11 Daily Habits That Can Boost Your Energy Levels So You Don't Always Need Coffee
Everyone feels lazy occasionally, but if you constantly feel like it's a struggle to get out of bed and stop watching Netflix, you may need a lifestyle overhaul. What you do daily can affect how motivated and active you feel, so it's important to pick up on habits that can boost your energy levels. It might seem counterintuitive, but the more you get your butt up and do these activities, the more natural energy you'll feel.
"Energy levels are very dependent on how we treat our body," says Dr. Scott Schreiber over email. "A sedentary, unhealthy person will have less energy because their body has been accustomed to sitting and inactivity. In a nutshell, our bodies use energy to accomplish mandatory tasks, like digestion and breathing. If we treat our bodies poorly, energy will be converted to dealing with or repairing the problem, taking away from your vitality."
Luckily, you're not doomed to feel lethargic just because you feel that way now. Switch up your daily routine, and you may find yourself feeling better. If you want to feel more energetic naturally, consider doing these 11 habits daily, as they can help fight fatigue and have you ready to take on the world.
1. Staying Hydrated
"Water is also essential for metabolism," says Lisa Hayim, RD over email. In fact, A study from the Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration can cause moodiness, fatigue, and problems concentrating — so drink up.
It might sound counterintuitive, but the more you exert your physically, the more energy you'll have. Research published in the Psychological Bulletin found that exercising improves your energy and fights fatigue more so than a stimulant. "Even just a couple push ups next to the bed, or even some jumping jacks or light yoga is enough to get oxygen into your cells, boost your metabolism, and even your brain power," says Hayim.
3. Going Outside
A series of studies from the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being outside in nature makes people feel more alive, helping people to feel more energetic and boost their mood. "Sunlight is the only natural way that we make vitamin D," says Schrieber. "Vitamin-D deficiency has been linked to poor energy and stamina."
4. Getting Adequate Sleep
You can't expect to feel productive and energized without adequate rest. "This is the single biggest determinant of mood and energy levels, especially in the morning," says Chandra Duggirala, MD over email. "Your body repairs itself during sleep, and your immune system is activated during sleep. Your brain rejuvenates during sleep by flushing all the metabolic toxins that are accumulated during the day. Memories also consolidate during sleep. Poor sleep leads to mood and memory as well as emotional issues."
"A quick chat and lighthearted conversations with friends or colleagues and even strangers elevates mood and improves energy levels, especially for extroverted people," says Duggirala. "Our brain is evolutionarily designed to respond to social rewards strongly."
"Eating four to five small meals evenly spaced through out the day will keep energy levels up, avoid starvation, and improve mood," says Duggirala. Foods high in complex carbohydrates are great for boosting energy levels, according to a study from the International Journal of Food Sciences And Nutrition, but other good energy-boosting foods include eggs, yogurt, avocado, and nuts.
7. Practicing Yoga
Yoga may seem like a way to just relax, but it can also improve your energy levels off the mat. Multiple studies show that even as little one yoga class a week is effective at treating chronic fatigue, improving overall mood, wellbeing, and energy.
8. Enjoying A Good Laugh
"Laughing is, literally, a workout," says Erin Stair, MD, MPH to Bustle over email. "You stretch and contract muscles and end up sending more oxygen to your tissues, which invigorates you. Not to mention, it naturally improves your immune system and reduces your stress level, also things that help one maintain a healthy energy level and avoid sickness."
9. Taking A Nap
Naps aren't just for kids. Taking a strategic midday slumber can leave you more alert, improve your memory, and even increase your creativity, according to multiple studies. Just make sure you keep your nap under 30 minutes for best results.
10. Chewing Gum
Feeling that afternoon slump? Pop in a piece of gum. A study from the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that chewing gum can increase alertness and lead to changes in cognitive performance. However, don't overdue it when it comes to the treat, as you still want to keep your jaw health in tact!
11. Staying Positive
"Some evidence shows that being negative about your life or work literally drains you," says Stair. "The theory as to why remains mysterious, but thinking negatively causes you to think more narrowly and get stuck in thought patterns that are depressing and unproductive." If you're having a hard time staying upbeat, try meditating or keeping a gratitude journal.
Picking up these habits can help give you the boost you need, but if you feel that your energy levels are abnormally low, talk to your doctor to see if there may be an underlying cause for your fatigue.
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