Energize Yourself!

Energize yourself!

Ever feel like there are more hours left in the day than there is energy left in your tank? Life is busy always and most especially during the holiday season. Making a few changes to your routine can have a big impact on your level of energy.  Having more energy will make your days less hectic and more enjoyable.

How much energy you have is largely controlled by what you eat and how much you move. The good news is that a sedentary person can reduce fatigue by 65% by doing even low intensity exercise regularly.

Energy Boosting Tips

1 Exercise! The more you move the more energy you have to power through your day. If you don’t want to get winded or tired during routine activities, increase your level of physical activity. Try walking briskly 10 minutes a day for three weeks and you will notice a substantial increase in your energy stores.

Mitochondria, the powerhouses of your cells, convert calories into energy. If you are physically active, you have more of them.

Exercise makes your body better at converting fat and glucose into fuel. It helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and crashes.

When you exercise you increase oxygen and blood flow throughout your body.

Regular physical activity trains your heart and lungs to work more efficiently.

Hormones including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine are released when you work out. These boost your mood and energy.

Being active increases your metabolism, improves your sleep and lowers stress all of which boost your energy!

2 Gauge your energy levels throughout the day. Some activities drain your energy while others restore it. The same is true of people and places. If you are aware of these effects, you can guard your daily reserves. You can also plan to tackle the most important projects at your most energetic times.

3 Eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Include veggies, fruit, lean protein, whole grains and low fat dairy. An adequate combination of carbs, protein and fat will give you all the energy you need.

Have more whole grains and less sugar to balance your blood sugar.

Start your day with protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. Avocado toast with eggs or a spinach, peanut butter and chia seed smoothie are two good choices.

If you need a snack make it a power snack. A skim latte and a handful of almonds or peanut butter on a banana will provide you with the sustained energy you need.

Make sure you’re getting enough micronutrients as well, including vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B-12.

4 Get enough quality sleep. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.

Obtain quality sleep by: getting sunshine first thing in the morning, going to bed and waking at the same time, creating a relaxing environment devoid of light, clutter and noise, managing stress and avoiding blue light at night.

Being active during the day also improves your sleep.

5 Manage stress. Activities such as exercise, meditation and breath work can do wonders to help you unwind. Spending too much time on social media can be draining rather than energizing or relaxing.

6 Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water allows your body and brain to work optimally. Thirst, on the other hand, can make you feel hungry and tired. Being even a little dehydrated can make you lethargic.

Limit or avoid alcohol which ultimately drains your energy.

It is better to have small amounts of caffeine throughout the day than larger quantities all at once. Sipping a quarter cup or so of coffee at strategic times can be beneficial. It’s best not to consume caffeine after 2pm.

7 Fuel your to-do list. Doing things that align with your purpose and values is life-affirming. Make sure that at least some of the energy you expend daily goes towards an activity that fuels you. This will add excitement, happiness and energy to your to-do list!

8 Be Kind to Yourself and Others. Negative self-talk and unresolved conflicts and emotions are draining. Holding in feelings like anger and guilt is exhausting. Effective coping strategies include exercising, going to therapy, journaling, or finding a creative outlet.

9 Take breaks. Even a few minutes of stretching, talking to a friend, listening to music or working out can help to recharge your battery.

10 Streamline your activities and environment. A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind. Clean out your space for better focus.

Consider whether you are trying to do too much and plan out your day. It’s better to do a few things well than to be inefficient at multiple projects. Prioritize and narrow down your tasks.

The Takeaway

You need a lot of energy to power through your days. Chances are, some days you’re feeling it a lot more than others. Tweaking your routine and mindset can help you have more sustained energy on a daily basis.

How well you eat and how much you move largely determine how much energy you have. Sleeping enough, drinking plenty of water and managing stress are also huge contributors to your energy production.

Positive thinking, purposeful activities, taking breaks and a clutter-free environment help to preserve your energy. It’s important to monitor and protect your energy stores so you can function at your best from morning to night!

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Health.harvard.edu; newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org; webmd.com; health.com; besthealthmag.ca

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