One of the best indicators that you’re having a great day is the feeling that your energy is high, steady, and that overall you feel good and can enjoy accomplishing the tasks at hand.
Maybe it’s that you bounced out of bed that morning, or sang in the shower. It could be that you didn’t need that extra cup of coffee at 3pm, or that you were able to sustain a solid conversation or play games with the kids after dinner.
Now, how often do you have that feeling? Or more importantly, do you remember the last time you felt that way? It’s normal to have periods of time where life gets so busy that our energy has to be directed into specific tasks, or that we might be overtaxed and tired as a result. But if you’ve been feeling lackluster, or low energy for a long period of time and can’t seem to get out of that funk, it could be time to address your energy levels more proactively. Try exploring these tried and true methods of protecting and bolstering your energy levels.
Breathe for Energy (and stress relief)
While it is a common reaction to stress, shallow breathing prevents the body from receiving enough oxygen and, in a short period of time, depletes the body of energy. Often, we don’t even notice that our breathing has become quick or shallow until we’re already anxious and exhausted. The trick is to be proactive and mindful about your breathing every day so that you can recognize and respond appropriately when you need to.
One powerful and simple breathing technique we recommend is:
Sit down with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes, and press the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a soft sighing sound. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for a count of five. Hold your breath for a count of three, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of five.
Repeat for a total of five breaths.
Think of snacks like mini-meals! Plan it around a healthy protein and fat, the carbs are a no-brainer but try to choose something with fibre. All together, these 3 macronutrients help balance your blood sugar and sustain energy by preventing those sweet or salty cravings that hit us mid-afternoon. Some quick examples and favourites of Dr. Sue and Dr. Sapna are nuts with fruit, guacamole (mmm, avocado-love) with tortillas or crackers, cheese and fruit, nut butters with veggies, fruit or crackers, edamame with sea salt and bean-dips! Hit these types of snacks around 2:30 in the afternoon and ride that energy wave to the end of the work day, daycare pickup and dinner prep!
Short High Intensity Exercise
Ideally about a half hour of exercise, three times a week can help you increase your energy and motivation. And some of the best kinds of activity for revving up your energy come in short bursts of high intensity movement. Whether you choose to take a HIIT class that focuses on interspersing bursts of cardio and strength training, or you decide to get outside on your lunch break for a brisk walk, swinging your arms and moving vigorously, those bursts of exertion will help you rev up your engine and keep you going for the rest of the day. Extra points if these activities happen outside, where you get the additional energy boosting effects of being in nature and getting healthy doses of sunshine!
Increase Your B12
B-vitamins are also known as the ‘happy vitamins’ for their ability to convert dietary nutrients into chemicals that the body can use for energy. While the body needs a few different varieties of B vitamins, one that is especially tied to good energy is vitamin B12. Exhaustion, pallor, feeling low and tired can all indicate low levels of vitamin B12 in the body. B12 is primarily found in animal-based foods like meat, dairy, and eggs, but is also available in much smaller amounts in plant foods like dark leafy greens, whole grains, legumes, and mushrooms, so be sure that you’re eating a diet rich in this wide variety of fresh foods! For those with severe B12 deficiency, vitamin B12 injections could be helpful because they deliver the vitamin into the muscle tissue and bypass the digestive system which, if compromised, may not absorb the nutrient effectively.
Perk Up Your Environment with Plants
Well-oxygenated blood is better able to carry nutrients, can eliminate toxins efficiently, help us think more clearly, and can greatly diminish fatigue and exhaustion. Adding fresh greenery to your home and office can help improve the health of your environment. Plants feed off of the carbon dioxide we exhale, and replace it with fresh oxygen in the air. So, while you’re taking time to smell the flowers, take some time to sniff the plants as well. You just might find you’re breathing easier and feeling more lively too!
Maintaining healthy energy levels can be challenging when faced with the stresses of everyday life, but these tips can help you rev up your engine and keep you humming a happy tune all day long. If you still find that your energy levels seem lower than usual, or you’re having difficulty sustaining your energy levels over time, you may need a closer look at what is going on and we want to be there to help. Book an appointment with our Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Sapna or Dr. Sue at Restore and let’s help you get back to your energetic self. Call or email us at 647-725-2525 or firstname.lastname@example.org .