Fight Fatigue! 10 Ways to Improve Energy
June 04, 2009 - Linda Grasso
Are you feeling fed up with fatigue? Do you sometimes feel like napping after lunch? Are you ever nervous wondering how you’re going to last through a late party when you’ve been on-the-go since dawn? You’re not alone. Many women long for the energy they had in their twenties. With that in mind, we asked Integrative Nutritionist Elissa Goodman to come up with some ways to improve energy. Here are Elissa’s top 10 Sure-Fire Energy Boosters:
1. Get plenty of sleep. It’s proven that sleep enhances performance, learning and memory. Get 8 hours of sleep per night.
2. Get moving! Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your energy. Go for a walk, hit the gym and do weight-bearing exercises, or give yoga a try. Studies have shown that those who practice yoga have lower levels of stress hormones and, in turn, have more energy.
3. Meditate & breathe deeply. Spend 15 minutes first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Sit, close your eyes, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. Meditating has a simple goal: feeling peaceful and content - connecting with the peace in that moment and not thinking about the past or the future.
4. Pace yourself. As life speeds up, it’s tempting to go fast to accomplish more. However, this pace will only strip your gears and deplete your resources. Try to remember the simple pleasure of doing and enjoying one thing at a time. The reality is you don’t reach worthwhile goals in a flurry of movement, but through single-minded focus and quiet, patient resolve.
5. Eat high quality and organic foods. Energy and health starts in the kitchen by choosing to eat your food as close to the way Nature made them as possible. Antioxidant-rich leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale and collards are particularly beneficial. But don’t just go green when it comes to fruits and veggies. Choose from an array of colors to benefit from a plethora of antioxidants. Go for the red beets, the orangey papaya, and the yellow squash. Limit baking, boiling and blanching and as well as seasoning and sauces. The more natural a food is when you eat it, the more nutrients it’ll have to boost immunity, ward off disease and promote youthful vitality. Also, look at labels. If there are a lot of words on there you don’t understand, chances are the food isn’t very natural. Opt for something else.
6. Eat frequently and lightly. The best way to maintain energy throughout the day is to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner along with 2 snacks in between. Eat until satisfied, and then stop! Because eating light places less of a burden on digestive system, you’ll feel lighter and more energetic.
7.Keep your body hydrated. At a cellular level, dehydration makes us as droopy as a neglected violet. Drinking just any “liquids” won’t do. Although herbal tea, freshly extracted vegetable juice, and diluted fruit juice can count in the water tally, coffee, tea, colas and alcoholic beverages dehydrate the body. They’re wet, but they’re not water; in fact, they’re anti-water. Limit wine and alcohol intake to one 8-ounce glass per day. Red wine has more health benefits (primarily cardiovascular) than white. Cut back on tea and coffee – eventually limiting to one 8-ounce cup a day. Green Tea, which is packed with anti-oxidants, is the preferred caffeinated drink. You can also get it decaffeinated. We need to maintain proper fluid balance for brain and kidney function, to rid the body of waste material and toxins, and to maintain radiant health. For that reason, women should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
8. Fill in with high quality supplements. Since we don’t always maintain perfect health on all fronts, certain supplements can help cover nutrition. Look for a product with folic acid (400 mcg), vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin C (200 mg), vitamin D (1000 IU), natural vitamin E (400 IU), selenium (200 mg) and vitamin A as mixed carotenes, not as retinol. If you are not getting 1,000 -1200 mg of calcium a day in your diet, choose a calcium carbonate or calcium citrate (people with decreased stomach acid, usually over 50 yrs old have a harder time absorbing calcium citrate). You need at least 1000 mg of Omega 3 daily. I like the Nordic Natural brand for Omegas. Look for products guaranteed to be free of mercury and other contaminants, offering a mix of EPA and DHA.
9.Laugh a lot. According to researchers, laughter releases endorphins in to the body, and these act as natural stress reducers and energy boosters. A good belly laugh gives your heart muscles a good workout, improves circulation, fills your lungs with oxygen-rich air, clears your respiratory passages, stimulates alertness hormones, helps relieve pain and counteracts fear, anger, and depression all of which are linked to stress and illness.
10.Be thankful. Each and everyday, take a moment and be grateful for all you have in life. Gratitude, after all is a great energy booster. What you consistently think about brings more of the same into your life. So focus on the positive even during difficult times.
Elissa Goodman is a Certified Integrative Nutritionist. She can be reached at [email protected] .
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