Do you have low energy? Do you find yourself nodding off in the afternoon? Would you rather take a nap than a walk?
Energy levels ebb and flow throughout the day and are influenced by everything from your mood to your body’s circadian rhythms. Here are my top ten ways to keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
Make smaller meals at home. When eating out, order small portions, leave half the food or pack the leftovers for an afternoon snack or another meal.
2. Quit smoking.
Quit smoking now. You know you want to. Surveys show it takes an average of six tries to quit smoking before you can be successful. How many times have you tried? Maybe it’s your sixth time and you can quit now.
3. Don’t skip meals.
People who skip breakfast concentrate less and are less alert than those who eat breakfast. Don’t let six hours pass between meals. Eat breakfast and lunch even if it’s only a banana, glass of milk, yogurt drink or fruit and nut bar on the run, until you can eat a balanced meal.
4. Choose low fat foods.
After a fatty lunch, you’ll feel stuffed and sluggish. With a lighter meal, you can put in a full day’s work and still have energy to burn. Keep a variety of fruits, freshly prepared vegetables, yogurts and milk handy for snacking.
5. Include protein foods at meals.
Protein foods keep you alert. When you eat a high protein food, such as meat, fish or chicken, the neurotransmitter (norepinephrin) that makes you feel more alert is stimulated in the brain. If you eat starches, such as pasta, bread, potatoes and rice, a different neurotransmitter (serotonin) kicks in to relax you. Actually, if your boss is stressed out, give him pasta for lunch.
6. Eat iron rich foods every day.
Everyone needs good sources of iron-rich foods every day, such as meat, turkey, dried beans, dried fruits, dark green vegetables and iron enriched cereals and pastas. Combine these with a good source of vitamin C, such as citrus juice or fruits, for improved absorption.
If you feel you need supplements, contact a registered dietitian near to you on www.eatright.org. People who decide to choose their own iron supplements may overdose. High levels of iron can increase the risk for heart disease, cause stomach pain and constipation in adults, and death in children.
7. Limit your alcohol intake.
Alcohol is the enemy of energy. Drink at midday and you won’t be able to take your head off your desk all afternoon. Drinking alcohol in the evening will help you fall asleep easier, but once the alcohol is absorbed, you’ll wake up and have difficulty falling asleep again. Another factor that robs you or your partner of sleep is snoring. People who carry extra weight or who drink alcohol are more likely to snore. This increases stress for the snorer and those nearby.
8. Get a good night’s sleep.
Heartburn waking you up? Think about the meal you had in the evening: was it large, fatty or spicy? Did it contain alcohol, coffee, chocolate or peppermints? Did you smoke? All these factors can result in acid reflux, a pain in the chest and throat, which wakes you up in the night. Eat less and avoid the culprits that rob you of sleep.
9. Lower stress.
Stress is emotionally and physically draining. If you eat well, sleep well and are active, you can handle stressful situations much better.
10. Be Active.
This is the best way to increase your energy level. After a workout your mood is up and you’re feeling great! Exercise can also relieve anxiety and depression. Be active, anytime, anywhere, any place.
Take one change at a time and note how your energy level increases. With a higher energy level you can accomplish more, feel positive, show more enthusiasm, and have more fun.
11. Walk you Dog