Boost Your Energy
Everyone would like to feel more energetic during the day. You naturally go through periods of higher activity which contrasts with times of relaxation.
The problem occurs when more energy and concentration is required than we can give. Or when we try to sleep and can’t. Follow these invaluable tips to a new you!
1) Stay on a regular sleep schedule. You can’t stay up late during the week-end and suddenly on Monday morning wake up refreshed.
If you do enjoy later nights on Friday and Saturday vow to get to bed early on Sunday to wake up rested.
2) Avoid the sugar and caffeine roller coaster. Eat some protein and foods with a bit of fat in the morning. The brain needs protein and the body does not store it.
You don’t have to eat very much- a glass of low fat milk, a piece of cheese, or a handful of nuts will get you going instead of pure carbohydrates like a plain bagel.
3) Take a 5-10 minute power nap around lunch. Even if you just close your eyes and let your mind drift you will be refreshed for the afternoon.
This is also effective anytime you feel yourself not concentrating, reading the same material over and over. Give in to the urge and completely relax for a few moments.
4) Drink more water and liquids. I know, everyone says to drink more fluids. But most Americans are in a constant state of dehydration from filling up on coffee, tea, and sodas with caffeine.
This is very stressful to the kidneys and can cause irritation to the bladder. Keep a sports bottle filled with your favorite flavored water or just plain and keep it with you at all times.
Set a goal – empty by lunch, refill, empty again by the time work is over. Carry plenty of water in the car too for you and your family.
5) Exercise regularly. This is easier said than done with a busy schedule. A poor conditioning level causes you to be short-of-breath and your heart to race when just doing simple things like climbing a flight of steps or doing household chores.
Park farther away when shopping and walk. Dust off that exercise machine or get an exercise tape to play when weather is bad. Set an example for the rest of your family and maybe they will join in too!
6) A joke a day keeps the doctor away. Seriously, laughter has many beneficial effects on the body. The brain chemicals for experiencing pleasure, happiness, and peace increase with good, hearty laughs.
Live alone? Get a funny movie or watch a light-hearted comedy on tv. Nothing sarcastic or put-down, however.
7) Avoid confrontations and situations with negative people. You know who they are. They are not going to change but they will bring you and your mood down.
The complainers, gossipers, and generally unhappy souls we all have to deal with on a day-to-day basis drain our energy if we allow them. Be polite but avoid arguing or getting hooked into listening to their constant problems.
8) Take regular, daily supplements of the highest quality. Our food and diets simply do not meet the amounts needed for maximum health. There is a difference between avoiding nutritional deficiencies and optimum performance.
Breaking Habits That Drain Energy
Want to improve your energy levels?
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to achieve that is to look at the things in your life that are draining your energy and remove them.
Rather than being an additive way to improve your energy, this is a ‘subtractive’ method.
In other words, you are improving your energy by doing less and not by doing more – which is considerably easier when your energy was low to begin with and taking on new challenges can be exhausting.
But which habits should you break if you want to get back your energy? Here are some of the top candidates.
Tea and Coffee
If you use caffeine to power you through the day, then this is something you should look at stopping right away.
Caffeine can actually severely hamper your energy levels and may even be what’s making it so hard to get up in the morning.
When you drink caffeine, it emulates the molecule ‘adenosine’ in the brain.
This is a molecule that builds up over the day and which eventually comes to make us feel tired and groggy.
However, because caffeine emulates adenosine, it can ‘plug’ the adenosine receptors thereby rendering it inert.
The result? An artificial feeling of energy and drive.
But this eventually leads to tolerance and dependence.
The brain produces more adenosine receptors to counteract the perceived lack of adenosine and as such you need more caffeine to feel normal.
This leads to withdrawal and that withdrawal is one of the things making you feel so groggy in the morning!
Nicotine is a stimulant and is even used as a nootropic.
But when you smoke, you also inhale a huge amount of harmful gasses which can severely damage your lung capacity.
Eventually, this can lead to a greatly impaired VO2 Max which makes it hard to simply move around without coughing and splurting.
Try using vaporizers to break the habit.
Procrastinating wastes your valuable time without giving you the ‘permission’ you need to properly rest.
Worst of all is procrastinating late at night and watching YouTube for instance into the small hours because you can’t be bothered to get up and get ready for bed.
Try to take the attitude of either being ‘off’ or ‘on’. Walk or sit – don’t wobble.
In other words, when you notice your productivity start to wane, embrace it and use it as a chance to properly recharge so you’ll have more energy to get up and go later.
Five Ways You Can Get More Restorative Sleep
Want more energy? Then the very simplest and most effective way to accomplish this is to sleep better and to sleep more.
Of course this is somewhat easier said than done however if you’re someone who struggles with their sleep, or if your sleep hasn’t been as deep or as rewarding as it should be.
If you find yourself in that situation, try these five tips that should help you considerably with the quantity and quality of your rest:
1- Go for a Run
Not when you’re about to go to bed but earlier in the day. This will help you to burn more energy, thus making you more tired when you hit the sack.
