5 Immediate Steps to Boost Energy
For many men and women - and even kids of all ages - energy levels have plummeted in recent years. It’s not always a matter of being out of shape. Sometimes, even a fit person can suffer from a lack of energy for a number of reasons.
While many people simply chalk it up as something they have to deal with, there’s no reason why you should sit back and suffer from fatigue day after day. There are many things you can do that are under your control to boost your energy levels and fight back against fatigue.
Start or Optimize an Existing Exercise Routine
Many people don’t understand how this works, but sometimes, expending energy helps build more for the future. People often give up exercise because they already feel tired, thinking it will help them recover faster.
Not only are they possibly emotionally drained, but they have no physical energy to contribute to an exercise regimen. This is a vicious cycle because the more sedentary you are, the more fatigue you may feel overtime.
To get more energy, you need to implement an exercise regimen that’s meant to support to your body for future activity. You may feel tired immediately afterwards, but as the days progress, you should feel more capable of being active.
So what are the best kinds of exercises to choose in order to boost your energy? There are two main areas that you should focus on - strength training and cardiovascular. Have you ever found yourself extremely winded after trying to climb a flight of stairs?
This is a good example of how exercise can improve your energy levels. You can strength train your legs so that the muscles easily support the movement of walking up a flight of stairs.
The cardio exercise that you engage in will allow your body to climb the flight of stairs without draining you of all of your energy. In conjunction, these two methods of exercise ease the strain it puts on your body to engage in any activity – climbing stairs, carrying in groceries, cleaning house, or any number of everyday, ordinary activities.
There are two ways you can implement a strength training and cardio exercise regimen. The first is to incorporate it into your daily schedule at home. You can either use bodyweight exercises for your strength training or purchase some small tools such as dumbbells that will allow you to work out in the comfort of your own home.
You can also perform cardio exercises at home using a treadmill, an elliptical, or a stationary bike. Or - you can go outside and walk around your neighborhood. If you prefer, you can do both strength training and cardiovascular exercises at a gym.
They have a wide variety of machines that you can use for both strength training and cardio. Don’t be intimidated by a gym setting. There are usually personal trainers available for hire or to simply show you how to use the machines so that you’re familiar with them.
If you do hire a personal trainer, let them know what your exact goals are. It’s not always to lose weight – some people simply want more energy - and a personal trainer can design a program that works best for you.
Learn everything you can about the low and high intensity workouts. In the beginning, as you build your stamina, you may want to start out with low intensity workouts. As your energy builds, you can add bursts of higher intensity training until you can get up for longer periods of time.
Cut Out Bad Habits
When it comes to a lack of energy, sometimes it’s as simple as tweaking your habits to support the lifestyle you want to have. There are many habits that contribute to a feeling of fatigue in your body.
One habit that may not be obvious to you is how you say yes to everyone’s invitations and requests all the time. You may already be suffering from fatigue when someone asks you to do something.
In your head, you know that logically you need to rest so that your body can support you with your own tasks the following day. However, your heart wants to help the person in need, so you say yes and sacrifice your own energy levels.
Many people worry about the backlash they will suffer if they say no to someone. But it’s not hateful to have good time management and protect your health. Help when and where you can, but save some time for your own physical and emotional well-being so that you can recover and are always operating at your best.
Sometimes, you have to let go of certain products in your life that drain energy from your body. For example, you may have to learn how to cut back on your sugar intake. If you suffer from fatigue, you may have been using sugar too much as a crutch to give you temporary energy.
But over time, this can make you more tired because your body is suffering from spikes and crashes in energy levels. Another product that you may have to forego is caffeine. Many people rely on caffeine to get them through the day after a bad night’s sleep or after staying up too late.
This may be a short-term fix, but ultimately, it’s counterproductive to helping your body develop and store energy for what you need. Another thing you may want to try in terms of replacing bad habits is getting yourself on a better nutritional plan.
Your ultimate goal with this step is to stabilize your blood sugar. You want to eat complex carbs that support your energy over the course of the day. You also want to feed your body foods that will nourish it in a way that is healthy, such as consuming a rainbow of colors when it comes to your fruits and vegetables - or eating lean cuts of meat as opposed to fatty kinds.
Clear Internal and External Clutter
There are two kinds of clutter in your life – that which you can see and that which you cannot. The obvious clutter is whatever is surrounding you in your physical environment – your home, your car, and your workspace.
The hidden (internal) clutter is what resides in your mind and heart. Internal clutter is the emotional baggage that you carry with you throughout the day. This stress tends to weigh on you emotionally and by the end of the day, all of your energy stores have been depleted because you’ve been worrying, saddened, or angry about the turmoil.
