Your toughest days can be the ones when you don’t feel like you have enough energy to get through them. The good news is, if you deal with low energy, there are ways you can beat it. Whether on occasion, acutely (short term), or chronically (long term), try these tips to boost your energy and feel great each and every day.
It takes a little change.
About two and a half years ago I knew I needed to do something different in my lifestyle. I thought I was doing everything right but I still lacked energy. With four kids to keep up with and one on the way, I needed it. Some days it was all I could do to drag myself through the afternoon. So what was it going to take for me to feel good?
At the time I was about five months pregnant so energy came at a premium anyway. However, I had struggled with low energy for quite a while. I was getting adequate sleep, as adequate as a preggo mom of four can expect to get. I exercised regularly, I took vitamins, and I thought I ate pretty healthy. So I was surprised when a change in my nutrition, and later intermittent fasting were the answers I was looking for to increase my energy.
The difference in how I felt was night and day. The point I want to make with my story is the reasons you think you are tired may not be the reasons at all.
You might have to incorporate several of the tips offered here, or you may only need to make one or two changes to get more energy. Keep reading to see what you can do to stop feeling like you’re dragging and give yourself the boost you need.
Tips to get more energy.
Wake up at the same time everyday, and get out of bed the first time your alarm goes off. Your body craves routine so getting out of bed at the same time each day is setting off an internal trigger letting your body know it’s time to get moving.
I’m the worst kind of morning person so I understand if this is a daunting task for you. I used to hate waking up early and would definitely hit my snooze button at least three times. It took me a while to train myself to wake up at 5AM with only one round of my alarm. But I did it, and do you know what? Even though I get up earlier than I used to, I still have more energy through out my day.
Now, you don’t have to get up at 5AM like I do, but whatever time you set your alarm for, start training yourself to get up at that same hour every day, the first time it goes off. Your sleep button is energy’s enemy. In fact, you just confuse your mind and body when you repeatedly wake up, sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up.
They say it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. I say, 30 days its a routine, 90 days its a habit, so keep going. Even if you miss a day or two, don’t give up. It may take you awhile before you have it down pat.
Exercise on a regular basis. It’s no secret that exercise is good for your body, mind, and soul. However, you may not realize that working your body is one of the ways to increase your energy levels.
It mostly has to do with increasing your metabolism and aiding in your body’s ability to burn calories more efficiently to fuel you all day long.
You may not be able to squeeze in a workout every single day, but make sure you have a consistent weekly schedule at the gym (or wherever you workout). I get in 3-5 workouts every week.
Eat protein throughout your day. Carbohydrates have long had the reputation of providing energy. However, the energy from carbs comes from sugars and tends to be short term.
Protein, and its amino acids, are know as the building blocks of the body that help with the formation of lean muscle. Because it takes longer for our bodies to digest protein, we stay fuller longer and our energy levels are extended.
To optimize your body’s ability to produce energy it is recommend to incorporate carbohydrates, specifically complex carbs, along with a protein in meals and snacks throughout the day. This will help to sustain energy and give you stamina long term.
Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every single day. Even if you aim for that amount and come up a little short, (short being like 10 ounces, not 50), you will be in pretty good shape when it comes to hydration.
Staying properly hydrated simply helps your body to operate at its best and all of your systems to function optimally. I find staying hydrated is easiest when I carry around a water bottle that I love.
Step outside and breath in the fresh air. This is a quick fix tip for whenever you are feeling sluggish or fatigued. Head outdoors and go on a short walk, do some simple yard work, play with your kids, or stretch your muscles.
The air, the sun, the breeze, can all be invigorating to your body and give you a pick-me-up when you need it most.
Take your daily dose of vitamins. Getting all of the vitamins you need in a day is hard to do with regular whole foods alone. That’s why taking a good quality multi vitamin to fill in the gaps can give your energy an added boost. The B-complex and CoQ10 vitamins are known to help with energy levels. Your multi vitamin may include some B vitamins, but check the label for B12 specifically, because it is especially essential. Do your research before deciding on which brand to take. I get mine HERE because I like the convenience of the packets and they are easy on my tummy.
Practice intermittent fasting. This is what made the biggest impact in increasing my energy and is still something I do on a regular basis. So what is it? Intermittent fasting is a type of eating schedule that involves a period of time in which an individual is fasting, or not eating whole foods.
There are various ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your life. Some people will take in only water while they fast. Others, like me, use a system that is considered “nutritionally supported“. This is where certain drinks and support items help to aid in keeping metabolism and blood sugar levels even.
Intermittent fasting can also be done for different lengths of time and more or less often. A common method is to stop eating after a certain hour in the evening, say 7PM, and not eat again until the next morning at 11AM. This shorter period is done more frequently, even daily. Another option is 24-48 hours of fasting, in which your body hits increased levels of fat burning. I have even heard of people fasting for 21 days at a time! I couldn’t hack it for that long but to each his own.
The practice of fasting is often times used for weight loss. However, there are many benefits the body receives while fasting, one of which being a boost in energy. The way fasting increases your energy levels is by allowing your body to focus on its own self-cleaning mode. Rather than working to digest and burn your food for energy, your cells are releasing stored up toxins that are weighing them down. Plus, your body is burning stored fat, including the very dangerous visceral fat, to produce energy.
Intermittent fasting is not always easy but the more consistently you practice it, the easier it becomes. Also, it is one of the tips that can give you the biggest increase in energy long term.
Go to bed at the same time every night. Just like your schedule in the morning, your nightly routine should give your mind and body the comfort of consistency. Not only does this create habits that you are use to, but it ensures that you are getting adequate sleep on a regular basis, which of course has a lot to do with having enough energy.
Eat superfoods. There are two categories of superfoods on the market today. The first are certain whole foods that are particularly nutrient rich. The second are products, like powdered greens or smoothie mixes, that are created to include a balanced blend of necessary vitamins and minerals.
You can check out the list of superfoods to add to your grocery list. Each of these foods are packed with a particular element or elements that can enhance your energy.
Quinoa is an especially nutrient dense complex carb, and chicken, eggs, and beans are rich in protein. Try pairing them as mentioned in tip #3.
The product category of superfoods can range from protein powders, greens, nutrient rich drinks, power bars, etc. These can be especially convenient for people on the go. I get my superfood products from a nutrition company but you can also find them at your local health store or market. Just be sure to read labels and buy quality products. If you are unsure, ask for help.
Add Maca to your daily diet. Maca root is a nutritious plant, mainly found in Peru. It is available in supplement and powder form and has a reputation of boosting energy levels. It can also improve your mood, memory, and is most commonly known to increase libido in both men and women, so use wisely ;).
Crank up some jams and dance. Nothing can lift a mood like some up beat music and a spontaneous dance party. Singing doesn’t hurt either. Our kitchen is often the scene of some major rug cutting and fortnite-style (my boys) dance moves. What ever endorphins released during a dance session are some of the most effective energy boosters for a quick fix to beat fatigue and feel good.
Just an end note.
If you’ve tried everything and your fatigue still persists, be sure to seek professional help. Contact your doctor to make sure you don’t have an underlying issue, such as a thyroid condition or anemia.