At the same time, if you take your run outdoors, then you should find that the combination of fresh air and daylight also help you to sleep better as well as to regulate your internal body clock.
2- Have the Window Slightly Open
Commonly people make the assumption that they will sleep better if they are warm. While you want your body temperature to be warm though, the ideal surrounds are actually slightly cool.
This emulates the way we would have slept in the wild and helps us to better regulate our temperature.
3- Take a Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower right before bed will help you to relax your muscles and at the same time will stimulate the release of sleep hormones like melatonin.
It also increases the production of growth hormones, also associated with better sleep and recovery.
4- Have Half an Hour to Relax
Half an hour before bed, take your phone into another room and plug it in. At the same time, turn off the TV and make a conscious effort to relax and to do something that you will enjoy.
This will help you to unwind and to let go of the stresses of the day. What’s more, the lack of bright screens will help you to avoid stimulating the production of cortisol.
5- Take ZMA
ZMA is a supplement containing zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. It is used by a lot of bodybuilders as a means to increase their testosterone levels to enhance muscle building and recovery.
At the same time though, it also has the added benefit of encouraging deeper and more restful sleep. Take two capsule half an hour before sleep on an empty stomach and you might notice an improvement.
How Gut Flora Can Upgrade Your Energy Levels
If you’ve ever seen an advert for probiotic drinks and yogurts like Activia or Yakult, then you might remember how they portray the effects.
After taking their morning scoop of yogurt/probiotic drink, the characters in these ads normally find themselves full of life, energy and optimism.
So then the question is: is this really how it plays out? And if so, how?
What is ‘Gut Flora’?
Perhaps a better place to start would be by answering what precisely gut flora is.
Specifically then, gut flora refers to the bacteria that all of us have living in our guts – and in our large intestines/colons particularly.
Here, bacteria can collect over time but it’s actually good bacteria, in that it does good for the body.
Our body in fact is made up of trillions of bacteria – we have more individual bacteria in our body than we do human cells!
Fortunately, the majority of this bacteria is good for us and actually helps to perform a number of functions, including:
* Combating bad bacteria by producing lactic acid
* Producing essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K
* Helping to break down food in the colon
As such, the right balance of bacteria in the gut will not only help to give you energy by helping your immune system to combat diseases but it will also enhance your energy levels by aiding with the production and absorption of powerful nutrients.
Will this result in you leaping around in the mornings with tons of energy and a huge smile on your face like in the adverts? Probably not.
However it can certainly give you a boost and is definitely a worthwhile pursuit!
How to Improve Your Good Bacteria
So with that in mind, how do you go about improving your good bacteria and getting more energy as a result?
One obvious strategy is to eat probiotic foods. These are foods that contain pre-existing cultures of good bacteria and which can thus instantly support the good bacteria in your stomach.
Another tip is to eat more fibrous carbohydrates such as green vegetables. These have a better chance of making it through your digestive system and into your colon where they can act as a source of ‘food’ for that bacteria.
Eating fermented foods can also help to support good bacteria. Fermented milks for instance are very good for your digestive system.
Finally, avoid antibiotics unless they are absolutely required. While these will kill off bad bacteria, they can also be just as harmful for your good bacteria.
How to Get Into Running for More Energy
If you’re looking to lose weight, improve your fitness and enhance your energy, there are few better activities than running.
Running is fantastic because it forces your body to provide you with lots of energy for an extended period of time.
For the entire time you are jogging, your heart will be working harder, you’ll be breathing more heavily and you’ll be burning more glucose for sugar.
As you train in this way, your body will then become more and more efficient at all these performances.
After a while, you will then reach the point where doing simple things like walking or working are something of a breeze.
The only problem? For many people running is boring, slow going and possibly even painful.
Here are some tips then that can help you to get more into running and to learn to really enjoy it.
The Right Shoes
One thing that can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of running is the right pair of shoes.
What’s more, this can also enhance your performance and prevent injury.
If you are currently running in cheap trainers, then you’ll find this makes a huge difference.
Getting the right running shoes isn’t so easy though. You need to ensure that you get the right type of shoes for your specific stride.
The best way to do this is to go to a running store and to get them to measure your stride on a treadmill.
They can then tell you if you need a structured shoe to correct a pronation or supination, they can tell you whether you’re a neutral runner or you strike with your heel and they can recommend a more or less minimal shoe.
Take the extra time, spend the extra money and you’ll find that the difference is more than worth it.
Learn to Track Yourself
Running is arguably harder to get into compared with weight lifting because you don’t necessarily see your progression as clearly.
With weight lifting, you’ll constantly push yourself to lift heavier and will see a clear improvement whereas with running, it’s much harder to tell your speed or the distance you have run without the necessary equipment.
Most smartphones nowadays contain a pedometer and there are plenty of apps available to download that can tell you how fast you have been running and the distance you have gone.
Keeping track of these will clearly show you how much your fitness and energy levels have improved, giving you motivation to keep going ad to push yourself even harder.
The hard work will pay off!