Staying fit and Healthy...

by Matthew Robertson January 06, 2021

Staying fit and Healthy... | Down The Range Coffee

So many times, in life, you want a quick fix. When you feel your energy levels lagging, do you reach for an energy drink or an energy bar that promises to pick you up and give you the energetic boost that you need to carry you throughout your day?  Packed with sugar and caffeine, the effects of energy drinks are often short-lived. With regards to energy bars, some of them are close to eating a chocolate bar. 

Thankfully, there are many natural ways to bring your energy levels up to par and keep it there all day. Below are 12 different ways you can achieve just that.

Exercise Outdoors

Ah, the great outdoors!  When you decide to take your workout outside, there are many energy-lifting benefits you can gain. First, you’re absorbing fresh oxygen and sunshine, which are sure to elevate your senses.

In addition to that, when you’re exercising outdoors, your mind must be aware of the changing terrain, such as winding paths and elevated hills, as opposed to a flat gym floor. It’s all about embracing the environment, and, as a result, it lifts your mood.

Yu get a big dose of vitamin D, and as a result of your mood improving, your energy levels are raised as well. A nice morning walk should get you started off on the right foot, so to speak.

Drink More Water

Are you drinking eight glasses of water each day?  Depending on your activity levels, you may need a little more or a little less.

Why does water intake make a difference in your energy levels?  It matters because when you’re dehydrated, this naturally leads to fatigue. This happens because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain, causing your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to your organs, which, in turn, makes you tired and less alert. When you keep yourself hydrated, you energize your mind and body.

Drink Coffee

That’s right—start up that grinder, inhale those fresh-roasted coffee beans, and brew your favourite cup of Joe. Coffee is a great way to keep your energy flowing throughout the day. It’s a medically proven way to increase alertness and sharpen your mind, thanks to its key ingredient, which is caffeine.

Many controlled human studies prove that coffee improves mental capabilities, which include energy levels, mood, and reaction times. So, the question for many becomes, “How much coffee is too much?”  Well, science says it should be about 400 mg of caffeine a day or four cups of brewed coffee. Although caffeine consumption is safe for adults, it’s, logically, not appropriate for children.

Don’t Smoke

Speaking of fresh air, it goes without saying that smoking cigarettes is as far as you can get from that. You’re probably aware of the many pitfalls of smoking, but did you know it can drain you of energy?

Nicotine is often known to give smokers an ‘energy burst’ after they’ve had a cigarette. However, the big picture is that smoking robs you of energy. It does this by causing insomnia. Once you do eventually fall asleep, you can awaken out of your sleep because you’re craving nicotine. You don’t get enough deep sleep, so, during the day, you’re left feeling fatigued. Cutting cigarettes out of your life can give you back this deep sleep that your body so desperately needs.

Eat Foods High In Protein

Choosing the right foods throughout the day significantly impacts your energy levels. Eating a diet high in protein gives you sustained energy, and not eating enough of it can be a primary reason for fatigue.

Foods that are protein-based give the body the fuel it needs to build and repair tissues. Because protein takes longer for the body to break down than carbohydrates, it’s a longer-lasting source of energy. Excellent sources of protein include lean red meat, such as a good biltong recipe, fish, poultry, eggs, yogurt, and cheese. Sprinkling protein-packed snacks throughout your day is a great way to experience sustained energy.

Don’t Overdo It

How many things are on your to-do list?  One of the main reasons that people become fatigued is they simply have too much on their plate, so to speak. You can overwork yourself professionally, at home with your family, or even socially.

Try lightening your load by streamlining your list into ‘must-do’ activities. Learn to prioritize your tasks so that you always get the most important ones completed. Those that are less important can be saved for another day. Knowing that you’re going to be able to finish the tasks you have set out to complete today means that your energy levels are likely to follow through and support you in your endeavours.

Limit Alcohol

Many people think that having a few alcoholic beverages at bedtime is a sure-fire way to make sure that they have a good night’s sleep. Though drinking alcohol initially makes you drowsy, it has other effects that interfere with sleeping soundly throughout the night. After you fall asleep, the alcohol raises your body’s levels of epinephrine, which is a stress hormone that elevates the heart rate and acts as a stimulant to the body. This may cause you to wake up randomly during your sleep.

In fact, Harvard Health indicates that drinking alcohol accounts for 10% of cases of repeated insomnia. This lack of sleep translates into a more fatigued version of yourself as you move throughout your day. The same goes for drinking alcoholic beverages at lunchtime. Perhaps, nothing else you can do will zap your energy more.

Eat Every Few Hours

It has likely been ingrained in your mind your entire life to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a given schedule each day. Eating three large meals is how it’s typically done. However, what if there’s a better way that’s proven to give more energy? It turns out that there is.

Eating small, frequent meals is the key to boosting your energy. Eating small meals or snacks every two to three hours gives your brain the fuel that it needs to avoid feeling sluggish. It doesn’t have to be a lot. A piece of fruit or a few nuts is adequate. Fuel your mind and body every few hours and lift your energy to the level where it needs to be.

 

 

Increase Your Magnesium Intake

If you find yourself lagging in energy, one reason may be that you have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is responsible for breaking down glucose into energy, so even if your magnesium is a little low, your energy levels can plummet.

Women should be getting around 300 mg a day, and men around 350 mg. You could always take a multivitamin, but if you want to get magnesium through eating food, eat a handful of almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts each day. Eating bran cereal will also give you the magnesium that you need to replace any missing magnesium in your diet.

Take A Power Nap

Isn’t there something so wonderfully decadent about stopping whatever task you’re involved in, and just laying down and closing your eyes for a bit during the day?  Daytime naps are one of the best ways to treat sleep deprivation. The benefits you can get from 15 to 20 minutes of napping are incredible. Taking power naps are a great way to reduce stress, and it can even reduce your risk of heart disease.

Practice Yoga Or Meditation

Taking a few moments out of your day to quiet your mind and centre your thoughts can have a significant impact on your entire day. It may seem like a paradox that meditating can increase your energy, but it can. The same goes for practicing yoga.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo conducted a study that showed that practicing only 25 minutes of Hatha yoga or mindfulness meditation per day can focus the brain’s processing power, helping people to focus easier on carrying out tasks in their daily life.

Laugh More Often

Perhaps, one of the least thought of ways to control stress is to simply laugh!  Laughter is a medically proven form of stress relief. Whether you’re watching your favourite comedy show or hearing a funny story told by your best friend, nothing quite beats the power of laughter.

Laughter has the power to induce a long list of physical changes in your body. Organs are stimulated, and your stress response is stimulated and, then, relieved, which causes relaxation. Most notably, your mood is improved, which is certain to have a positive effect on your energy levels. After all, laughter is a result of positive thoughts, which, in turn, release neuropeptides that fight further stress and strengthen your immune system.




Matthew Robertson
Matthew Robertson

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