3 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENERGY LEVELS
As a Holistic Nutritionist there are 2 questions that I ‘always’ get asked when I am at social events:
1- Can you help me lose weight? ? and 2- I am always tired, do you have a cure for that?
Today my focus is on the latter; low energy.
WHY AM I ALWAYS TIRED?
Occasional fatigue or a dip in energy after a physically or mentally demanding day or even a week is not unusual and easily cured by relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep. However, if low energy is consistent without a cause then you may want to evaluate these common causes:
The human body is made up of trillions of cells and each of these cells needs water to function and to make energy. If the cells are dehydrated they are unable to make energy, hence the body will have low energy levels and more fatigue. Water is also needed to flush out toxins from the body, the less water available, the more toxins being carried by the body and more energy being used up by these toxins leaving even less for the person. Sufficient water intake also reduces hunger which reduces overeating and can help maintain a healthy weight. So how much water is enough? Conventional theories suggest 6-8 glasses of water per day for an adult. However, the amount of water required depends on the weight of an individual hence use this formula to determine how much water YOU require.
HYDRATION FORMULA: Your weight x 0.5 = oz of water per day e.g. 140lbs x 0.5 =70oz = approx. 8.75 glasses of water, assuming the glass size is 8oz.
Do the calculation for your body and if you are not meeting your daily requirements of water try increasing it and see a difference.
There are many research studies confirming that while we sleep the body heals and repairs itself thereby preparing for the demands of the next day. If sleep is insufficient in length and quality, then fatigue can result. The minimum number of hours of sleep for an adult is 7hrs, however it may be higher for some people. E.g. I feel well rested after 9 hrs sleep, I would be a mid afternoon zombie if I only got 7 hrs a night, so I make sleep a priority by going to bed early. Yes, that does mean that I get less done in the evening, but then my days are more productive. It is very important to make sleep a priority as lack of it will cause weight gain, insulin resistance, higher stress levels, fatigue and higher chances of obesity. Also ensure that there is no light in the bedroom at night, we use Blackout curtains so light doesn’t peek in early morning and we ensure all light sources are switched off in the room at bedtime. Light prohibits the production of the sleep inducing hormone Melatonin, this is also why it is advisable to avoid all screen time (smart phones, laptops, tv etc.) a couple of hours prior to bedtime.
3. PHYSICAL MOVEMENT
Okay so I know many people are either not interested in this or ‘think’ they don’t have the time but believe me physical exercise gives you ‘more’ energy. It boosts circulation, strengthens the heart, releases neurotransmitters that provide physical and mental boost, fights anxiety and depression and improves the mood.
I have experienced this several times after my Tuesday afternoon Hatha Yoga class. This class is at 12.30pm and I am always reluctant to go to it as it’s the middle of the workday and I am swamped with work. However, every time I have gone (including today) I have come back with more energy, more vitality, more motivation and a lot chirpier (thanks Shaili and yogaandlifestyle)!
Now I am not suggesting you leave work in the middle of the day but pick your time and pick an exercise that appeals to you; swimming, walking, dancing, gymming, yoga, anything- just pick one and try it twice a week for 1 month and see how it feels. Even if you only start with 15mins a day, just do it!
So, if you have been battling with low energy try incorporating the above suggestions and keep a look out for part 2 of this post which will focus on diet, vitamin deficiency and other possible causes of low energy!