Who doesn’t? I mean it’s only normal to feel tired in the afternoon, or to get up feeling like you have not slept right? Err no, WRONG!
But it happens, often, to a lot of people and it does not matter what age they are, there is somehow this lack of energy that hits us all at some point. Many times it creeps up on us as we neglect our health with a poor diet (especially when following a crazy fat loss diet) and lack of quality sleep. At first, it is not too bad but then the rut gets deeper and deeper and soon you are living off of coffee and Red Bull just to make it through another day so that you can make it home and crawl into your bed for another night of restless sleep, sound familiar? If it does then maybe reading this blog may help you to break out of the cycle and restore some of that bounce you once had!
People will tell you that they are tired because they have such a hectic life, the kids take all their energy, keeping up at work is just too stressful as well as a million other reasons why they just feel and look exhausted. The problem is it is not the odd day here and there, this is something that many people feel on an ongoing daily basis, for many years. Life is not meant to be endured, life is meant to be enjoyed and having a zest for life everyday is one of the best ways to live life to the full!
So, let’s look at some ways to up that energy and get that spark back!
Firstly the obvious one is to try to get more sleep. The more quality sleep you get the better and the key here is QUALITY sleep. It is no good going to bed after having a day full of coffee and other so called ‘energy’ drinks. Although you may have not had any stimulants since the afternoon, the central nervous system is still being stimulated as much as 6-8 hours later. You may get to sleep but the sleep will be disturbed and restless which is why so many people wake up after being ‘in bed’ for 7 or 8 hours but feel so exhausted. They may have been in bed but they were not really sleeping. Getting a good night of deep, restorative sleep is crucial to increasing energy and feeling refreshed when you wake up.
Help your sleep quality by making sure that your room is pitch black, you really should not be able to see your hand in front of your face. Do not watch TV or look at a computer screen within an hour of going to bed. The light will stimulate parts of the brain and keep you from a restful sleep. Try reading a book (not a tablet device unless it has a specific setting for pre bed reading) for 30 minutes before bed as it will help to relax the mind and send you off into a deep sleep.
Exercising regularly is another great way to increase energy levels. Sounds kind of counter intuitive, trying to exercise when you have no energy, but try it. Start of slowly by walking a little more than you normally would, perhaps walk to the station in the morning instead of getting the bus, you know the kind of thing. You’ll be surprised at how energized you feel after. Physical activity brings oxygen to the brain and reduces stress. Once you feel your energy getting better then you can start to add in a bit more strenuous exercise by lifting some weights or following a workout video. There are literally hundreds of thousands to find on YouTube, just pick on you like the look of and away you go. One of the best ways to exercise has been around since the beginning of time, yes you guessed it, sex! It releases a cascade of hormones that will not only help your body but it’s a great way to get to relax before bed and get a great night’s sleep. Do it often, its free, it doesn’t make you fat and it improves your energy, what more could you ask for!
While you exercise make sure you are taking in lots of fluids, in fact another great way to increase your energy levels is simply by drinking more water. Now I know what you are saying, ‘I hate the taste of water, I just can’t drink it,’ Sorry but that’s a load of BS. Water is the fluid nature intended you to drink, you are made up of 75% for goodness sake, do you really think Mother Nature would have made you dislike water? Err, no, all that has happened is that you have become so accustomed to drinking sugary drinks that real, clean, fresh water has become bland to your taste buds. Probably started when you were given juice as a child. Well now is the time to grow up kids, start drinking your water, your body and your energy will thank you for it.
One of the major causes of low energy is stress. Emotional stress is a particularly energy sapping activity and it can come in all sorts of guises from all sorts of people. Try to look at the people you spend most of you time with, are they draining you of your energy, are their problems becoming your problems? If you are feeling that some of that energy should be yours and not given to them then find a way of correcting the balance. Now, I’m not saying that you should ignore your friends and leave your kids with the neighbors every day but just make sure that you factor in some time for yourself so that you can restore your energy.
Schedule in regular relaxation time, meditate or just spend some time outdoors in nature, all of these will help you get a real sense of energy back in your life.
By far and away the best way to improve your energy is with your daily nutrition. What you eat will have a direct impact on your energy levels. Give your body highly processed, poor quality convenience foods washed down with ‘energy’ drinks and coffee and all you will get is fat and tired. Start to give your body a nutrient dense diet of fresh foods with plenty of water and you will see a marked improvement within days. Not only will your energy rise but your waistline will shrink, kind of a win win in my book.
Focus on eating a wide variety of lean proteins; fish, beef, eggs, chicken, turkey as well as all the exotic meats you can now get (personally I do like an ostrich steak now and then), good fats; coconut, avocado, nuts and seeds as well as fresh fruits and vegetables each day.
With this in mind, below are a few
energy boosting recipes to get you started:
A tropical sweet delight, Crispy Coconut Chicken is the perfect healthy dinner dish.
Indulgent yet lean and energy boosting to boot!
Fennel-Crusted Salmon on White Beans
Delicious warm white beans and fennel are topped with succulent
fennel-seed-crusted salmon for a double hit of flavor.
Thyme- & Sesame-Crusted Pacific Halibut
A speedy roast at high heat keeps the halibut moist and succulent,
and the savory thyme-sesame-crust adds a distinctive finish.
Serve with steamed fresh vegetables of your choice.
Have you ever felt as though your health is just not where it should be? Feel tired all the time? Had health issues that just do not go away? Suffer from IBS or any kind of digestive complaint? Need to lose some weight? Whatever your needs why not speak to Paul Burgess. He is the Clinical Nutritionist who writes all our Blogs. Not only is he a highly respected nutritionist in his field but also an ambassador for nutritional supplement companies and was awarded ‘Over 40’s Bodybuilder’ by the prestigious Bodybuilding.com website so he really knows his stuff!
His mission in the industry is, ‘To help as many people as possible realize the full potential of a healthy body using real food and applying the latest knowledge available’