What would it look like if you had sustained energy?
>>> How would you start your day?
>>> What activities would you get back to doing?
>>> How would you feel?
Feeling drained, overwhelmed, and low in energy is a common complaint I hear everyday in my practice. Low energy or fatigue can be caused by more than one thing including stress, working long hours, underlying medical condition, over-exercising or having sedentary lifestyle, but it can also be from basic things that we often over look in our day-to-day routine.
Sometimes all your body needs is a boost. Going back-to-the-basics can go a long way to sparking your energy and getting you back on track.
Check out these three tips for sparking your energy today:
Did you know that our body is about 65% water? Water is essential for our body to operate. But for some reason the majority of people are not getting enough water during the day. I mean, some practically none! And yes, soda, coffee, beer, are fluids but do not count towards your water intake…
By drinking enough water during the day can have PROFOUND impacts on your energy because your cells are getting the nutrients they need, your digestion will start to improve, and even your skin will feel and look better.
Its amazing at what just increasing your water can do! Try and drink half your body weight in ounces a day. Ideally, drinking filtered water out of glass bottles is the best. That way you are getting pure water that is free from chemicals or other fillers and drinking out of glass bottles helps to also stay clear of excess chemicals leaking into the water.
Make it work for you! Is your excuse, “I don’t like the taste of water” and that is why you don’t drink it? Well, try adding lemon, cucumber, even mint into your water. Natural, tasty, and gives water the “oomph” it needs and it does not add excess sugar! However, you can get more water in, get it in!
2. Restoring that sleep cycle
Sleep and your energy levels work as a team. They feed off of each other and if one is off so will the other. The reason why we sleep is to give our body a chance to repair and heal from the day’s activities. Our sympathetic nervous system is running all day, “go-go-go” rushing here and rushing there. But when it is time to sleep, our parasympathetic nervous system takes over and your body’s own ability to heal itself kicks in, digestion is restored, and you are ready to go for the next day! But if your sleep is off, your body did not have the opportunity to repair and heal like it needs to and your energy takes the hit. There are so many things that can cause poor sleep. Some of the common ones involve your mind racing before bed aka monkey mind, which prohibits you from falling to sleep in a timely matter. Or you can have the complete opposite that you can fall asleep no problem but wake during the night or even fall asleep and can “just keep sleeping” but don’t wake rested.
One simple trick for those people who have “monkey mind” is to do either a guided mediation or belly breathing when trying to fall asleep. Try belly breathing this evening and see how it helps to relax and calm your mind. Here is how you do belly breathing:
1. Lying or sitting comfortably
2. Place your hand on top of your belly button
3. With each in-breath, try and make your hand rise up (breathing from you belly), once your belly rises, hold your breath for 1 second, then exhale
4. Repeat 5 times. Taking your time with the inhale (can even count to 3 with every inhale: 1-2-3, hold breath, out 1-2-3)
3. Eat real food
Food is medicine. Eating organic when possible, along with staying hydrated, and eating regular meals can go a long way to help with energy.
What are real foods aka whole foods? Think of it as food in its natural state. For example, fruits, veggies, chicken, avocados. Those are whole foods and cooking with whole foods means eating less things that come in packages or have 50 ingredients listed on the label. I know that I am getting whole food when I look at the label at it only contains what is supposed to contain. Or it is simply just the food. Organic is ideal as the food will be free of pesticides. Food that you should buy organic are anything in the “Dirty Dozen” list that is put out by the Environmental Working Group as foods high in pesticides. These include: apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, and potatoes (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php)
Speaking of real food. Meal hygiene is really important to maintaining blood sugar levels and can help combat dips in energy. I consider meal hygiene eating small frequent meals during the day centered on high quality protein and good fats, which are planned out a head of time. Carve out 1 hour on the weekend to do your weekly meal planning to create goals for the week and grocery lists. By making meal planning and preparedness a key part of your routine will not only save you money but it will save you from overwhelm and feeling of “there is nothing I can eat” dreaded feeling people with allergies feel.
Start by practicing these three tips and see how your energy changes. It can be as simple as drinking more water, calming your monkey mind, and making simple changes to your diet to have a profound impact on your energy levels.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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