13 ways to improve your energy levels

Always tired? Increase your energy levels with these effective tips.

Many of us are chronically tired and depend on several cups of caffeine to get through the day. Follow these simple tips to tackle your tiredness and naturally increase your energy levels.

  1. Start your day with a good breakfast. Do not skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast will lower your blood sugar levels and make you feel tired and crave unhealthy foods. A high quality, nutritious breakfast will provide you with much needed nutrients, and provide a steady supply of sugar without the highs and lows that come with a poor quality breakfast such as sugar-laden cereal or cookies and coffee.
  2. Do not eat unhealthy snacks containing refined sugar or excessive sodium and trans fats . Snack on fruits or nuts and seeds which have plenty of nutrients and fibre to satiate you.
  3. Have whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods for lunch and dinner. These are nutrient dense and naturally low in calories and will provide you with much needed energy throughout your day.
  4. Do not avoid carbohydrates. All carbs are not created equal. It’s foolish to place a donut and a banana under the same umbrella. Refined carbs such as donuts are poor quality and essentially junk providing only empty calories (and bad fats). A high quality complex carbohydrate such as a banana or any other fruit provides nutrients, fibre and a steady supply of blood sugar levels without which you will feel tired. Remember, the body’s preferred source of fuel is carbohydrate and the brain’s preferred source of fuel is also carbohydrate. So choose wisely and provide your body and brain with the fuel it needs so that you can feel your best.
  5. Avoid sugar. Sugar gives you a sudden high and a subsequent crash which makes you feel tired. Sugar also uses up many nutrients in its conversion to energy, making your body depleted in essential nutrient, adding to your tiredness.
  6. Exercise. Sitting for long periods of time will make you feel tired. Get up, move around and exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week. Exercise releases endorphins that makes you happy and gives you energy.
  7. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 8 cups of pure water a day. Do not include caffeinated drinks or other beverages in your water quota. Many of us are dehydrated without us realizing it but if you feel more tired than normal, you need to up your water intake.
  8. Avoid excessive screen time and visual stimulation. Most of us these days are on our phones far more than we realize. Be it social media or even binge watching our favourite series on the phone. This serves to make our eyes and brain very tired. Give your phone (and yourself) a break and close your eyes for a few minutes whenever you find yourself reaching for your phone.
  9. Practice yoga and/ or meditation. Yoga and meditation can relax and rejuvenate you, making you feel less tired.
  10. Lose some weight. If you’re overweight, it could be your excess weight causing you to feel tired. Many people find that they have more energy and feel less tired after they lost some weight.
  11. Do a detox. Sure, the body has its own detoxification organs, but if your diet has ever been less than optimal, your detoxification organs, aka liver and kidneys are overworked and need a little detoxification themselves. Doing a proper detox will rid your body of long-accumulated toxins and provide you with more energy after the detoxification period is over (although keep in mind, many people feel more tired when the detox is under way).
  12. Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. This might seem obvious, but many people somehow do not realize that the human body is designed in such a way that lack of sleep makes you feel tired. Sleep rests and rejuvenates the body and is essential for good health. Many people seem to think that coffee is their answer to their tiredness but is it really? When you need several cups of coffee to get through your day, you should know that your body needs a lot of sleep and that coffee doesn’t repair damaged cells in your body. It’s like whipping a tired horse. You may get an immediate boost, but ultimately you aren’t helping yourself.
  13. Ask your doctor to have your iron and thyroid levels checked. Many people have an iron deficiency which makes them feel tired. Many people may have hypothyroidism, which also makes people tired.

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