You are unique. From the way you sleep to the food you eat, there are a vast array of factors that affect whether you feel weary. Energy isn’t just a simple light switch that can be turned on and off. It’s more comparable to a circuit board that is influenced by hundreds of wires bringing input from all over your body. How can you tap into more energy? It starts with finding out which wires are slowing your circuit board down.
How to Get More Energy Naturally
The secret is understanding your own circuit board. “At the Pritikin Center, we do not just look at a person from one lane, we look at their whole lifestyle,” explains Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition at Pritikin Health Resort. “Most patients start with checking in with a medical professional.” Physicians have great tools to check whether there are any underlying problems with your thyroid, adrenal glands and hormones that may be affecting your energy,” says Gomer.
Yet, for many, there is no direct medical reason explaining why some days you may feel like you can relate more to a sloth, than a human. More often than not, the reason the comfy chair draws you in with magnetic strength is your sleep, diet and exercise. At Pritikin Gomer notes how people, “… get to leave their regular habits and feel better…experience a change in diet and exercise, and very quickly improve their energy.”
Why Do I Feel So Tired?
Getting enough sleep can be a challenge with life’s demands. Perhaps it will be easier knowing what researchers from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center found. For a week, 16 adults didn’t get sufficient sleep. As such, they struggled with early wake times, they ate more and gained weight.
Energy Drinks & Health
Put down the energy drink. Yes, the high sugar content and caffeine of energy drinks do give you a boost. Yet, an energy drink study has got researchers raising the yellow flag – these beverages may have negative effects on blood pressure and the way the heart beats.
What to Eat for More Energy
Most of us reach for a cup of coffee to start our day. In the U.S., the largest group of caffeine consumers are age 50-64. That steaming cup of coffee feels like the ultimate energy source but, it may be making you more tired. If your cup also contains creams and sweeteners than beware – they can drain your energy levels. “Many will admit when they eat unhealthy things (foods high in sugar, salt, fat or processed foods), they feel fogged out and low in energy,” notes Gomer.
When you’re feeling like you need a little pick-me up salad probably doesn’t come to mind. Yet, “…greens give you clarity and energy,” says Gomer. How to get more energy naturally? Eat more whole foods! Whole foods are simply foods that haven’t been processed, such as a carrot, instead of a carrot muffin. Whole foods are the best source of energy; abundant in the vitamins and minerals your body needs to feel invigorated. Some of the best choices include leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Why Am I Too Tired to Exercise?
Launching yourself out of that comfy chair and getting active may sound exhausting. However, studies show it’s a proposition worth considering. Being active actually helps you feel more energized! No need to commit to running a marathon to have more energy; low intensity exercise (such as walking, tai chi, yoga, or biking) may increase feelings of energy by 20 percent, according to researchers at the University of Georgia. When a group of tired and fatigued, but otherwise healthy, adults exercised (3 times a week for 6 weeks) they reported feeling like they had more energy. Even just getting out of the chair once could give you an energy boost. There have been 16 studies looking at the effects of a single bout of exercise. People noticed an increase in their energy levels after 21-40 minutes of moderate exercise. That benefit was large enough to meaningfully improve their mood that day. Having a low energy day and need a little motivation? Here are tips to help.
You’re busy and you’ve got to run. But, before you go, consider this: do you take care of yourself? “For every 10 patients I see, 9 say I’m too busy taking care of everybody else,” notes Gomer. The stress of everyday life, being overwhelmed with responsibilities…it can take a big toil on a person’s wellbeing, including their energy levels. Selfcare can help give you a boost. Why not start today. You’re worth it!
Reference Links to Abstracts Available to the Public:
- Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain
PNAS April 2, 2013. 110 (14) 5695-5700.
- Chronic physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Feb;37(2):299-305.
- A randomized controlled trial of the effect of aerobic exercise training on feelings of energy and fatigue in sedentary young adults with persistent fatigue.
Psychother Psychosom. 2008;77(3):167-74.
- The effect of a single bout of exercise on energy and fatigue states: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Fatigue: Biomed Heath Behav 2013:1:4.
- Beverage caffeine intakes in the U.S.
Food and Chemical Toxicology 2014;63:136-142.