10 Ways to Boost Energy
1. Get More Sleep
It is estimated that 20 to 30% of the general population experience poor sleep, thus missing out on vital rest time. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired, grumpy, and lethargic. If you often feel this way, you may not be getting enough sleep. Most people need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. That said, sleep requirements vary from person to person; some require a little more, while others need a little less. If you don't get as much sleep as you need to, try winding down with relaxing behaviors before bed such as taking a bath, reading a book, or getting into bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Also, try to avoid using your phone around bedtime. It has been linked to poor sleep quality and increased sleepiness throughout the day.
2. Reduce Stress
High levels of stress can make a person feel tired and drained. When you're stressed, you'll find it hard to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, or have difficulty switching off. This can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. In some cases, it may not be possible to completely remove the sources of stress from your life. However, if you are able to minimize lifestyle-related stress, it could increase your energy levels. Some of the things you can do to reduce stress include going for a walk and trying mindfulness or meditation techniques.
One of the best ways to boost your energy is to move more. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Exercise is a natural energy booster. Whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges to your muscles, brain, and heart. Squeezing a workout into your day will help keep your energy levels at their peak. So move around every chance you get. For example, you could go for a walk on your lunch break or walk to and from your place of work.
4. Avoid Smoking
Smoking is harmful to your health. The smoke from cigarettes increases the risk of various health conditions such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. The tar and toxins in the smoke reduce the efficiency of the lungs. Over time, this can reduce the amount of oxygen transported throughout the body, making you feel tired. If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do to boost your energy levels and improve health is to quit smoking. If you're finding it hard to quit, reach out to a doctor who can help you get the support services that you need.
5. Limit Alcohol
Drinking alcohol is another habit that can make you feel tired. Alcohol acts as a sedative and makes a person feel drowsy. Some people believe that drinking an alcoholic drink at night can help them sleep more soundly. However, drinking alcohol before going to bed can interfere with the quality of sleep. It could make you feel more tired than you otherwise would. Furthermore, alcohol acts as a diuretic. If you drink it before bed, it can make you wake up at night to urinate, disturbing your sleep. If you want to consume alcoholic beverages, be sure to drink within recommended limits, and if possible, avoid drinking alcohol close to your bedtime. In the United States, the recommended alcohol guidelines are: maximum of one drink/day for women and two/day for men. A standard drink equals to one beer (12 oz) or a glass of wine (5 oz). But keep in mind that this is the maximum recommendation. When it comes to your health, it is advised to limit alcohol as much as possible.
6. Eat a Nutritious Diet
If you always feel tired, sluggish, and low in energy, it might be a good idea to analyze your eating habits. Good dietary habits lower your risk of developing chronic diseases and can also boost your energy levels. Your body needs fuel to keep going. Eating nutritious foods will provide your body with most of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. On the contrary, if you are eating mostly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat, you will realize that they affect not only your energy levels, but also your health. If you have an erratic meal pattern or regularly skip meals, you may be missing out on essential nutrients, making you feel tired. One study reported that students who skipped breakfast or had an irregular eating pattern were much more likely to experience fatigue.
7. Avoid Added Sugar
When you feel tired, you might crave for a sweet, sugar-filled snack. Although sugar can give you a short term energy boost, it tends to wear off quickly. This is because high-sugar foods cause blood sugar to rise quickly. This prompts the body to release large amounts of insulin to bring the blood sugar level back down. It's believed that this rise and fall in blood sugar causes a rush of energy followed by a slump. Consuming large amounts of added sugar can also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
8. Stay Hydrated
The body is made of 55 to 75% water. Throughout the day, you'll lose water via sweat and urine. In order to stay hydrated, one has to drink enough water. If not, dehydration may affect brain function, mood, and energy levels. Remember that if you sweat a lot due to physical activity or hot weather, you may need a little more water.
9. Be Social
Social connections are also important for maintaining good health. To prove this point, one of the common factors in areas of the world where there are unusually low rates of disease and high number of centenarians (people over 100 years old) is a strong social support network. Social isolation can cause sad mood and tiredness, especially as one gets older. If you feel tired or in low spirits most of the time, it can be helpful to socialize with friends, join a club, or start a new hobby that involves social activities. Socializing virtually via video conferencing or phone can be just as beneficial as socializing in person.
10. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Eating a balanced diet can help ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. But if you still always feel tired, you could have a magnesium deficiency. This mineral is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy. When magnesium levels are low, energy can drop. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 310-320 mg for adult women, and 400-420 mg for adult men. To make sure you're getting enough, include almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and whole grains (particularly bran cereal) in your daily diet.
Many people feel tired and lack energy to perform daily tasks. Stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits contribute to the problem. Hopefully, these 10 ways to boost your energy can help you transform yourself from lethargic to energetic.