Four Easy Ways to Naturally Increase Your Energy
Do you have a hard time completing projects for work or school? Do you frequently feel like you need a nap or an extra cup of coffee halfway through the day?
If you struggle with low energy, you’re not alone.
According to a study from the CDC, approximately 15 percent of women and 10 percent of men report feeling very tired or exhausted on a regular basis. Another study found that a whopping 76 percent of the American workforce feels tired most days of the week.
Not only do consistently low energy levels contribute to a diminished quality of life, but they also increase your risk of making mistakes or causing accidents at work and at home.
The good news is that you’re not doomed to a lifetime of low energy. There are lots of things you can do to perk yourself up — without consuming any extra caffeine!
Listed below are four easy ways that you can naturally increase your energy levels to feel better and get more done.
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1. Skip the Sugar
If you’re like most people, when you start to feel a bit tired or sluggish, you reach for something that’s loaded with sugar — a doughnut, a candy bar, a bag of Skittles, the list goes on and on.
It’s true that you’ll get a quick burst of energy from consuming sugar. But, that spike won’t last for very long and, once the effects wear off, you’ll be left feeling more tired than you were when you first reached for that sweet treat.
You’re also more likely to experience an energy slump later on in the day if you eat a sugar-filled breakfast.
Instead of downing a bowl of cereal or a pastry in the morning, try eating a breakfast that contains more fat and protein — eggs and bacon or sugar-free Greek yogurt, for example. This will provide you with more long-term energy, and you’re likely to feel satisfied for a longer period of time.
This same rule applies to afternoon snacks, too. If you feel hungry and need something to eat, reach for protein and fat over simple carbohydrates. Beef jerky, nuts, nut butter, and string cheese are all great options that are easy to store at your desk.
2. Drink Some Water
You lose a lot of water throughout the day in the form of sweat and urine. If you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to experience fluctuations in your cognitive function, energy levels, and mood.
Research also shows that losing just one percent of your body fluid can impede your memory and increase feelings of fatigue.
To help maintain proper hydration levels, make an effort to keep a glass or bottle of water near your desk while you’re working. That way, you’ll be more inclined to reach for it.
Try to drink at least 50 percent of your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, that means you should shoot for approximately 75 ounces.
If drinking plain water doesn’t appeal to you, try adding sliced fruit like lemon, lime, or orange to your water. You can also drink flavored sparkling water or herbal tea for something a little more flavorful.
3. Get Some Exercise
When you’re feeling tired, the last thing you probably want to do is exercise. In reality, though, exercise has been shown to boost your energy levels because it increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
The good news is that you don’t need to do an intense, sweaty workout to see these benefits. Simply getting up and walking around the block can make a big difference.
If your mobility is limited and walking is not an option, you can still experience the benefits of exercise by doing seated stretches or seated resistance exercises. Try using light dumbbells or resistance bands to do bicep curls, overhead presses, or tricep extensions.
Research shows that social isolation has been linked to depression and fatigue. When you make an effort to spend time with others, you’re likely to feel happier and experience less fatigue.
People with strong social networks are also likely to experience greater levels of overall health as they age.
Try to arrange meetups with friends or family once or twice a week. You can even meet them to go for a walk or hike so you get the added benefits of exercise.
Even making an effort to communicate face-to-face with your coworkers can be helpful and give you an energy boost.
Try taking a walk across the office (again, you’re sneaking in some movement!) to talk to them instead of sending an email. Or, eat lunch in the break room instead of at your desk so you can catch up midway through the day.