With so much to get done each day, it’s no surprise that so many busy woman wonder whatever happened to their energy levels. If you find yourself zapped of energy mid-afternoon, but still with a l-o-n-g list of stuff to get done, you need to boost your energy. And you need to do it now! Discover simple steps you can take to increase your energy levels every day.
Nothing makes you feel energised in the same way as a really good restorative night’s sleep. While it may seem tempting to work longer hours when you have lots to do, trading those work hours for sleep hours will be a benefit to you in the long run. Being well rested allows you to work at optimum levels far longer than when you skimp on sleep and push on long after you’re zapped of energy.
And if you find your energy levels flagging during the day, consider having a power nap. A sleep of 20-30 minutes in the afternoon will revitalise you – and keeping your nap to less than half an hour will stop you from falling into a deep sleep, which can make you feel fuzzy-headed when you wake.
Eat an energy-boosting diet
If you are looking for extra energy to get you through your day, you should fill up on foods that will give you sustained energy rather than foods high in sugar – sure, they’ll give you a rush of energy, but soon enough your blood sugar levels will crash and you’ll drop into a food coma.
Instead try to eat protein for a boost of extra energy. Lean meat is an excellent source of protein and also contains an amino acid that boosts brain chemicals that help you feel more energised and alert.
Eating foods rich in magnesium will also help your energy levels, as magnesium plays a key role in converting your body’s sugars into energy. Women, who should receive 300mg of magnesium a day, can ensure they consume enough by eating foods rich in magnesium which include almonds, cashews and whole grains. 50g of raw almonds a day supply you with half your daily requirement of magnesium.
When it comes to energising drinks, you can’t go past water. Despite what their labels may say, ‘energy’ drinks do little for your energy levels in the long-term, other than give you a brief spike before crashing again. The same can be said of all caffeinated drinks – while they may seem like a great pep-up short-term, they usually have the opposite effect, making you more low-energy than ever once the caffeine effect has worn off. Caffeinated drinks also trick your body into thinking it is in a stressful situation, which results in stress hormones being released into your system. And stress is NOT an energy-booster!
By contrast, water is revitalising – it flushes toxins from your body, increases your metabolic rate and increases your energy levels naturally. Drinking water regularly will also stop you from becoming dehydrated, which has the immediate effect of making you feel lethargic.
Reduce stress and anger
Stress is an energy-sapper so the best way to feel more energised is to limit as much as possible the amount of stress you encounter in day-to-day life. And while it is nearly impossible to live stress-free, there are ways you can help your body deal with it better:
Again, avoid caffeinated drinks. Stress hormones are released by the adrenal glands because caffeine fools your body into thinking that you are in a stressful situation.
Vitamin B also tackles stress levels so try to include foods that are high in the B group of vitamins. These include liver, tuna, lentils, bananas, potatoes, molasses, oats, barley, wheat bran, avocado and salmon.
Relaxing activities like yoga and meditation can also provide you with great stress-management techniques to employ when done on a regular basis.
Ginseng has long been known as an energy booster. The molecules in ginseng are thought to prevent stress hormones from flooding your body, which then works to prevent chronic stress from zapping your energy. Ginseng also relaxes blood vessels, which maximises the delivery of oxygen around your body – another energising feat!
Exercising regularly gets the blood pumping around your body which is highly invigorating and energising. Yes, it is that simple!
If you don’t have time to go out and enjoy a little energising exercise, you can boost your energy simply by taking some slow deep breaths:
Take a deep breath through your nose for a four second count, trying to inhale as much oxygen as you can. Then exhale through your nose for another four second count. The inhalation and exhalation should take the same amount of time. As you inhale, concentrate on feeling your chest and belly expand. Continue breathing in this way until you feel renewed energy coming to your body.
Do a detoxing fast
If you are lacking in energy every day, you may want to consider doing a fast, also called detoxing, for up to 24 hours. By withholding food for a short time, your body can flush out toxins and have a general clean-up. With the toxins gone, you are left feeling extremely clear-headed and energised.
Get a blood and thyroid test
Sometimes a sense of fatigue is due to more than simply doing too much each day – it can be the result of something a little more serious. If you can’t seem to feel energised, no matter how well you sleep, eat or exercise, it may be time to see your GP.
Occasionally, low energy can be the result of a thyroid problem – low thyroid function will result in a low metabolic rate which causes low energy levels. With a diagnosis of hypothyroidism, you can receive the correct care and medication and energy levels will return.
Low energy levels can also be the result of low blood sugar or low iron and these conditions can be pinpointed with a simple blood test and then corrected through diet.