The Secrets to Eating and Exercising for Lasting Energy
Research suggests that about one in four adults experiences fatigue that is unrelated to any serious medical condition. If you want to wake up feeling refreshed and sail through the day with more enthusiasm, the solution could be easy.
While infomercials and health food shops are full of products promising increased vigor, simple lifestyle changes are usually more effective. Learn how healthy eating and regular exercise can give you lasting energy.
Eating for Lasting Energy:
- Choose healthy carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains provide a steady source of energy. On the other hand, simple carbohydrates in cookies and other processed foods make your blood sugar rise and fall, leaving you more tired.
- Control portions. Proteins and healthy fats provide some energy too. Include them in your balanced diet in sensible amounts.
- Lose weight gradually. Being overweight contributes to fatigue because the body has to carry around excess pounds that may also interfere with sleep. If you want to lose weight, rather than depriving yourself of energy with crash diets, aim to lose about one pound each week.
- Enjoy breakfast. Studies show that a hearty breakfast helps you to resist junk food later in the day. Fill up on eggs, Greek yogurt, and fruit. Eat soup and salad if you like them more than conventional breakfast foods.
- Snack a little. Do you grow hungry in between meals or feel sluggish after a big lunch? Spreading your calories out with smaller meals and a few snacks may help keep you on an even keel.
- Drink water. Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue, especially for older adults who often become less sensitive to thirst. Perk up with a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea.
- Consume more iron. Younger women are susceptible to anemia related to iron deficiencies. Foods rich in this mineral include liver, beef, lentils, and spinach.
- Consider supplements. Most healthy adults can get the nutrients they need from food alone. However, your doctor may advise you to take supplements if you’re a vegan or take certain medications.
Exercising for Lasting Energy:
- Understand the impact. While you might think that you’re too tired to move, working out increases energy for several reasons. Your body grows stronger, and you release chemicals that make you feel happier.
- Do aerobics. Low and moderate intensity aerobics are especially helpful. Ride your bike or take a walk.
- Have fun. Choose activities that you enjoy, so you’ll stick with your program. Invite a family member or friend to join you. You can support each other and have more fun.
Other Natural Ways to Increase Energy:
- Sleep well. With the possible exception of deep meditation, there is no substitute for sufficient quantities of high-quality sleep. If you’re tired much of the time, go to bed earlier.
- Manage stress. Chronic tension can also sap your energy. Experiment with relaxation practices to find what works for you. Call a friend or write in your journal to help you deal with challenging situations.
- Quit smoking. Tobacco constricts your blood vessels, reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients. It may also interfere with your sleep. If you’ve attempted to quit before, try again. It usually takes multiple efforts to succeed.
- Limit alcohol. Tequila may make you feel like the life of the party, but alcohol is actually a depressant. Schedule some cocktail-free days each week to see if your energy level increases.
- See your doctor. If you feel tired much of the time with no obvious reason, talk with your physician. An early diagnosis can rule out any medical cause or help you to access appropriate treatment.
Say goodbye to fatigue. A balanced diet and active lifestyle can give you the energy you need to enjoy the activities you love and accomplish more with less effort.