My three-year-old seems to have an endless supply of energy. He is ready to go the minute the sun peeks over the horizon. And by ready to go, I mean, he’s ready to play, dance, and run laps around the house… in the morning.
As adults, we tend to burn the candle at both ends, thinking we’re three years old, with an endless supply of energy. We stay up late, work hard, go to bed at irregular hours, and eat on the run. And then we wonder why we can barely crawl out of bed most mornings, let alone hit the ground running.
While we can’t turn back the hands of time, we can get some of that zip back in our step.
Here’s how to lose that lethargic feeling once and for all!
Interestingly, one of the most important things you can do to energize your body is to give it more rest. While experts say people require different amounts of sleep, most people should get between seven and eight hours a night. A lack of sleep has been traced
back to many of our worst health issues.
Note to those trying to lose weight: a lack of sleep can also have a negative effect on your diet, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers tested 10 dieters by reducing their caloric intake moderately. Those who slept a full night of 8.5 hours lost more than half of their total weight loss (about 6.6 pounds) in fat. However, those who slept only 5.5 hours, lost a similar amount of weight, but less of the loss was body fat, with proteins and fat-free body mass making up a bulk of their weight loss.
The sleep deprived also had unfavorable changes in their metabolism during the study. When you don’t sleep enough, you can’t possibly keep up with life’s demands.
When I used to work a 9-5 job, I dreaded the inevitable post-lunch lethargy that had me wanting to crawl under my desk with a pillow around 2 pm or so every day. Turns out, that sleepy feeling was the result of a lunch too rich with carbohydrates.
I tinkered with my meals, eschewing the white bread and snacks for a mix of protein and slower-acting carbs, such as whole wheat pasta and brown rice. In the morning, I swapped cereal or bagels for whole wheat toast and peanut butter.
Rather than candy, I snacked on nuts during the day – rich in protein! What a difference these simple modifications made! Do some research, find out how your body reacts with different foods, and craft your menu to ensure you have energy when you need it.
You’ve Got to Move it, Move it!
Our bodies crave motion. We were built to walk, stretch, run, and boogie. Yet, it’s all too easy to settle into a routine which has us seated for the better part of our day. And when you don’t move, you get rusty, in a sense.
I say this with confidence, knowing that I’ve spent about 80% of my life as inactive as a rock.
Well, a rock who can type on a keyboard. And I’ve felt like crap for, oh say, about 80% of my life. But when I get outside and do something as simple as going for a walk with my child, it’s like someone greased my rusty limbs. The more I walk, the easier it is to get moving the next day.
Find an activity you enjoy – walking, running, dancing, basketball, tennis, etc… Do what you enjoy doing and you’ll have energy for the things you don’t really want to do.
Staying hydrated is important for overall health and keeping your energy levels. Unfortunately, caffeine (found in most so-called energy drinks) is a diuretic, and works to flush water from your body, leaving you feeling dehydrated and sluggish.