By JoAnne Romanelli, CHHC, AADP
Board Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach
Can you imagine waking up after 7 hours of sleep and feeling completely refreshed, skipping your morning coffee and never experiencing the dreaded afternoon crash? Can you actually feel energized all day long? Yes you can!
Two-thirds of Americans describe their current energy level as exhausted or drained. Having low energy creates a ripple effect in your life and affects everything you do. Making simple lifestyle changes can help create natural lasting energy in your life.
How is it that we are a nation of coffee drinkers YET most of us feel exhausted and burned out? Your body produces adrenaline every time you have caffeine, such as coffee or soda. This adrenaline creates a fight or flight situation in your body: your heart rate accelerates and you feel “energized”. When the adrenaline wears off, so does your energy leaving you feeling tired and moody. Most of us turn to more caffeine to lift us up. These constant highs and lows can exhaust your adrenal glands, which can leave you to with no or very low energy. Experts agree that healthy adults can enjoy one eight-ounce cup a coffee a day. Anything more than that can have the opposite effect and leave you exhausted. Better option: drink green or white tea for lower caffeine and higher antioxidants.
Refined sugars and white flours cause a quick spike in our blood sugar leaving us feeling ”energetic” at first only to crash down making us feel lethargic. Then we turn to more sugar for a boost of energy. This up and down roller coaster effect is a vicious cycle that ultimately leaves us in an exhausted state. Instead of white sugar and flours, opt for fruits, whole grains and sugars like raw honey, pure maple syrup and coconut sugar which are less refined sugars. Eating more whole foods and less processed foods will help keep you feeling energized all day long.
The last thing you think about when you’re tired is exercise right but studies show that regular exercise can combat lethargy. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Exercise increases endorphins, improves sleep and moods. When you’re feeling tired at work, simple exercises like shoulder shrugs, neck rolls, standing up while on the phone and circling your feet can all help to keep blood circulating and keeping you feeling energized.
Sleep cleanses, repairs, and rejuvenates you on a deep cellular level. But not all sleep is created equal. Your brain secretes melatonin when it gets dark out, preparing you to sleep. By midnight, melatonin levels peak and start to decrease. By 2am, sleep becomes more superficial. So the most restorative sleep is between 10 and 2am. Creating a consistent sleep routine and sleeping before 10pm can help keep you feeling refreshed and energized during the day.
If you are breathing poorly it can reduce oxygen intake by 20%. By breathing slowly, deeply and rhythmically we force more oxygen into our cells, which slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, ultimately providing more energy. Good posture opens the chest cavity and increases oxygen intake by as much as 30 percent, making more energy available to your mind and muscles. If you are having trouble with your posture, swap your chair for an exercise ball, which forces you to sit up straight.
JoAnne Romanelli, Getting Real Health, and Nicole Zaybak Drepaniotis and the AFRP are not acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietician-nutritionist, psychologist, other licensed or registered professional, personal trainer or any other certified exercise specialist/health exercise adviser. Our purpose is advising and recommendations.
The information received should not be seen as medical or nursing advice and is certainly not meant to take the place of your seeing licensed health professionals.
The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.