Increasing your energy levels.

Raise Your Energy Levels

In Eat Better, Move More by Cara Bailey

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How Energetic are You Throughout the Day?

Do you have trouble waking up in the morning or staying energetic throughout the day? A vast amount of people these days rely heavily on supplemental energy boosters such as caffeine, energy drinks or other sugary foods and drinks. Some days may call for a temporary fix and in moderation these things are relatively harmless. But how do they affect us in the long run?

Too Much Caffeine

Overuse of caffeine can cause anxiety, dehydration, stomach ulcers and even seizures or cardiac arrest. Excessive sugar can cause weight gain, abdominal obesity, liver dysfunction, elevated blood sugar which can eventually lead to diabetes, and high blood pressure. Caffeine and sugar are highly addictive substances that should only be consumed with moderation. The effects of caffeine and sugar are also very similar; both giving you boosts of energy but eventually wearing off and dragging your energy down. If consumed too often, too much or too late in the day they could also make sleeping difficult. Without proper rest, energy levels for the next day are already low and this is how the vicious cycle begins- compensating for the lack of energy with more caffeine and sugar.

The Solution to Beating Energy Blues

The solution to this problem: good, old fashioned exercise. Even though exercise expends stored energy, it also helps to train the body to metabolize energy more efficiently. Blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, organs and brain is enhanced improving the ability to produce and store even more energy. Studies have shown that people who began exercising regularly reported feeling less fatigued throughout the day. Remaining sedentary will actually only hold you down in that tired state and possibly drain you more. It is suggested that in these moments you stand up or stretch to wake up your system. Exercise works in the exact same way on a bit of a larger scale. It’s rejuvenating and vitalizing for your mind and your body.

Diet Plays An Important Role

Do your best to moderately consume caffeine and sugar. Diet plays a very important role on your energy levels. Avoid sugary foods because they only instigate extreme highs and lows. Steer clear of greasy, fatty foods that will weigh you down and make you tired. Drink plenty of plain and simple water. Even without exercise, just by maintaining proper nutrition you will feel better throughout the day.

Whatever Works For You

What kind of exercise works best to generate the most energy? The answer is: whatever feels the best to you. Any and all exercise is effective so choose something that you feel happy doing! Walking, running, weightlifting… consider exercises you can perform anywhere. Schedule little exercise breaks on your calendar throughout the day, with several sessions of 10 minutes each. Yoga poses that incorporate inversions are said to be revitalizing. When feeling drowsy at your desk, stand up, stretch then reach for your toes. Allow your head to hang towards the floor for 30s to 2 minutes (depending on your tolerance) for a quick boost of energy.