8 healthy ways to increase your energy

Portrait of cheerful young African-American man pointing finger

Most of us have energy ups and down during the day, but are there ways you can have more peaks than valleys? Actually, yes!

Your body is very responsive to certain types of “energizers,” most of which can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. See which of these eight scientifically proven approaches have the greatest impact on raising your energy levels:

Fuel your body for energy.

Your food choices have a critical impact on energy. You may not be an elite athlete, but your body still needs high-quality fuel in order to sustain your energy level. Eat a healthy breakfast and have unprocessed, healthy snacks on hand to keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day. To eat for energy, think protein, complex carbohydrates (nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans and lentils), and fruits and veggies. Avoid sugar and refined or processed carbohydrates and rich or heavy meals.

Become physically active.

Regular workouts, sports activities, physically challenging hobbies, standing more often than sitting and simply exploring outdoor trails and bike path s will all help increase your baseline energy level. Your body was built for movement, and in general, it produces a lot more energy with than without it.

Hydrate early and often.

When it comes to energy, water is definitely your friend. Being even mildly dehydrated can affect all sorts of body functions, including your energy level. So make sure throughout the day that you’re drinking water or unsweetened tea (preferably green or white) to stay hydrated.

Caffeinate strategically.

If you don’t drink coffee all day but instead have a cup during your two normal low-energy cycles (generally 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), the caffeine will give you a boost  that should last for anywhere from one to several hours, depending on your body’s tolerance for caffeine, how strong the coffee is and how much you drink.

Get outside.

Something as simple as a short walk through a nearby park or tree-lined street can help your body and brain wake up when the mid-afternoon drowsiness hits. Your goal is not only to move enough to increase the blood flow in your body, but also to give yourself the emotional lift of being around nature.

Consider the company you keep.

According to Dr. Sophie Henshaw in her PsychCentral.com article “__How to Avoid Being Drained by Energy Vampires,” these creatures leave you feeling “exhausted, bored, irritated, stressed, anxious, threatened, overwhelmed or depressed after just a few moments in that person’s company.” If that sounds like someone you know, detaching or distancing yourself from that relationship will have an immediate and positive effect on both your energy level and overall social life. Occasionally, check in with your relationships (even those with friends and family) and be sure they’re serving as a positive impact on your energy.

Laugh out loud.

Laughter provides an amazing number of health benefits , including relieving stress and physical tension (both powerful energy drains). Think of laughing

out loud as providing yourself with an emotional “reset” switch to clear out negative vibes and make way for positive energy.

Make sleep a priority.

It’s so easy to try to find more time in each day by sleeping fewer hours, but it’s a strategy that will backfire on you both short-term (less energy while you’re awake) and long-term (damage to all of your body’s inner workings, i.e., faster aging). Commit to 7-9 hours of sleep each night to replenish your energy reserves and ensure your highest possible energy level for the coming day. When you prioritize your sleep, make sure you also prioritize good sleep hygiene too ! For even more health tips from Bright Health, click here.


Resources:

PODCAST

The Energy Healing Podcast

Energy coach Tara Williams focuses on the mental and psychological aspects of increased energy in her podcasts –think of this as practicing the inner game of energy.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/energy-healing-podcast-happiness-life-inspiration-success/id1108669193?mt=2 

BOOK

The Colorado Trail Guidebook, 9th edition

Ready to get energized in the great outdoors? The Colorado Trail Guidebook is just what you need, covering the entire 567 miles of the Colorado Trail (Denver to Durango).

http://www.shop.coloradotrail.org/Official-CT-Guidebook-9th-Edition-GUIDE9.htm 

Author: Bright Health

August 11, 2017