Are you experiencing a lull in energy? After age 35, fatigue becomes a more frequent problem. It can affect mental and physical health, and it may hinder an active lifestyle. Fortunately, there are steps that we can take to beat fatigue. Here are nine natural ways to boost energy.
Replace simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are typically high in sugar, which means they are quickly digested. The result is a spike in energy followed by a crash and cravings for more sugar. Simple carbs include white foods like bread and potatoes and high sugar foods like baked goods, candy bars and soda. Complex carbohydrates are low in sugar and include foods like fresh vegetables and whole grains.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Eating small meals more regularly results in a steady supply of energy and better digestion. Here are a few ideas for healthy, low-sugar snacks:
- mixed nutsa rice cake with peanut butter
- a fresh-fruit smoothie
- fresh vegetables with low-fat dressing
- plain yogurt with fruit
Water helps maintain healthy cells within the body, removes toxins and enhances energy levels. For ultimate benefit, make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of pure water daily.
Get plenty of vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps the body absorb nutrients which would obviously increase energy levels. Also, research has shown a link between low levels of citric acid and chronic fatigue. Eat plenty of citrus fruits and berries or take a daily vitamin C tablet.
Introduce yogurt into your diet.
Like vitamin C, live cultures of healthy bacteria in yogurt help the body absorb nutrients. In addition to boosting energy, this enhances digestive health. Try brands that are low in sugar and add fresh fruit for an ultra-healthy breakfast or snack.
Eliminate chronic stress.
Some stress can actually boost energy levels, as is the case when a person somehow finds the energy to meet a deadline for a big project. While a little stress now and then can keep life enjoyable and interesting, chronic stress can be draining and unhealthy. Try yoga, meditation, listening to soft music or a warm bath to battle chronic stress.
Have a good chuckle.
Laughter is great medicine for improving the mood and boosting energy. Spend time with humorous people, subscribe to daily email jokes or rent a funny movie.
People generally need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep to be fully rested. Less than six hours of sleep per night on a regular basis results in sleep deprivation and low energy levels. Try these tips for better sleep: use your bed for sleeping only (no reading or television), take a warm bath before bedtime, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and try melatonin – a natural sleep aid – in a pinch.
Get regular, physical exercise.
While at times it may seem like your body needs a good nap, it might be better to take a walk instead. Research suggests that physical exercise on a consistent basis can boost energy levels in people, even those with chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
A review study published in Psychological Bulletin examined 70 studies on exercise and fatigue levels involving over 6,800 subjects. "More than 90% of the studies showed the same thing: Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise," states study author, Patrick O'Connor, PhD.
Don’t reach for a Red Bull the next time fatigue sets in. Instead, try one or all of the nine tips above to naturally boost energy.