How to Boost Your Energy

And no! The answer to how to boost your energy is not (always) coffee!

We all have off days, but there is a clear difference between a flumpy bad day and those long, terrible, spells of being unable to concentrate, feeling like every task is an insurmountable hurdle, and just wanting to sleep.
 

That was me at the start of the week. Like most of you I started by fighting against it. There was no obvious reason for feeling worn out. My sleep had been good. In bed at least 8 hours every night, but fighting the 7am alarm. Okay, it could be better but I blame that on George R R Martin, as I have found myself addicted to the Game of Thrones books and I’m demolishing a book a week. Not bad at around a thousand pages each!

So last night I made sure the Kindle was put down by 11.
 
There is way more to boosting energy levels than sleep, and none of these energising tips are instant magic bullets. They require patience, a trust in the process, and some hard work. But they do make a massive difference, and I feel full of energy today
 

Have a regular sleep pattern 🛌

As mentioned above, before you stress about getting ‘enough’ sleep, ensure you have a regular sleep pattern. Your body needs routine for recovery, so work on this, then you can add more sleep time later if needed. More than any of the other tips below, sorting out your sleep will have an enormous impact on your ability to maintain consistent energy throughout the day.

Schedule a 20 minute nap 😴

I love my naps, but I do go by feel. I will schedule time on busy days to lie down on the sofa for 20 minutes, and after runs of over 60 minutes I will do the same, but if I don’t feel I need that nap to recover and increase my energy I will instead carry on with the day.

Drink plenty of water 🥛

This is my biggest challenge to keeping energy levels up as I no longer have the same drinking habits. When I was in the gym I was chatting all day, plus the air conditioned environment isn’t great for me, so I drank constantly. At home I am not chatting anywhere near as much. My favoured solution is to carry my water bottle around everywhere so I just grab a drink without thinking. It helps most of the time, but I do keep an eye on the colour of my pee and will go and grab extra drinks if it is dark.

Cut the carbs 🥗

Are you reaching for a sugar kick when energy levels drop? This is a destructive habit that will not serve you in any way. Controlling your blood sugar levels is important to managing overall energy. Every time you have an enormous meal, or high carbohydrate meal/snack, you will get a rise in blood sugar levels and a resultant release of insulin to bring it back down. But because sugars are absorbed into the blood so quickly the insulin release will bring the sugar levels down too far, too quickly. At this point you will want nothing more than a snooze whilst you body tries to sort itself out, and after that you will ‘need’ another snack to bring them up…. you end up in this cycle that is hard to get out of. Controlling your blood sugar levels by eating high fibre meals rich in a variety of vegetables, with some protein and fat, is key to breaking the cycle. For almost all of us snacking is just a way to eat additional calories that you don’t need

Meditate and journal 🧘‍♀️

Writing stuff down is known to help you relax and sleep. why? Because once it is on paper your brain is better able to process your problem. Writing your stresses down at bedtime is like tidying up. You still have to deal with the rubbish, but your mind feels clear in the here and now, and that can really help sleep. Meditation can, with practice, have a similar affect. I love the Waking Up app and you can get a free month to trial it with this link. It won’t boost your energy directly, but it really helps with sleep.

Move 🚶‍♂️

When you are feeling tired and sluggish exercise will be the last thing on your mind. However, to boost your energy you need a flow of oxygen to the brain, and exercise does exactly this. Moving is exercising, but it is often helpful to differentiate between different intensity levels. Movement is less structured. It can mean an easy walk in the morning sunshine, 5 minutes of a yoga video, a gentle mobility routine (like this one), stretching or even just getting up from the desk and walking around the room/office. Whatever you do leave you feeling more energised, not less.

Exercise when you feel you are at your best 🏋️

There will be certain times of the day when you will notice you do feel energy levels are higher. utilise these times to do some more structured exercise. Remember is doe snot have to feel difficult to be of a great benefit. Lifting weights and kettlebell practice are great exercises as you can give yourself longer rest periods and still feel that you are gaining benefit. If you feel you can do a more intense session, great! Make sure you allow a good 10 minutes for gentle warming down at the end as this can also help with recovery and not feeling shattered after exercising

Utilise the awesome power of coffee. ☕

I did say at the start that coffee is not the answer to how to boost your energy levels, but it is one possible answer, in the right context, and not too frequently. The caffeine is an energy booster but this comes at a price. Not only might you find that you struggle even more later in the day, it can affect sleeping patterns, and the more caffeine you have, the less effective it becomes, so you reach for more. And more. And more…

There we go, 8 ways to boost your energy: 

Have a regular sleep pattern 🛌
Schedule a 20 minute nap 😴
Drink plenty of water 🥛
Cut the carbs 🥗
Meditate and journal 🧘‍♀️
Move 🚶‍♂️
Exercise when you feel you are at your best 🏋️
Utilise the awesome power of coffee. ☕

Let me know how you get on!

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