Fatigue is one of the most common modern day health complaints. With so many natural ways to increase energy, there is no need for energy drinks or energy-boosting supplements. In fact, fatigue is the body’s way of “screaming” for some natural health. Here are five simple methods to naturally increase energy.
1. Practice Deep Breathing & Mind-Body Exercises
Part of the reason why we feel better after exercising is because of the circulation of oxygen throughout the body. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and mind-body exercises such as yoga, Pilates and tai chi, increase energy levels and relax the mind and body.
2. Eat Fresh Food
Have you ever heard food referred to as “dead” or “alive”? Alive foods are whole foods, mainly produce or fresh foods that provide our bodies with essential nutrients. Dead foods are processed and packaged foods that contain empty calories. Examples include crackers, chips, cookies, sweets and sweeteners. These foods are high in sugar, sodium or simple carbohydrates.
3. Reduce Technological Stress
Do you ever feel depleted after a long day of sitting in front of a computer? If so, you’re not alone. Many people feel zapped when they use technology from morning to night. An easy way to gain more energy is to take a break from technology and take a walk outdoors or spend time in nature to let your brain and body relax.
Reducing technology use before bed can also contribute to better sleep. The body contains a “master clock,” called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SNC), which is located above the optical nerves and relays information to the brain. When the body detects darkness it secretes the hormone melatonin to make you sleepy. The same applies with light. When the body detects light, it begins to awaken with the release of other hormones. Thus, the light emitting from technology tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime instead of nighttime.
4. Sit Less, Move More
Believe it or not, sitting is exhausting. There is nothing vibrant about sitting in front of a computer. If you are sedentary, move more. Whether its three, 10-minute walks throughout the day or one, 30-minute walk per day, it’s critical to move the body, even if you already exercise. You can take a quick lap around or inside of the building, walk on your lunch break or try some desk stretches. Outside of this midday movement, if you are exercising at an intense level, but find that you’re still tired, this may be a sign that your workout routine is too intense or that you are overtraining.
5. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Overconsumption of caffeine is a common problem among people with low energy. In fact, using caffeine to increase your energy level is an indicator that you should reduce your caffeine intake. This is not to say that you should eliminate caffeine entirely; rather that you should consume it in moderation. Sometimes people who drink too much caffeine experience poor sleep, which also contributes to low energy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should not consume over 250mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to about 2.5 cups of regular coffee.
Belenky, Greg. "Caffeine and Sleep." Caffeine & Sleep Problems. National Sleep Foundation, n.d. 18 May 2016.