a smaller waistline, you should not wait until you feel less tired before starting to exercise either.
Exercise can help increase your body’s energy levels in two ways.
1. Constant exercise can strengthen your muscles and reduce your fat deposits, making you feel lighter and stronger. This is true, of course, provided that your food intake does not increase throughout your exercise regimen.
2. Another way is through exercise’s effect on your mind. Sometimes, if your mind and body remain unchallenged because of having grown accustomed to day to day tasks, this can result in feelings of boredom and lethargy.
Since exercise challenges both your body’s endurance and your mind’s attention span, it can bestow upon you renewed vitality and focus.
Simple Exercises to Start With
Whether you are simply looking to exercise as a means to amplify your energy levels or as a stepping stone to better overall fitness, the following are some easy routines that you can do within the confines of your own home:
1. Basic lunges.
Apart from targeting your hips, abs, and butt, lunges help you regain a sense of balance and help train your breathing over time. Once you get the hang of the basic lunge, you can mix things up a bit by jumping between lunges to increase the difficulty level. You can also try switching legs in midair between lunges as well or lunging forward faster.
- Take a sturdy, non-slip mat and plant your feet firmly onto it, placing them at shoulder width distance. Keep your hands by your sides.
- Lunge forward with your right leg. Make sure your right knee is bending at an acute angle, and that your left leg remains straight as it extends behind you. You may slightly bend your torso forward and position your right hand by your right foot to balance yourself.
- Gradually return to standing position and then do the same with the other foot.
- Do about ten repetitions per leg, alternating with each foot throughout the sets. Keep your core straight as you move towards each lunge for better balance.
2. Extended knee tuck.
This position increases your flexibility and balance, and forces your body into a state of renewed alertness, especially at the beginning.
- Plant your feet firmly onto a mat, keeping them at shoulder’s width distance.
- Bring your hands up a few inches in front of your chest, keeping the palms parallel and your elbows bent at the sides.
- Flex your left foot, and then bend your knee, bringing it up to your hips, tucking your body into position.
- You may also bend forward slightly to maintain a better balance.
3. Oblique stretches.
These work your shoulder muscles and abs, and help your body get used to a bit of tension so that it resists fatigue better.
- Position yourself on a mat, as though you were about to do a push-up, keeping your arms extended. Straighten your spine by balancing on your palms and toes. There should be a horizontal line formed from your head to your heels.
- Slowly lift your right hand from the mat and reach under your torso towards the left, extending your right arm for as far as you can. Turn your head towards the left and keep your eyes on the fingertips of your right hand.
- Hold that position for about 30 seconds, and then gradually go back to your original position.
- Do the same with your left hand.
4. Basic push-ups.
Push-ups can help you build upper body strength (2) and can help you control your breathing. Doing push-ups regularly can also increase your stamina and overall endurance, giving you higher levels of vitality. For best results, do push-ups in the morning prior to taking your breakfast for an early energy boost.
- Get on all fours on the surface of a mat, keeping your legs straight and at a hip’s width of distance between each other. Straighten your spine by balancing on your palms and toes. There should be a horizontal line formed from your head to your heels.
- Keeping your palms firmly on the mat and your arms by your sides, lower your elbows slowly to bring your chest down to the surface of the mat. Bend your elbows slightly as you go to make things a bit easier.
- Start with about ten repetitions, gradually increasing the number until you are able to do at least fifty push-ups every day.
5. Go brisk-walking.
The beauty of this exercise is that it can be done everywhere and it requires no prior training. Brisk walking for as little as ten minutes can have a significant effect on one’s mood and energy levels that can last for as long as two hours after the walk.
The change of scenery can also help refresh your mind and give you a renewed perspective. Thus, a mid-afternoon walk can be a good cure for the dreaded 3 pm slump for people who usually work indoors.
In addition to that, habitually taking walks can lead to lighter moods and higher energy levels after about three weeks or so.
6. Go for a run.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of brisk-walking, try jogging outdoors for at least ten minutes. Running can give you an exhilarating rush and it can strengthen your lungs and
muscles. As a bonus, the endorphins that you get from running can also lift your mood significantly and make you feel less lethargic.
Other Tips for Preserving and Increasing Your Energy
Apart from devoting more attention to your diet and exercise routine, there are also a few more lifestyle changes that you can implement to increase your vitality. These include:
1. Getting enough sleep.
Sleep is the body’s way of recharging its energy levels, so try to get at least seven hours of it every night. The quality of your sleep is also just as important as the length of such, so try the following steps to ensure a deeper, more relaxing slumber:
- Don’t use your electronic devices about thirty minutes before going to bed. The light emitted from the screens can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm since it associates darkness with night and sleep and light with the day and with waking.
- Drink a cup of warm milk or some chamomile tea. Both substances have a relaxing effect on the mind and body and can help you drift off easier.
2. Better stress management.
Stress can quickly drain your body of energy, so it is important that you get a handle on it before it overwhelms you. When faced with a stressful situation, take deep breaths and count to ten rather than giving in to the impulse to just lash out.
This will allow you to calmly assess the situation and determine the best way to respond rather than tiring yourself out needlessly by giving in to your emotions.
3. Take power naps.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by a great deal of information presented at work or at school, you can take a nap for about twenty to thirty minutes to recharge your brain and your energy levels.
An added bonus is that power naps can also result in better information processing and recall, so taking one before a major test or presentation can actually help you function better.
Be warned, however, that you should not go past napping for thirty minutes since oversleeping can cause you to feel tired and sluggish.
Lastly, you should set aside some quiet time every day to sort through your thoughts and to discard any unnecessary accumulated mental debris from the day’s interactions. Left unchecked, this sort of mental baggage can prove to be quite draining down the line. You can also try replacing any negative thoughts with positive self-talk to help make your mind and mood much lighter.
As with anything worth pursuing, you need to put in some commitment and effort in implementing the aforementioned little changes in your life to increase your vitality. However, once you start reaping the benefits of your new and improved daily routine, you will surely see that it has all been worth it.
I hope you were able to gain useful information that can help take your energy levels from dwindling to skyrocketing. The next step is to try to incorporate the tips and tricks you have just learned into your everyday life. Soon, you will be teeming with more than enough energy to do everything you want to do.