It’s not a surprise that many of us feel tired or low on energy a lot of the time. It could be because we find ourselves running from meeting to meeting, doing work late into the night, or running errands. It can sometimes feel like we’re going non-stop from the time we jump out of bed until we hit our beds at night.
Whether you’re uber busy or just doing your usual day-to-day tasks, low energy is something a lot of people struggle with. Data from the Center for Disease Control indicated that that at least 1 in every 8 women under age 65 feels they have very low energy almost all of the time. Unfortunately, even an extra shot of espresso or that little assistance from your can of red bull sometimes can’t help shift you back into higher gear.
“Luckily, you can feel better with just a few easy and small changes,” says Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown, owner of Fly | A Fitness Revolution. Here are 5 health research-based strategies Jenni says will help you get your mojo back so you’re ready to power through your day.
- Take a walk. A brief, 10-minute walk is just the ticket for increasing your energy and boosting blood flow. Researchers in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that participants who walked briskly for just 10 minutes had increased energy for up to 2 hours afterwards. Jenni says moving your body is one of the simplest and easiest ways to quickly boost energy and mood. “More oxygen and blood to the muscles and brain will immediately boost your mood and lift your energy,” she says.
- Take a vitamin (or two). One of the biggest sources of fatigue is depletion of vitamins, minerals or hormone imbalances. Specifically, Jenni suggests starting simple by taking a vitamin D and/or iron supplement if you are running low on energy. When depleted, low iron and vitamin D levels can be the cause of low energy as well as mood changes. If you want to look into it, go to a doctor and have your levels checked to see for sure. You can also add foods that increase your iron and vitamin D levels, such as rich leafy greens for iron. However, vitamin D isn’t as easy to get through diet. So make sure your levels are up to snuff so that you’re not feeling the drag.
- Eat to fuel your body. Make sure you are eating a lot of vegetables, nuts and beans to help fuel your body. Eat as many green foods as you can, and decrease sugary foods and alcohol to a moderate level. Jenni suggests eating foods that make you feel good afterward, rather than just in the moment.
- Connect with people who energize you. Jenni encourages meeting people that “fill your cup” or those that leave you feeling better, rather than worse. We all know people who not only suck our time, but they suck our energy. Jenni says that while some of these relationships are necessary and part of daily life, she says we should try to limit negative interactions or those that deplete us. Instead, she says we should try to focus on relationships and connections that foster a positive sense of well being. In addition, Jenni notes that social media should be used to energize rather than drain you. If you find yourself feeling depressed or down after looking at your Instagram or feeling like you can’t keep up, Jenni says that’s your clue – it’s time to turn it off because it’s become a drain.
- A great sweat sesh is one of the best things for upping your energy when you feel tired. It may seem like exactly the opposite of what you want to do when tired. That is, go jump on a spin bike and ride for 45 minutes. But the truth is, if you just show up, your body and mind will do the rest. When you exercise, your body releases adrenaline and serotonin and you are more inclined to ignore fatigue and pain signal. With increased blood flow and endorphins pumping, your elevated mood can be boosted for hours. Research has shown that even 20 minutes of vigorous exercise can give significant energy boosts over those who didn’t exercise.
As the number of holiday parties and time commitments increases, it’s easy to be left feeling drained of energy. Practice one (or all) of these tips to boost your energy when you’re feeling low and jump right back in. You can also stop in any day of the week for your dose of endorphins at Fly – we’re always here for 45 minutes of adrenaline.