We all wish we had more energy. If we only had more energy, we’d be able to get so much more done each day. We’d be able to spend more time playing with (or, okay, keeping up with) our kids. We’d have better focus, be in better moods…there are lots of reasons to want to have more energy.
Before you start swilling energy drinks like they’re going out of style or consider popping some Ritalin, you need to know that there are plenty of natural things that you can do to increase your energy levels naturally. Here are a few of them.
A Balanced Diet
We’ve talked before about the recent changes to the Food Pyramid and how good they are for helping people figure out how to eat a healthy and a balanced diet. A balanced diet is also important for your overall energy level. For example, a diet that is heavy in protein and “bad” carbs can leave you feeling sluggish and even dim witted. But if you put some fruit and “good” carbs and grains, your body will convert those things into glucose—the hormone that increases your energy levels.
Honey, in particular, is great for a natural energy rush. Woman’s Day once said that honey is nature’s energy drink. Drizzle some in your tea, on cereal, put it in a sandwich—just don’t overdo it!
For some people, eating foods that are rich in energy-giving nutrients is tough. Maybe those people have allergies. Perhaps they have medical disorders (like Crohn’s or Celiac’s disease) that make it difficult for them to find the nutrients they need. If this sounds like you, you can use supplements to give your body the energy it needs. According to the Healthe Trim, supplements rich in Green Tea and other extracts are great for improving energy levels.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is important, everybody knows that. But what you might not know is that the type of sleep you get each night is also important. If you spend most of your night in the first couple of stages of a REM cycle, you’re likely to wake up feeling even more tired than you did when you went to bed. You need to get as much deep sleep as possible to improve your energy levels. It is also important that you don’t wake up in the middle of a cycle or it’ll feel like you didn’t get any sleep at all. Experts recommend waking up slowly with ambient light to smooth the transition instead of using jarring alarms.
Regular workouts are important for calories and reducing fat cells. It is also important for your energy levels. Working out, even for a half an hour a day, increases your endorphin levels. Endorphins are hormones that are responsible for energy and moods. Haven’t you ever noticed that, even though you might hate life while you’re exercising, life feels pretty great when you’re done? That great, almost euphoric, feeling comes from the endorphins that are released while you’re exercising. Getting regular exercise also helps you sleep better, which gives you more energy, etc.
When you wake up in the morning you are likely a little dehydrated, having just gone hours without taking a sip of anything. Working in climate controlled office spaces, doing lots of physical work—lots of things can cause us to get dehydrated. Our bodies need water to stay alive and healthy. It stands to reason, then, that proper hydration is also important for our energy levels.
Giving yourself a natural energy boost is a great way to help you get through your days. Improving your energy naturally is also important to keep you from having to deal with things like sugar crashes and other energy crises later (which is why I didn’t mention eating lots of sugar or caffeine in this article)!