Physical clutter can also lead to stress, which drains your energy. As you sit among piles of odds and ends or trash, all you can focus on is what needs to be done instead of the present.
If everything was neat and orderly, your mind and schedule would be free to either accomplish the task you want to engage in or relax – something that is equally necessary for a well-balanced life.
Emotional clutter does the same. If you have unresolved issues with yourself or someone else, it will weigh on you all day as something that should be addressed, and has to be addressed, before you can move on with what needs to be done that day.
What you need to battle both of these issues is organization. For the physical clutter, you need to develop a strategy and possibly purchase some tools for organization that can help you clean up the clutter.
There are specific methods and products designed for home, car and office organization. It may seem intimidating initially, but once you get started, you’ll see progress being made and the toll it takes on you will decrease, allowing your energy levels to soar.
Make a schedule that corresponds to the layout of your environment. For example, one day, you may choose to organize your car. Another day, you may choose to organize the bathroom.
Make sure you contemplate a plan to maintain the organization of your environment after the initial sorting is done. Emotional clutter also requires a plan. You may need the help of a counselor or book to assist you in addressing the problems that you have.
Approach it as you would physical clutter - prioritizing whatever is most pressing in your life, and having a strategy to deal with the situation. You don’t want any loose ends left that will drain your energy in the future.
Get a Health Check-Up
Fatigue is often brushed off as something we all have to deal with. But the truth is, it’s not a normal physical or emotional feeling. It may be something we accepts and deal with, but we don’t have to.
If you’ve tried other efforts and they’re not working, you may want to enlist the help of your family physician to see if your energy levels are being depleted due to a health issue.
For example, low iron levels can lead to feelings of low energy. The same thing can happen if your body is low on vitamin D. The fatigue you’re experiencing might be resolved with a simple supplement.
But unless you go to the doctor and have your levels checked, you’ll never know. Sometimes, the low energy levels are not related to a deficiency, but instead are due to an underlying health issue.
For example, thyroid or adrenal issues can cause fatigue in individuals who may not otherwise show any symptoms. Your doctor may be able to prescribe thyroid medication or speak to you about a plan to assist your adrenal system.
Not all doctors are proactive when it comes to the topic of fatigue. Some see it as a viable problem, while others ignore the patients’ concerns. Before you go see a health professional, educate yourself about the issue of fatigue and speak up during your appointment to ask questions and stress the importance of getting a plan in place to address the issue.
Make sure you keep good records for your doctor about things such as your nutrition and sleep habits as well as your stress levels for 2 to 3 weeks before your appointment. This will help your doctor assess the situation and develop an action plan for you.
Never begin taking supplements or medications without having your blood levels checked and getting the approval of your doctor. Don’t assume you have low iron levels simply because you feel tired.
Once you have numbers to go off of, make a plan to retest at a later date so that you can see if what you are doing is working for your body. Keep a journal to check your fatigue levels and see how they compare over time.
Find an Energy Boosting Outlet
Sometimes, fatigue is caused by loneliness or depression. If you have nothing in your life to get excited about, then you may find yourself tiring of the same old routine and discovering it makes you lethargic.
It’s important that you stay engaged with society and don’t shut yourself off from socialization and other activities. Some people like to volunteer for others and take the focus off themselves as an outlet for their stress.
Giving back makes you feel good and boosts your energy because you’re looking forward to helping those in need. You may also want to get a hobby. Sometimes, being passionate about and engaging in a hobby can lift your spirits and mood and provide energy for you.
For example, you may want to start a garden indoors or out. Or, if you’re into the arts, you could start painting or become a photographer or learn how to knit or crochet. You can even take up a musical instrument as an energy boosting outlet.
At first, it may feel sort of forced when you start a new activity – especially when you’ve been feeling very tired lately. But once you get into it, you’ll start finding yourself looking forward to it and your energy levels will rise so that you can participate in the new hobby.
Understand that no matter which method you use to address your low energy, nothing will likely change overnight. Just as your energy became depleted over a period of time, the restoration of those energy stores will have to be built back up gradually.
So be patient with your body as it works to recuperate and provide you with the power it needs to support your way of life. Also keep in mind that you may need to do a combination of solutions or work through them one at a time to see which one(s) work and which don’t.
Not everything will work the same for each person. Some may respond well to a new activity, which others merely need to address bad habits. The key is to keep track of what you’ve tried and how it works and give it enough time to make a difference before you discard it as a possible solution.