Getting older doesn’t mean you should feel tired and low on energy. It should still feel fun to visit family and friends, exercise, or spend time in the garden – these should not feel like a tiring chore. Boosting your energy is possible at any age.
Last month we looked at the key areas of sleep, exercise, hydration, vitamins, herbal remedies, stress reduction and socialising for naturally boosting energy levels, however there is still more that you can do. You can still Read that post here.
In fact, making a few small changes to your daily routine can significantly affect how energetic you feel, along with many other aspects of your health. Try these tips to boost your energy levels daily.
Eat for energy
Eating a healthy diet full of unprocessed wholefoods, fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains such as brown rice and quinoa and quality proteins such as fish or lentils is what will give your body what it needs to make energy.
Ensure foods that provide vitamins that help with converting food into energy, mainly the B group of vitamins, are in your diet. This includes legumes, leafy green vegetables, proteins such as beef, poultry and fish and wholegrains.
There are other foods that are known as ‘energy boosting’. These include oats (not sugar packed packets), banana’s, seeds such as chia, sesame, flaxseed and pumpkin, cinnamon, legumes, avocados, brown rice, sardines and fatty fish, prawns, eggs, sweet potatoes and nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, and walnuts. The key with many of these foods is that they have vitamins and minerals that contribute towards energy production and/or they help with maintaining balanced blood sugar levels, have low a glycemic-index, protein and/or small amounts of healthy fats.
Avoid snack foods and processed foods as they are typically full of preservatives, additives, sodium, trans fat, and artificial ingredients that may slow you down. These foods cause spikes in blood sugar levels and this effects your energy levels.
A well-balanced meal can keep you fuelled for as long as four hours, so another great tip is to eat every four hours or so, to keep a steady flow of energy. It has been found that skipping meals may be linked to fatigue, anxiety, and poor attention. That is why three meals and a good snack or two, each day, will ensure that you’re eating regularly and getting enough food/calories to keep you energised – don’t skip meals.
Limit added sugar
When you feel tired, it can be easy to reach for a sugar-filled snack. Although sugar can give you a short-term energy boost, it also wears off very quickly and can leave you feeling more tired than before.
This is because high sugar foods cause a sharp spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a crash as the body releases a large amount of insulin to transport sugar from the bloodstream to the cells.
One study showed that people experienced 26% more fatigued when they had a diet high in refined carbohydrates and added sugar, compared to when they consumed a diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.
If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your energy levels more stable and reducing fatigue, try eating fresh berries, dried fruit and nuts.
Drinking enough water is incredibly important to your health and energy levels. Dehydration can have a big effect on your brain function, mood, energy levels. If your body is short of fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.
To stay hydrated, a good rule of thumb is to drink water whenever you feel thirsty. If you are very active or live in a hot climate you will need to increase your water intake accordingly.
Additionally, keep in mind that older adults may not always feel thirsty when they need water. As such, they may need to make a conscious effort to drink more throughout the day to stay hydrated.
If you regularly smoke, quitting may be associated with many health benefits, including increased energy levels.
Smoking can reduce the efficiency of your lungs and make you feel tired. Quitting smoking is great for both your energy levels and your overall health.
You know smoking threatens your health. But you may not know that smoking siphons off your energy by causing insomnia. The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant, so it speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it harder to fall asleep. And once you do fall asleep, its addictive power can kick in and awaken you with cravings.
Drinking alcohol can have a sedative effect and may make you feel drowsy and relaxed and although many people think that an alcoholic beverage can be an effective way to fall asleep faster. However, regularly drinking alcohol before bed can actually interfere with the quality of your sleep. If you drink regularly, limiting the amount of alcohol you consume could help increase your energy levels.
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. Overwork can include professional, family, and social obligations. Life can be busy and not everyone is very good at asking for help when they need it. Try to streamline your list of to-do activities. Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks. Pare down those that are less important. Consider asking for extra help when and if necessary. This will stop you from burning the candle at both ends and this in turn helps you better manage your energy levels.
Making the above changes to your life can help improve your overall health and leave you feeling more energised and focused each day. Which will also help you enjoy your daily activities more each day.