How to Boost Your Energy Naturally
Feel Energised in Five Steps
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.
It’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.
While 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 Consumption
While 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 Sleep
Spending 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 pillow.
It’s 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.”