Energy is essential in this sleep-deprived, overstretched, high-speed world. How do we recharge our batteries when there is a constant drain on our resources?
- Drink some water. Keep your body hydrated throughout the day. The first sign of dehydration is fatigue. Your body can't function at capacity without that good old H2O. A steady supply of water will naturally keep things flowing--including your energy.
- Sleep and sleep well. Getting the right amount of sleep is critical to staying energized during the day. It needs to be good sleep, however, not a night of tossing and turning. Otherwise, watch your immune system and sex drive dip, as well as your energy. Avoid napping during the day and add a little bit of exercise to your daily routine. Even walking, especially in the late afternoon, can help your body settle into a nice sleep rhythm.
- Increase the number of meals you eat per day. Sounds good, right? Here's the catch: eat less at each meal. Maintain a steady supply of nutrients to your body and increase your long-term energy levels. Graze like a cow and avoid the after meal "food coma." Include proteins, whole grains, high-fiber vegetables and nuts to help your body keep balanced blood sugar levels.
- Get your body moving--exercise. It sounds counter-intuitive, perhaps, but by expending energy on a regular basis, you will actually give yourself more of it in the end. The key is to set up a fairly regular schedule--about three times a week--and push to the point that you feel refreshed, not exhausted. Don't overdo it. It may take a couple of weeks to get into the natural rhythm, so have patience and higher energy levels will follow.
- Do less. Take a look at your personal and professional to-do lists. Prioritize them and get rid of the less important items. Commit yourself to more leisure time and schedule it in if you must. Too much stress, regardless of the source, is an energy zapper, not to mention general drag on your overall health.
- Limit your caffeine and sugar intake. A cup of coffee or two in the morning may help you get going, but try not to consume caffeine once you get into the early afternoon. Over-use of sugar and caffeine ironically lead to lower blood sugar levels--and less energy--after they give you an initial kick.
- Getting a sufficient “cardio” workout increases the body’s ability to get oxygen to the cells efficiently; this lowers blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and decreases body fat. These are absolute necessities for increasing productivity and a staple in the lifestyle of almost every high-energy person.
- A great way to pamper your body and increase energy is to get in the habit of eating your bigger meal in the middle of the day. Your digestion is much more active during the day, allowing your body to use food for energy more effectively. At night, the body naturally begins to slow down and it is harder to digest.
- With all that modern culture throws at us, spending one day a month in complete silence (and even solitude) is a wonderful practice to increase productivity and energy levels over the long-haul. Why? Because the little voice in your head never stops, and cultivating the ability to quiet this chatterbox, even for a little while, can do wonders for your perspective and ability to get things done! Try this one time and see how you feel.
- Roughly 50-60% of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used as insulation for its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell, the faster it sends messages and the speedier your thinking. Therefore eating foods with a healthy mix of fats is essential for energy and productivity. Fish (wild salmon, mackerel, anchovies especially) and dark leafy green vegetables are excellent choices.
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