Do you find yourself lacking in energy? I think most adults do. Work, kids, relationships and even just trying to keep fit can leave us all feeling a bit sluggish and tired. Most of us know what we need to do to increase our energy levels but sometimes we need a bit of a reminder about what’s good for us. I’ve put together a little list of things that you can do to put an extra spring in your step.
25 Not-So-Secret Tips to Boost Your Energy Levels
If you start every day by raising your heart rate for just 20 minutes, you will be pinging off the walls with energy. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen levels in your body and creates all those yummy exercise endorphins that give you that unmistakable bounce in your step.
2. Take a 20 Minute Nap
No more, no less. A 20 minute nap in your car at 3pm in the afternoon can be just the boost you need to get you through the work afternoon. Any more and you risk going into a deeper sleep that will sap more energy. Stick to 20 minutes and you’ll be pumping all evening.
3. Drink More Water Than You Think You Need
Every adult should drink at least 2 litres of water everyday. So if you’re lacking in energy, chances are you aren’t getting enough. Make a commitment to drink a full 2 litres everyday for a full week and watch your energy levels go nuts.
Food is literally energy, so if you’re feeling a little bit lethargic you might need a decent meal or a snack.
5…but Not Too Much
Over eating and consuming big stodgy meals will make your energy levels drop severely. Eat a sensible amount of food and drink plenty of water to avoid feeling sluggish after a meal.
6.Take Some Chill Time
If you’ve been running around all day and haven’t taken a break, then you must stop everything and do it now. Make yourself a cup of tea and read the newspaper for 15 minutes. If you distract your brain with a break you’ll be a lot more productive than if you keep powering through.
7. Increase Your Magnesium Levels
Eat fish, whole grains, almonds, cashews or hazelnuts. If you need an extra boost take a magnesium tablet before bed. Magnesium helps with cardiovascular fitness, muscle relaxation and insomnia so it’s the perfect bedtime vitamin. I’m a fan of the Macro Magnesium tablets because with most other forms of magnesium you need to dissolve them in water and not too many bladders can take a full glass of water at bedtime. With the tablets I can just swallow them with one sip.
8. Be Wary of Caffeine
Monitored levels of caffeine can certainly be your friend, if your energy levels are low but you need to be careful with your quantities. Stick to one or two coffees per day and avoid caffeine after 3pm in the afternoon so you don’t mess with your sleep cycle.
9. Get Up and Jiggle Around
If you keep finding yourself nodding off at your computer screen, simply get up and have a jiggle around. Put on your favourite song and have a bit of a boogie around the office or do a few jumping jacks. It’ll get your blood pumping through your body and will provide a refreshing burst of energy.
10. Have Some Fun
Laughing is one of the best energy boosters around. It increases blood flow and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells which leads to a stronger immune system and therefore more energy. So don’t forget to have a bit of a giggle every now and then.
11. Avoid Alcohol
There are few things that sap energy more than the consumption of alcohol. Have at least 4 to 5 alcohol free days per week and be very careful with binge drinking. Hangovers eat energy for breakfast so you really need to be careful with your evening glass(es) of wine.
12. Take a Few Deep Breathes
Breathe right down in to your diaphragm, taking slow breathes in and out. Deep breathing reduces your stress levels, increases blood circulation and promotes efficient sleeping. Deep breathing is a major source of energy growth, so make sure you take advantage of it.
13. Have Your Iron Levels Checked
Vitamin C increases absorption of iron so make sure you stock up on vitamin C tablets. To increase your iron levels you need to eat red meat and offal but if you can’t stomach that, you can take iron tablets to give yourself a little iron boost. I like Macro Chewable Vitamin C tablets because they taste like lollies. Just take the amount prescribed on the bottle though, even though they are delicious.
14. Eat a Low GI Breakfast
If you start your day with a slow energy release breakfast like oats or muesli, it will keep you alert and lively all morning through till lunch. If you’re not a fan of oats try some Low GI bread or cereal.
15. Be Colourful
Bright colours and patterns are thought to be powerful and energizing to your senses, stimulating both your eyes and your body. Perhaps try drinking your afternoon coffee out of a bright patterned mug or hang some colourful art above your desk and see if it helps you power through the day.
16. Have a stretch
Moving your body at high intensity is a great way to increase energy levels but moving your body slowly can be just as energizing. Try gently stretching your neck at your desk or leaning forward to touch your toes. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to maintaining your energy levels.
Try cutting out sugar, alcohol and caffeine for three days. You’ll feel a bit yucky in the first 48 hours but by the third day you’ll be bouncing off the walls. I usually take a pro-biotic most days as well to keep my gut health in check. I used to buy the ones that you had to keep in the fridge but my local chemist shortened their opening hours and I never get there in time to buy them so now I just grab the Macro ones with my groceries and they don’t need refrigeration. They’re great for traveling overseas too because they don’t go off while you’re on the plane.
18. Get Your Thyroid Checked
If you’re making positive changes to your life, yet you are constantly feeling fatigued you may need to get your thyroid checked. An under-active thyroid or an auto-immune issue may well be the cause of your constant tiredness.
19. Listen to Some Energizing Music
Pop on a playlist with upbeat songs and let the music change your whole daily outlook! Try following a few of the Mood Booster playlists on Spotify. Guaranteed smiles in minutes.
20. Get A Little Sun
Humans are able to absorb energy from the sun by soaking up Vitamin D through our skin, so be sure to take advantage of this by sitting in the sun for 5 to 10 minutes when you can. The sun just also makes people happy in general so it’s an excellent mood enhancer, even without the Vitamin D benefits.
21. Change Your Routine
Walk a different way to work, do a gym class that you don’t normally do, see friends outside your regular social circle or order an interesting sandwich for lunch. You won’t get more energy doing any of these per se but you’ll trick your brain into thinking something interesting is happening which will give you a positive increase in your mood and therefore your energy.
22. Get Into Aromatherapy
Rosemary, peppermint and basil are energy inducing scents. You can buy them in essential oil form and burn them in an oil burner or simply dab the fragrance on your wrists for a personal little fragrance boost.
23. Eat Lots of Colours
If you only ever eat beige and white food that’s exactly how you’re always going to feel. Eat lots of colourful foods from all the different food groups to shake up your digestive system.
24. Keep your Vitamin B levels high
Vitamin B is an essential vehicle for helping your body turn food in to energy. Fish, red meat and soy products all contain Vitamin B. If I’m in a rush in the morning, I like to have a Berocca, the main ingredient of which is Vitamin B. Add a cappuccino chaser and you’re good to go.
25. Eat Dark Chocolate
First of all, chocolate contains caffeine which will give you a short boost of energy but chocolate also has flavanoids which boost cognitive skills and improve your mood. Eat a small amount… you want to avoid that sluggish sugar over load feeling.
Everyone is different, so make sure you do whatever works for you. I swear by all of these tips but they may not mesh as well with your system. Just listen to your body, do what feels right and consult your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.