When you are running low on physical energy, focus on these 10 ways to create more energy in your life.
Many people believe they are simply stuck with the energy they have. You may think, for example, that you are a naturally low-energy person who will never be able to run a marathon, take that HIIT class, or play with your kids after a long day at work.
What you might not realize is that there are several simple things you can do to increase physical energy, and in turn, do more of the things you love. While improving any one of these energy sources can improve your overall energy, improving as many sources as possible is the ultimate way to live an energetic life.
- Prioritize Sleep
This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, but many people still neglect quality sleep and suffer the consequences for it. Sleep isn’t just a time for your body to rest properly, it’s a time for your brain and body to recover from the day.
During sleep, your body enters into a state of restoration and you need restoration to maintain and increase your energy throughout the day. In fact, most people need 7-9 hours a night to remain fully functional.
Although nothing can replace quality sleep, naps can positively impact your neurobehavioral performance, and get you through the day following a bad night of sleep. You may find that you have more energy after a quick cat-nap. However, don’t take a nap too late in the day or you may disrupt your sleep at night.
- Optimize Your Nutrition
Eating healthy foods such as fruit, fish, yogurt, eggs, leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains can provide you with more energy throughout the day.
Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not bad for you. Only simple carbs are. When you eat the right kinds of carbs, they can be an excellent source of energy. Not all carbs are created equal though, and not everybody responds to carbs the same way. If you are in need of more energy, try eating different complex carbs such as whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, or lentils.
Avoiding fast foods, overly processed foods, and added sugars will also help you preserve your energy levels. These foods often result in blood sugar spikes and, later on, blood sugar crashes.
- Make Time for Exercise
When you exercise you expend energy, but you also develop more energy over time. Exercising gives you endorphins and makes you stronger, and endorphins and strength give you more energy. If you have been training for a 5k race, for example, walking up the three flights of stairs to your office may not seem nearly as tedious.
Exercising also helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body more efficiently. It improves your cardiovascular system, making your heart and lungs healthier.
If you seem to always have excuses surrounding exercise, do your best to overcome them. Try hiring a physical trainer or coach to help guide you.
- Strengthen Your Musculoskeletal Structure
Strengthening your musculoskeletal structure has a compound effect on your exercise regimen. You can increase your energy by reinforcing good posture while completing your daily routines. If you have structural problems in your frame, they can physically hinder your movement.
When you strengthen your structure, you lower your risk for injurious movement. The less time you have to spend moving and recovering, the more energy you will have for other things.
By providing yourself with a well-structured body, you can reduce your risk for pain and injury. You can also improve your physical skills and fuel confidence.
- Improve Your Flexibility
Flexibility can also enhance your energy levels. By stretching your muscles, you can help release tension and improve your ability to move. Many people find that the act of stretching helps them become more in tune with their body. Stretching becomes increasingly important as people age and their flexibility naturally decreases.
To fuel your energy levels and prevent injury down the road, keep up with your stretching. A stretch first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day. Stretching is especially important if you have a desk job.
- Consider Detoxification
Depending on your body’s needs, a detoxification diet can give your body a maintenance period and help you improve your energy levels. By allowing your body to detox, you can evaluate any substances that may be wearing it down without you even noticing. This subtle wear and tear on your body can be a huge energy drain.
Speak with a doctor before you try a detox diet. Finding the right detox for you could drastically improve your energy levels.
- Reduce Stress
Stress definitely has an impact on our energy levels, although not always in the ways you might think. More and more research is showing that it’s not so much stress itself, but how we respond to stress that determines the impact it has on us.
Someone who believes stress will kill them will likely feel drained by stress in their life. On the other side, those who believe that stress is a catalyst for their best work will use it as fuel to push themselves further.
Stress can also have a positive impact on the immune system. Certain types of exercise that put your body under stress can actually strengthen the body and create more energy.
- Focus on Breathing
Breathing is essential for survival and energy. It is how your body circulates oxygen in the blood stream. Breathing is directly related to your parasympathetic nervous system.
Focusing on proper breathing techniques can help you increase or decrease energy. Be mindful of your breathing throughout the day.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Nearly 60% of the adult human body is water so don’t forget to drink up if you want to feel your most energetic.
Dehydration decreases energy because it slows the flow of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. Your cardiovascular system has to work harder to provide the same nutrients to the body.
Rather than reaching for that second or third cup of coffee, chug a large glass of water instead. The water will keep you hydrated and will help you stay energized. Keep a water bottle with you at all times as a constant reminder to yourself to hydrate.
- Prevent Problems
Proactively taking care of your health is one of the best things you can do to increase your energy. By taking care of your health and preventing problems before they arise, you are protecting the energy you have access to in the future.
This preservation even works on a micro-scale. For example, by meal prepping, you may feel less tempted to eat fast food. By going to bed earlier, you may feel less fatigued the next day.
Take care of your health before it is too late. Make time to exercise to prevent health problems later on. Make time to shop for healthy organic foods. Make time to focus on self-care to prevent burnout. It’s much easier to prevent problems now than it is to fix them down the road.
The Bottom Line
While improving any one of these energy sources can improve your overall energy, improving as many sources as possible is the way to live an energetic life. If you feel like you are stuck in a cycle of low physical energy, you don’t have to stay there. There is a wealth of resources available to you to help you create more energy in your life. Oftentimes, the more steps you take to create energy, the easier it gets.
What is your go-to way to create more physical energy for yourself? Let us know in the comments!