Let’s face it: life is exhausting, so how do you improve energy to get through the day? The more we age, the more tired we become even doing simple tasks that we used to do effortlessly. So how do we increase energy, to do the things we need and love, without a caffeine boost?
Of course the number one go-to when it comes to gaining more energy is caffeine. Some choose a morning coffee, others an afternoon chocolate break, and a few prefer a mid-day energy drink to get through the rest of the day.
No matter which caffeine conduit you choose, there are healthier alternatives that can provide you energy naturally (and not leave you crashing later in the day).
Step away from the coffee pot. Put down your K-Cups and try these naturally energizing tactics instead.
Get Up on the Right Side of the Bed
One of the best ways to maintain high energy throughout the day is by getting off on the right foot and starting your morning correctly. There’s a reason they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Starting off with a healthy meal with complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats can give your body the energy it needs to combat fatigue.
A healthy dose of exercise will also help you feel more energized. Anything to get your body moving will help prepare your mind for the day. Don’t feel pressured to go on a mile-long run.
Even something as simple as a few yoga stretches will help wake your body up.
Simply creating a morning routine that gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning can make a big change in your energy. Beginning your mornings with positivity is the best way to wake up.
Find out what makes you enjoy your mornings. Watch a tv show before going into work, sit down with a good book, or do some journaling to unleash your creativity first thing in the morning. Whatever floats your boat. Mornings don’t have to be miserable.
Re-Evaluate Your Sleep to Boost Energy
If you’re feeling tired throughout the day and are looking for an energy boost to your day, you’ve probably already considered your sleep schedule. Sure, you can try going to bed earlier. But if you aren’t getting quality sleep in that time then you’re not achieving anything.
Arguably, the most important factor affecting your sleep is your mattress. Have you had the same mattress for over 7-10 years? I hate to break it to you, but it’s time for an upgrade. Not only are you risking respiratory issues as a consequence of the collected dust mites in an old mattress, you’ve also lost the qualities that keep you comfortable in your sleep and the reason for a drop in energy during your day.
When mattresses age, they sag and lose their responsiveness. The pressure relieving support you expect from your bed will disintegrate as time goes on and, in turn, your sleep will suffer.
It’s important to determine the best mattress for your sleeping style and preferences in order to give you your best night’s restorative sleep. There are different categories such as innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrids, and different types are designed for different sleepers: side, back, stomach, kids, seniors, athletes, overweight… the list goes on! Sleep is personal, so make sure you’re taking the time to figure out exactly what’s best for you.
Take a Load Off and Boost Energy
Nothing’s more mentally exhausting than being constantly stressed out. Turns out, stress can physically exhaust you too, which can zap your energy. There are intricate ways in which excessive stress causes fatigue by throwing off neurotransmitters and your hormone levels. So basically, just chill out.
Okay, it’s not that simple. But it is a serious issue if your stress levels are rising and your energy levels are always dropping. If you’re being overworked by your management, sit down and have a serious, transparent conversation with your superior about realistic expectations of work load.
Don’t feel like you have to be a “yes man.” It will be better for your health and your professional relationships to be upfront and honest.
Adjust Your Diet
Fast food may be convenient and it makes an easy weekday meal, but it won’t leave your body feeling as healthy and high-energy as other options would. Take a look at your diet.
Are the foods you’re filling up on made with sugars and simple carbs? That’s an issue. High-sugar content foods will cause your blood sugar to spike, leading you to experience an energy crash later in the day.
Incorporate energizing foods like kiwi, brown rice, and yogurt into your diet to help your body fill up on the right resources. You can also try foods rich in iron and magnesium like spinach and kale.
Speak with a Doctor
If you make multiple adjustments to your lifestyle and don’t see positive changes in your daily energy after about 30 days, you may benefit by consulting a doctor or medical professional.
Speaking with a doctor can help you understand if there are any possible underlying issues affecting your energy and health. Medical professionals can also recommend supplements to incorporate into your diet to target specific issues.
Laurie Larson is a freelance writer from Durham, NC. When she isn’t busy writing, she enjoys reading mystery novels and perfecting the art of making a great cup of coffee.