When summer ends, school starts, fall sets in, or later in the winter, you may feel like you are running out of energy. You may even be continually exhausted without leading a particularly fast-paced life. If so, it’s most likely linked to your lifestyle, and a few changes could vastly improve the issue.
Here are 5 habits you can incorporate into your daily life to increase your level of energy naturally.
1. Reduce stress
Once you’ve ruled out the obvious reasons, such as poor sleep or a medical problem, stress tends to be the most likely source of your fatigue.
It’s not uncommon for people with busy lives, tons of responsibilities or personal problems to feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.
Stress can lead to difficulty focusing and “unplugging” to take a break. This may impact physical and mental health. Stress is closely linked to fatigue.
Stress is tricky because it sometimes lurks in the background until it’s too late and often difficult to remove completely from your life.
The first thing you need to do is become aware of it, identify potential stressors and learn how to manage it.
To do so, you need to set aside time to relax, read or get some fresh air. Meditation is often super helpful in reducing anxiety.
Lastly, don’t be ashamed to ask for help, either from family and friends or from a professional. A therapist can teach you techniques to manage stress and anxiety.
2. Eat well
If you’re wondering how to keep your energy up all day, your diet is certainly a factor as well.
Good eating habits improve your body’s resistance to environmental stresses, lower your risk of developing chronic illnesses and can also have a positive effect on your overall energy.
Your body needs fuel to keep moving. Choosing nutritious whole foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
If you eat a lot of processed food high in fat and sugar, know that it can affect your energy level and health.
Also, if you eat an irregular diet and regularly skip meals, you may not be getting the nutrients you need and may feel tired.
Various studies have shown that a good breakfast gives you the energy you need to get through the morning. Like all meals, it should be balanced to offer a healthy caloric intake which will reduce the risk of being overweight.
But that doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself; you need to eat enough to stay energized throughout the day. Extreme food restriction can lead to a calorie deficiency and a lack of essential nutrients such as iron, which can have a negative effect on energy levels.
If you have a small appetite or are always hungry, it may be a good idea to break up your daily meals into several smaller ones.
3. Don’t overdo it with sugar
Contrary to popular belief, consuming sugar for energy is a bad idea in the long run.
In fact, sugar and high-sugar foods cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly, sometimes referred to as a “glycemic spike.” To regulate this rapid increase in energy, the body releases large amounts of insulin. This quickly leads to a crash.
This may explain why eating a high-sugar breakfast cereal makes you feel less energized than when you eat cereal made from more complex carbohydrates. Slow-release carbohydrates are released more slowly into the bloodstream.
Consuming large amounts of sugar on a regular basis can also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Bottom line: limiting the amount of sugar in your diet is not only good for boosting your energy, it’s good for your health. Consider eating fibre-rich grains like whole grains, vegetables and legumes every day.
4. Be more active
Regular exercise is important to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to low energy levels, but luckily, you don’t need to run a marathon every day to get in shape.
“Burning calories stimulate our energy reserves, our heart and our hormones and ‘cleanses’ the body. A sedentary lifestyle weakens muscles, lowers your fitness level and can lead to chronic diseases. Moving around is like running a car to prevent it from clogging up,” says Dr. Patrick Bacquaert, chief medical officer at the Institut de recherche du bien-être de la médecine et du sport santé (IRBMS) in France.
5. Stay hydrated
It may be an understatement to say that drinking is vital, but it becomes clear just how vital when you know that you can survive 30 days without eating, compared to three days without drinking.
Depending on age, our bodies are made up of 55 to 75% water. During the day, we lose water through urine and sweat. To stay hydrated, you need to drink enough water to compensate for this loss.
- Lower levels of energy
- Reduced endurance
- Less tolerance for exertion
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Mood swings
- Impaired digestive, renal and cardiac functions
Another important thing to know is that seniors don’t always feel thirsty, so make it a habit to drink regularly even if the urge to do so isn’t there.
So, if you often feel tired, try to drink regularly throughout the day if you don’t already. You should soon feel an improvement.