Do you ever look at your kids and wish you had their boundless energy? I do – every.single.day. When I first meet with my personal training clients, almost every single one of them say they have little to no energy. They work all day and come home with no energy left to give to their family. They want more energy to play catch with their kids, go on family bike rides, and to generally feel better. We may never know where kids get their endless energy, but these 6 tips will help you increase your energy levels so you can show up the way you want to in your life.
1. Minimize stress
I know this is easier said than done, but minimizing your stress is an effective way to take control of your energy levels. There are stressers that we cannot avoid, but there are a great deal of stressers that we can avoid. For instance, if you get stressed out by seeing friend’s Pinterest-worthy birthday parties or beautiful vacations on Facebook, maybe it’s time to take a social media break. If you find yourself stressed after spending time with certain people, consider the adverse effects it’s having on your health – and energy levels. Pay attention to what you’re spending your time and stress on, and make changes if you can. Engaging in stress-relieving activities can also improve energy levels. Practices like yoga and meditation will help you manage your stress, which will improve your energy.
2. Prioritize your workload
Our to-do lists are never-ending, aren’t they? There always seems to be things that need to get done that interrupt the things we want to be doing like playing board games with our family. The truth is, not all of those projects need to get done. Prioritize your to-do list, based on what needs to get done and what would be nice to get done. Recognizing that not everything needs to get done now will open up more time to do what you want, and the freedom from some of those tasks will increase your energy to do other, more enjoyable things.
It seems counter intuitive that expending energy would give you more energy, but it’s true. Regular exercise has been proven to increase blood flow in your body and improves your cardiovascular health and fitness – both of which lead to more energy. Also, exercising causes your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which release your stress and provide a feeling of boosted energy.
4. Fuel your body
There are nutrient-dense foods that fuel your body with nutrients that give you energy. Then, there are foods that feed the hunger in your body, but do nothing for the actual nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Feeding your body with excess carbs and added sugars might spike your energy for a short period, but will ultimately end up in an energy crash, leaving your body hungry for more, just a short time later. Eat foods that fuel, not just feed, your body like whole grains, high-fiber veggies, healthy oils and fats, and protein-packed snacks.
5. Stay hydrated
When your body is short of fluids, it reacts with a feeling of fatigue and lack of energy. In addition to helping you stay alert and focused, water has other medical benefits like carrying nutrients to your cells, helping digestion, normalizing blood pressure, and maintaining sodium balance. For my clients, I recommend they drink at least half of their body weight in ounces of water per day. For a 150 pound person, that’s 75 ounces of water each day. You can track your water intake in various fitness apps until you form a habit of drinking enough each day!
6. Have a latte
This is my favorite tip! A little dose of caffeine is a good option if you need a quick pick- me-up. Your small caffeine dose should be paired with the tips above, not instead of! Plus, adding milk to your coffee will give you a protein drink that offers the extra energy you’re looking for. Enjoy a quick on-the-go protein-filled snack to really boost your energy. Pick one or two of these tips to incorporate into your daily routine. Then, once you create a habit, compound your energy by working through this list. I have no doubt that you’ll see both short-term and long-term benefits in your life.