Almost everyone can relate to the feeling that there’s just not enough time or energy to “get it all done”. With busy schedules, full-time work, school, and childcare, it’s easy to feel exhausted, but it doesn’t have to be this way!
In this article, you’re going to learn to boost your energy naturally and feel good throughout the day. We have to remember to take care of ourselves, especially when things get busy. Diet and lifestyle tools are some of the best and most sustainable ways to improve energy and feel better in our bodies!
Here are 9 ways to naturally boost your energy
1. Move Your Body
Leading an active lifestyle improves energy, however, you don’t need to join a gym, train for a marathon or even take a fitness class to get fit. An active lifestyle just means moving your beautiful body! Being active improves circulation in the body and boosts mood, both of which naturally enhance energy. You can do this in little ways throughout the day, for example, choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator or taking micro-breaks at work to stand up and stretch every few hours. Even just ending your day with a walk outside with a loved one will make a difference, and you get the added benefits of socializing too!
2. Change Up Your Exercise Routine
A common misconception about exercise is that you have to punish yourself in the gym to reap the benefits, but this is simply not the case! Different types of exercise are beneficial for different outcomes. Exercise does increase energy, however, if done incorrectly it can leave us feeling more depleted than before. A good rule to follow is if you feel more exhausted than energized after your workout, try something new. Avoid intense cardio or high-intensity training, and focus on strength training instead. Pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, and slow, deliberate weight training are all great ways to boost energy!
3. Drink Lemon Water
Drinking lemon water is a simple and easy way to boost energy! It improves mood, promotes weight loss, improves athletic performance, provides antioxidants, lowers inflammation and removes toxins, all the while ensuring we’re well hydrated. Start your morning off with a glass of lemon water, and continue to drink several cups throughout the day. To learn more about the benefits of drinking lemon water click here!
4. Create a Bedtime Ritual
One of the best and yet most elusive ways to boost energy is through good quality sleep. Sleep is where our cells heal, repair, rejuvenate and recharge!
However, in this fast-paced, busy world it’s hard to unwind and ensure we get those crucial 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Creating a bedtime ritual is one way to promote sleep. Performing a bedtime ritual every night before sleeping primes our brain to expect sleep after it’s done.
A few tips for a healthy bedtime ritual include: stop using screens one hour before the desired bedtime, no snacking before bed, and to drink a cup of relaxing herbal tea, such as valerian root, passionflower or chamomile. Other things to include in your bedtime ritual are laying out your clothes for the next day, prepping your breakfast, and reading before bed. These little things can calm the mind and help you feel ready for the day ahead.
5. Sit in Silence
Stress saps us of energy! In times of stress, the body raises a hormone called cortisol. Although cortisol is often dubbed the “stress hormone”, it’s also responsible for regulating metabolism, lowering inflammation, balancing blood sugar and blood pressure, and regulating sleep.
Prolonged exposure to stress raises cortisol levels and disrupts all the other processes cortisol is responsible for. Mindfulness practices have been proven to lower physiological markers of stress, modulate cortisol, improve mood, and boost energy! Simply sitting quietly for 10 minutes a day and feeling the sensations in your body can help lower stress and promote mental resilience.
6. Skip the Sugar
Although sugar may give us a short-term energy boost, it often leads to energy crashes. The rise and fall of blood sugar have massive effects on our energy throughout the day, and sugar is one food that spikes blood sugar the most! Excess sugar also promotes weight gain and other health complications that impact energy. Instead of reaching for dessert in times of stress, focus on real whole foods, move your body, or reach out to a friend.
7. Eat Clean
Food provides fuel for our bodies! A whole foods diet is a great way to sustain energy throughout the day and reduce fatigue. Load up on fresh fruits and veggies, protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Food is fuel, so we need to make sure we’re eating enough throughout the day. Busy schedules can lead to skipping meals and then making up those meals with empty calories later. Snacking is fine, but make sure you’re snacking on the right things. Some great on the go, energy-boosting snacks include, hard boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, veggies and hummus, and fresh fruit dipped in nut butter.
Try these Mason Jar Snacks, they’re great for on the go and you can prep them ahead of time!
8. Try Herbs
Herbs are powerful tools to boost energy. Some herbs promote relaxation, which improves sleep and reduces stress, while other herbs can be used to boost energy. Some relaxation herbs include lavender, lemon balm, and passionflower. The herbs that help boost energy are often a class of herbs called adaptogens. These herbs help our body regulate cortisol and improve energy! Examples include holy basil, ashwagandha, maca, and ginseng. When you feel that mid-day slump, instead of reaching for the coffee try an adaptogenic tea instead! *Be sure to reach out to your care provider before using herbs if you’re on any other medications or have a health condition.
9. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
I know it sounds counterintuitive, caffeine is supposed to wake us up! Caffeine is a stimulant, so although it increases energy and alertness in the short-term, in the long-run or in high amounts, caffeine can cause fatigue, increase anxiety and disrupted sleep cycles. Think of caffeine as a credit card, you may get improved energy upfront, but eventually, you’ll have to pay that energy back and sometimes with interest! The things we add to caffeine, especially sugar, can also negatively impact our energy. However, it’s not all bad foods that contain caffeine. Coffee, tea, and cacao also contain antioxidants and other health-supportive nutrients. Instead of cutting out caffeine completely, opt for high-quality products and reduce your intake. Try starting your day with a small cup of coffee, but switching to green tea afterward.