Does feeling tired, sluggish, and not at your optimal energy level describe you? Here are some natural ways to boost your energy:
Keep your body active
Walking is a great way to have a natural energy boost. As little as 10 minutes of walking increases oxygenated blood to your brain, heart and muscles. Studies show that walking increases energy levels more than eating a sugary snack, plus you will not have to deal with the crash after eating sugar, or worry about adding any extra pounds. The human body is designed for action, so look for ways to move during the day. The increased oxygen your body will receive will make you feel better.
Avoid checking devices
Don’t check your email first thing in the morning or just before bed. This habit is becoming more and more common, and can start your day off on the wrong foot. You can become stressed about a message, something in social media, or a news item. The rest of the day may be spent trying to find enough energy to cope with the messages you read. Checking messages just before bed can be even worse. Stressful emails can create tossing and turning all night. Additionally researchers found that staring at a screen right before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Checking emails and messages through the day is not only time consuming, but also energy draining. Make a habit of checking only twice a day, perhaps noon, and early evening. You will find you have more time during the day and greater peace of mind, which leads to a significant boost in energy.
Drink lots of water
If you are dehydrated the body response is fatigue, headaches, and poor concentration. The first sign of fatigue may be dehydration. Throughout the day we lose water through breathing, urination and perspiration. That loss of water needs replenishing. A body short on water is not able to carry adequate healthy nutrients to the cells or flush out waste efficiently. This results in that sluggish feeling. Try to keep water close by you during the day and sip regularly. Your water needs may vary day to day, but a general rule is to consume half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weight 110 pounds you would try to consume 55 ounces of water.
Get a good night’s rest
Remember what Benjamin Franklin said? “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Sleep is a wonderful energy booster. During sleep your body rejuvenates and recharges. You want to have uninterrupted, consistent sleep. Try to eliminate eating three (3) hours before bed so your food can be digested. This will help to create uninterrupted sleep. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed as well to get refreshing sleep. Good sleep is so important for health, but often is the most neglected health practice. Check the National Sleep Foundation (www.sleepfoundation.org) for guidelines for sleep needs based on your age.
Avoid energy-draining foods
Our bodies need quality foods to provide for energy needs. The better the quality of food, the better you will feel and perform. Increase the raw, fresh foods as grown from the earth, and decrease your consumption of processed foods and animal products. For example, apples are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals providing a lasting energy boost. Bananas are packed with potassium as well as energy boosting vitamin B6. Spinach, which can be added to a salad is a superfood packed with nutrients and is low in calories. Brown carbohydrates are whole grains found in their natural state while white carbohydrates are generally refined grains. Swap out the white carbohydrates for the brown. Cut back or eliminate caffeine and alcohol. Increase your intake of healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds. Go slow and change a new eating habit every week.
Put all these suggestions into action and begin to feel refreshed, enthused and ready to conquer the challenges of the day.