Five Ways to Increase Your Energy
It’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter and the colder weather entices you to spend more time inside.
Are you finding that your energy level is decreasing, as well?
We’re all familiar with all-out energy drain, those times when no matter how enticing that new movie, fabulous shoe sale, or fun neighbourhood party is, you just can’t psych yourself up to go. What can be harder to recognize is chronic energy drain.
In this case, you may not necessarily feel the classic signs of exhaustion – like aching muscles or that all-over tired feeling. What you do experience is an increasing lack of get-up-and-go for many of the activities you used to love.
If this sounds familiar, take heart. Try these tips and strategies to help increase your energy while avoiding that extra cup of coffee.
Increasing physical activity actually increases energy. The key is to focus on daily physical activity and not just “exercise.” Scrub, dig, shovel, walk, play, ride or wheel through your day. Small steps like turning off the TV after dinner to go for a walk with your partner, children or dog can make a big difference.
Make sleep a priority
Making time for sleep is essential to feeling alert and ready to take on the day. Most people require at least eight to nine hours of sleep every night. To help create a restful atmosphere, fully darken your bedroom (turn your alarm clock away if the display gives off too much light, turn off), regulate room temperature (too hot or too cold, and you’ll wake up), and use “white noise” (a fan or quiet music) to help induce sleepiness.
Don’t skip meals
Meal timing is another important factor in maintaining energy levels. People often skip meals and wonder why they are tired in the afternoon. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar swings, often resulting in fatigue. Try to eat at least three nutritious meals each day, with the last meal well before bedtime.
De-stress when and where you can
You’ve probably heard this before, but one of the biggest energy-zappers is stress. Stressors like worry or fear can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. If possible, counter these energy killers by programming more relaxation activities into your day. For many, increasing exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, while others find relief in quiet pursuits such as listening to music, reading a great book, or even just talking on the phone.
Get outside and soak up some sunshine
The body makes vitamin D after exposure to the sun, which can help with higher physical performance and improved mood. While not always easy to do during the fall and winter months, try to get 10 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun at least three times a week.
Pain-free movement is also an important energy booster. If headache, back, neck or shoulder pain is slowing you down, consider a visit to your chiropractor or massage therapist for treatment recommendations to reduce your aches and pains, and energize your day.
With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the Ontario Chiropractic Association.