It’s become one of life’s most
constant mantras, heard from friends, colleagues, family: “I’m always so
tired.” But surely there must be ways that we can feel more vital and have more
energy for life and its many challenges?
Here are some energy-boosting
suggestions for you to try, starting today.
Reduce StressIt’s no surprise that one of the
biggest energy zappers is stress. Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts
of energy, so it’s no wonder that when life is tense you feel burnt out. One of
the main reasons for stress is overwork, so streamline your list of ‘must-do’
activities and set your priorities. Schedule relaxation activities into your
daily life, such as listening to music, reading a book, doing yoga, treating
yourself to an aromatherapy massage or just chatting to a good friend on the
phone. Whatever is relaxing for you will reduce tension and increase energy.
ExerciseWhile it’s the last thing you feel like doing when
you’re tired, experts say that increasing physical activity, particularly
walking, actually increases energy levels. Personal trainer Jon Latimer suggests
moderate intense exercise three to four times a week, including weight training
and brisk walking. “This is enough to increase blood flow, give mental clarity
and release those feelgood hormones endorphin and dopamine that put you in a
good mood and improve energy levels,” he says.
Reduce Carb ConsumptionWhile they do provide energy,
foods heavy in carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish. The main culprit?
Simple carbs like those found in sugary drinks and processed foods (think white
bread and pasta). While they provide a fast boost of energy, it’s quickly
followed by a crash as your blood sugar spikes and then drops. The solution,
says nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume, is to stick to wholegrain, low-glycemic
carbs that take longer to digest. Nuts, legumes, oats, brown rice and high-fibre
vegies provide the body with a steady supply of energy. And don’t forget to
drink plenty of water. “Thirst can masquerade as fatigue and even slight
dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic,” explains Alleaume.
Get Some SleepSpending
your nights tossing and turning can leave you exhausted. While you sleep, your
body is restoring and repairing the day’s damage, so if you are lacking it can
affect your health. Along with the recommended eight hours’ sleep a day, a 60-minute
power nap can reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload and
boost energy for the rest of the day. If you’re having trouble nodding off, Alleaume
suggests keeping your sleep schedule constant by going to bed and waking up at
the same time each day to regulate your internal body clock. Eliminate caffeine
after 3pm and write down what’s causing you stress before your head touches the
no secret that daily meditation boosts your energy levels through the deep
levels of rest that are achieved in the body when the mind is still. Meditation
teacher and author Tom Cronin says meditation has come out of the hippy-dippy
spiritual realm and is now deeply grounded in science. “It has a profound
effect on the physiology and the brain,” he says. “Meditating for just 10
minutes a day will calm the mind and reduce physiological activity.” When the
body is in this state the production of cortisol and adrenalin, which can
exhaust the body, is reduced and the level of serotonin increases, explains
Cronin. “This restores good mood and increases emotional energy.”
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