How to Increase Your Energy Levels
What You Need to Know
- Making changes to your everyday diet, as well as providing many other health benefits, can be the best way of boosting your energy levels.
- Give yourself a kick-start each day by having a healthy breakfast.
- Avoid junk food such as crisps and sweets and instead graze on fruit and nuts to keep yourself energised through the day.
- Cut back on your alcohol and caffeine consumption and instead stick to water for hydration and fruit juices for quick energy boosts.
- Getting active is a great way of boosting your energy. Even just ten minutes gentle exercise a day can make a noticeable difference.
- Make sure you’re getting the sleep you need; not getting sufficient shuteye can leave you feeling fatigued all day.
- If you’re eating well and getting sufficient exercise, low energy levels could be down to an undetected medical condition.
Making changes to your everyday diet can be the most effective way of boosting your energy levels, with even simple adjustments likely to make a difference after just a few days.
It may be a cliché, but it’s nevertheless true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day when it comes to making sure your energy levels are up.
Men’s Health advises a breakfast of instant oatmeal and skimmed milk, with this scientifically proven to deliver glucose steadily over the course of the morning, helping keep tiredness at bay.
If you do have coffee, then make sure you have something with it.
Have a ‘Power Lunch’
Forget a stodgy sandwich or a plate of pasta; too many carbs is the surest means of ensuring you feel groggy in the afternoon.
Instead, try and have a salad for lunch. Alternatively, a soup rich in beans and vegetables can also be a good source of energising fibre and protein.
If you must have a sandwich, then make sure you have a piece of fresh fruit afterwards as this will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and keep you alert.
Stick to Healthy Snacks
Snacking is a good way of keeping your energy levels up during the day, though only if you graze on healthy foods.
So, try swapping the mid-afternoon bag of crisps for some dried fruits or that bag of sweets for some nuts and seeds and you’ll soon feel more energised, with this also likely to help you better concentrate on your work or studies.
Though it may give you a short-term boost, caffeine can actually reduce your overall energy levels.
As with alcohol, it can decrease hydration levels, thereby making you feel groggy right through the day. So, it’s best to cut back on both and instead opt for fruit juices or smoothies if you want a quick energy boost.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated throughout the day, so make sure you drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day in order to avoid fatigue.
It may be hard to believe when you’re feeling tired, but getting more exercise is actually one of the best ways of boosting your energy levels, both in the short and long term.
Put simply, exercise speeds up both your blood flow and breathing rate, delivering more oxygen around the body and thereby combating fatigue.
It can also keep you motivated and focused, providing you with mental as well as physical stimulation.
Fortunately, even doing a little low-intensity exercise, such as walking to work or going for an early evening jog, can make a huge difference.
So, even if you’re short of time, try doing setting aside ten minutes for your dumbbells each morning or go for a walk round the block at lunchtime rather than staying at your desk.
At the very least, try and get out for a lunchtime walk. The sun’s rays and the fresh air can give you a quick daytime energy boost.
Physical fatigue may simply be a side-effect of mental fatigue or boredom. As such, perking up your brain a little could go a long way towards making you feel more energised.
The importance of a good night’s sleep in boosting your energy levels really can’t be underestimated.
So, first of all, you need to work out how much sleep you actually need, as this can vary from person to person, with some needing eight or even nine hours a night and others perfectly fine with just the six.
Once you work out what’s best for you, do everything you can to ensure you get this on a nightly basis.
The website Oprah.com advises that there are a number of simple steps you can take to get a better night’s shut-eye.
For instance, investing in a good-quality mattress and bedding can make the world of a difference, while ensuring a room is near pitch black and all electrical appliances are off can also ensure you wake up feeling refreshed.
Experts also advise avoiding caffeine or sugary drinks or eating anything substantial in the final couple hours of your day, while it may also be a good idea to preserve the bedroom as a sanctuary of sleep as watching TV or using a laptop in bed can prevent your body from shutting down for the night.
Get a Medical Check-Up
If you’re eating and sleeping well and staying relatively active, then a lack of energy could signal some deeper problem such as a hormonal imbalance, an unknown allergy or even a urinary tract infection.
So, if in any doubt, seek expert help and, even if there’s nothing wrong with you physically, ask a nutrition expert for advice on perking yourself up by changing your diet.
- Find some more tips for increasing your energy levels here.
- Feeling rundown? The NHS’s live well pages have some advice on what this may be indicating about your health.