Life Area: Personal
Do you often find yourself running low on energy late in the day? Or, do you occasionally wake up already tired? Energy Management is as key to success as Task Management and Focus but few people realize that. Conventional wisdom taught us that if you slept eight hours a night, ate right and exercised well, you would have all the energy necessary to accomplish a successful day.
We now know that there are many ways to gain energy, both naturally and unnaturally. It can be easy and convenient to grab an energy drink or coffee when you’re feeling tired, but a cheap-and-quick energy drink will leave you feeling even more fatigued than you initially were once it wears off. Try these natural, clean and easy methods for increasing your energy:
8 Ways to Gain Energy Naturally
STAY HYDRATED. The more water, the better. Staying hydrated keeps your body functioning properly, which in turn keeps your energy levels up. Here’s the popular rule of thumb my clients have heard me say time and again: Drink half your body weight in ounces every day.
REMEMBER CAFFEINE IN MODERATION. Natural caffeine in coffee, green tea, or black tea is a great way to boost your energy level. Caffeine has also been found to stave diabetes, dementia and migraines.
INCREASE YOUR MAGNESIUM INTAKE. Halibut, whole grains and nuts (particularly almonds and cashews) are rich in magnesium. If those don’t appeal to you, take a daily natural supplement. A Department of Agriculture study found that women who had more magnesium in their diet could workout longer and harder at the gym.
GO SMALL. Eat smaller meals more often. By eating a small meal every two to three hours, you maintain your brain’s steady flow of nutrients and avoid fatigue. If you prefer less frequent, larger meals, make sure you don’t skip any. FYI, a portion is the size of your fist.
ADD ANTIOXIDANTS TO YOUR DIET. Blueberries, artichokes, and tomatoes are great examples of foods full of antioxidants, a clean energy source (meaning they can protect the body from energy swings).
DON’T RELY ON SUGAR. Sugar will provide you a temporary increase in energy but a couple hours later and you’ll feel the crash. For a natural boost, try fruits low in fructose like citrus or berries, instead of ones high in sugar such as cherries and mangoes.
INDULGE IN A NAP. Whether you’re a restless sleeper or simply worn out from a long week, don’t be afraid of a short nap. Keep it under 30 minutes so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep schedule. I rarely nap but when I do, I use an app called Power Nap from the makers of my sleep diagnostic app, SleepCycle.
GO FOR A QUICK WALK. A 10 minute walk around the block will get your blood pumping sending oxygen to your brain resulting in a natural energy boost to finish up your day, particularly important for my desk/computer-bound clients.
DRINK LESS ALCOHOL. You might feel as if you’ll sleep soundly with a drink or two in your system before bed but the opposite is true. Alcohol actually disrupts deep REM sleep and will leave you feeling restless the following day.
There you have it, 8 Ways to Gain Energy Naturally. Stay tuned here for a future post where we’ll dive deep into Energy Management.
ENERGY BOOST BONUS
Those of you that have followed me for any length of time know that I love my smoothies. Whether it’s my green drink from the juicer in the morning, my NutriBullet lunch or a mid-day Jamba Juice. Here’s a Blueberry Blast Smoothie recipe to energize your day:
2 cups of plain nonfat yogurt
1 large frozen banana (peeled and placed in a plastic bag overnight)
2 cups of ground flaxseeds
1 cup of blueberries
2 teaspoons of honey
Ice as needed
Blend ingredients using enough ice to make the smoothie cold and thick but not watery.
YOUR ACTION STEP
Try one or two of these energy suggestions and see if they work for you. But give it some time. Don’t sell yourself short because of lacking instant success. Try a few more and soon some or all will become habit for you and you’ll feel the difference.
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