Simple Tips to Restoring Energy

If you’re tired all the time, a change in what you eat (diet) or what you do all day (activity pattern) may be all you need to turn things around 180°.

You won’t be able to do everything on this list all the time — you’d tire yourself out trying to get more energy — but do try them all to see which ones work for you and your schedule. Add a few of these tips to your regular routine. Or mix them up to keep things interesting.

But here are a few fatigue-fighting strategies to help out. Some of these strategies offer an instant energy boost, just in time to shine for the 4 o’clock meeting. Other strategies are longer-term remedies. They require a bit more patience, but they’ll pay off big-time in the long run. Once you’ve mastered these energy-boosting strategies, any one of them can make you feel like you’ve just had a tune-up.

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy #1: Have a piece of chocolate 

Not too much, but if you’re going to have some candy, it might as well be chocolate. We get an endorphin buzz from chocolate (not to mention the energy boost from the slight bit of caffeine chocolate contains). Dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate.

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy #2: Reach for energy food

You may be thinking “candy bar!” but a sugar boost will just leave you lagging again in an hour. For a nearly instant energy boost that lasts, eat a healthy snack containing protein and a complex carbohydrate, One place to find complex carbs is in whole-grain products. Try a whole-grain cracker with low-fat cheese Or a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

The secret? “That combination of protein and a complex carbohydrate (digested more slowly than simple carbs) increases your blood glucose in a sustained way,” she says. “It boosts energy longer than if you eat gumdrops, for instance.”

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy #3: Eat a low GI high-fiber breakfast

For short-term and long-term energy boosts, make a habit of eating a high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich breakfast, says Jaimie Davis, PhD, RD, research associate at the Institute for Prevention Research at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

As proof it works, Davis points to a study that compared the effects of two carbohydrate-rich breakfasts — one high-fiber, one low-fiber — with two high-fat breakfasts. The high-fiber, high-carb meal was associated with the highest level of alertness between breakfast and lunch. The study was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

To boost the fiber and carbs in your first meal of the day, select such foods as whole-wheat toast or high-fiber cereal. A half cup of high-fiber cereal can contain as much as 14 grams of fiber, and some high-fiber breads have 6 grams per slice. Aim for 25 to 30 grams of total fiber daily, Davis says, noting that most Americans get perhaps 10 to 15 grams.

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy #4: Take breaks

Multitasking is viewed as the way to get a lot done quickly. But taking a short break and doing absolutely nothing for a few minutes can help you overcome fatigue and actually get more done in the course of a day, says Jon Gordon, a Florida-based consultant who advises corporations and athletes on how to stay energized. One short break of 5 or 10 minutes or even less can boost your energy immediately, and making break time a habit can keep your energy up long-term, he says.

“If you take short breaks throughout the day, you will have more overall accomplishments,” says Gordon, author of The Energy Bus.

Human performance studies show he’s right. In one conducted at Louisiana State University and published in Computers and Industrial Engineering, researchers compared three different work-rest schedules for workers who used the computer. The schedule that allowed for briefer, more frequent breaks was best in terms of fighting fatigue and increasing productivity.

The researchers found that workers who took four breaks per hour, usually just 30 seconds each, followed by a 14-minute break after two hours of sitting at the computer, reported higher performance and worked faster and more accurately than their co-workers.

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy #5: Get moving

For an instant energy boost, drop out of your busy life for 10 minutes and hit the road, or the hallways of your office. “Walking is an energizer,” says Gordon. Even a 10-minute walk can help you overcome feelings of fatigue.

And yes, it works better than a sugar infusion. In a study published two decades ago but still often-quoted, Robert Thayer, PhD, a professor at California State University, Long Beach, compared the energizing effects on 12 different days when 18 people either ate a candy bar or walked briskly for 10 minutes. Walking was the better bet. Walking increased energy for two hours. The sugar snack initially boosted energy, but after an hour, participants were more tired and had less energy.

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy # 6: Better Sleep

You can get a better night’s rest if you make some changes to how you spend your day.

“Sleep isn’t something that just happens when you fall into bed. Your body gets primed for it all day,” says Michael Breus, PhD, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.

Try these tips:

  • Tackle To-Dos Earlier

Evenings should be a time to unwind. Don’t try to do a lot of chores before bedtime. It might sound ambitious, but you’ll sleep more soundly if you get up early to work on your to-do list. “Your brain is better primed for mental tasks in the morning when sunlight suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone,” says Tracey Marks, MD, author of Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified.

  • Power Down Before Bed

To sleep better at night, set an “electronic” curfew. That means no TV, computer, tablet, or phone at least 30 minutes before lights out. The tiny lights from your clock, TV, DVD player, and smartphone can keep you awake. Cover them up at night and turn your clock away from the bed.

  • Set a Caffeine Curfew

Don’t drink anything with caffeine 6 to 8 hours before bed. That includes, tea, soda, and energy drinks. Overall, don’t have more than four 8-ounce cups of coffee a day.

  • Fit In Fitness

You’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly if you get exercise during the day. For most people, working out any time, even near bedtime, is better than not getting any physical activity at all. But if you have insomnia and your doctor has told you not to exercise at night, follow those instructions.

  • Restrict Naps

It might seem like a good idea when you feel sleepy after lunch, but a daytime siesta can make it hard to get quality shut-eye at night. If you must catch up on your ZZZs, take a nap before 4 p.m. and don’t snooze for more than 30 minutes.

  • Create a Bedtime Ritual

“Bedtime routines are just as important for adults as they are for children,” Breus says. Your body needs at least 30 minutes to relax and prepare for sleep. The same things that help children unwind, such as a warm bath, soft lighting, and reading, also work wonders for adults.

Simple Tips to Restoring Energy #7 Drink more water

Dehydration is a sinister cause of fatigue because it slowly creeps up on you. If you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all the time. Get a 32 oz (1 litre) water bottle. Your goal is to polish off 2 of those a day. Try it for a week and see if your general energy level increases.

 

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Kasey Hannan photo

Wife to a hunk of a man, mother of two incredible daughters and nuclear physicist (Not really but sometimes I feel like I should know everything)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising Healthy Kids Today by Kasey Hannan

Skype: kaseyhannan

Email: kasey@raisinghealthykidstoday.com
“Let’s Raise Great Kids Today So They Look After Us When We Are Old, Yes There Is A Method To My Madness 😉 ”

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