by Nicole Boisvert, certified holistic nutritionist, community engagement coordinator, mom
Having energy can be the difference between having a happy, functional life and a life that seems to be running on square wheels. It is one of the most common reasons people come to see us at CNF. Unfortunately, there are so many factors that could be causing poor energy which makes this issue even more challenging. The good news is, below is a list of several things that will get you on your way to having a better daily energy experience.
Thirteen points to consider:
1. Sleep – We all know getting a good night sleep is so important but have you really committed to it? Ensure you are getting 7 ½ hours a night or more. “Catching up” on the weekends is not effective. Your body needs regular consistent sleep.
2. Mid- day power snack – We have all experienced the mid-day slump. Instead of reaching for a high carb snack or another cup of coffee (the short term solution), choose a power snack that balances complex carbohydrates and protein such as: plain yogurt and fruit, a handful of nuts and dried fruit, whole grain cracker and hummus or a whole food protein bar. This will keep your energy for the long term.
3. Drink water – Hydration and especially water is so key for keeping your energy up. Not only are you ensuring enough fluid for the myriad of functions your body is processing; you are also bringing more oxygen into your body to reduce free radicals and to help your cells function even more smoothly. Smoothly running cells means more energy.
4. Eat more leafy greens – There is a reason why your mother tells you to eat your greens even if she doesn’t know the real reason! The high levels of antioxidants in these plants help to reduce free radical damage and assists your liver in detoxification all which can slow down your energy.
5. Exercise – Most people feel they don’t have enough energy to exercise. Exercising actually gives you more energy so if you can get out there and keep it up it is a very powerful tool to get and keep energy. People who exercise regularly say they feel drained of energy if they don’t get out there and move!
6. Take a power nap – If you can sneak one in this is a terrific way to boost your energy. Just 15 minutes can make all the difference in your day.
7. Use caffeine wisely and avoid energy drinks - A cup or two of coffee in the morning is a beautiful ritual and pick me up for most. More than that however and the artificial and temporary energy starts to play havoc with your body. This goes for energy drinks especially. Too much can turn into a downward spiral you become dependent on to make it through the day.
8. Ensure enough B vitamins - B vitamins play an active role in enzyme reactions that assist the body in creating more energy. Having plenty on hand will serve you well. Try to get them from food first and then look to supplementation if necessary. B vitamins are found in: meat, eggs, fish, milk, whole grains and certain vegetables.
9. Quit smoking – Smoking is very stressful for the body to manage so if the stress isn’t there the body runs more efficiently and is more energized.
10. Take a break – Taking a few minutes to breath some fresh air, see something different, go for a walk or to spend some time alone recharging will go a long way to boosting your energy. People who don’t take breaks during their day have less energy and are less productive than those who do.
11. Shed a few pounds – The less of you there is to carry around the more energy you will have! Chances are you will need to exercise to do it which will have you doubling up on energy.
12. Manage stress – High levels of stress in your life can mean you are lending our energy to something out there instead of conserving it for what matters most. Learning to reduce the stress in your life will leave more energy for the things that count the most.
13. Take a “Me” day – If you want more energy choose yourself first more often. Schedule something fun that you love to do. You will be refreshed and energized for days afterward.
And finally, go easy on yourself. You are living a busy fulfilling life and sometimes you just need to rest, regroup and re-energize.