MARCH 1 - 31, 2017
Small changes that increase your energy can improve your well-being. Like spending time in your hot tub. It’s part of a holistic approach to wellness with significant benefits.
You know that low-energy feeling. You’re drained. You lack the energy to start something new… to exercise… to get out and do the things you’d intended. It’s more a lethargic feeling than one of exhaustion. Maybe you’ll pop out of it. But maybe that feeling is beginning to take up too much of your day.
Should I be concerned?
Just how worn down are you? Do you feel drained and tired most of the time? There are many medical reasons you might feel this way. You might have high blood pressure or issues with your metabolism. Trust your gut. If you think there might be a bigger issue, talk to your doctor.
You can make easy changes within 20 minutes to help you avoid any slump you might have during the day.
Shouldn’t I just have a cup of coffee?
If it works for you, and you’re not overdoing it, why not. But relying on caffeine or energy drinks too often comes with problems of its own. At least have latte instead of coffee so that you’re getting energy-boosting help and protein, as well as additional calcium for the bones. How’s that for justifying an indulgence?
There are many healthy, simple alternatives that can increase your energy level. Consider these options that won't need a large time commitment.
1. Walk. If you get up and go, it can increase your get-up-and-go. A brisk 10-minute walk can increase your energy for up to two hours. Read our walking blog here
2. Take a nap. Mentally pushing yourself can be draining. The National Institute of Health notes that a nap can boost brain power, prevent burnout and improve mental performance.
3. Watch what you eat, and then eat it. Missing any meal will usually result in fatigue by day’s end. And when you eat, concentrate on whole grains instead of sugar. Whole grains release a steady flow of fuel. Eating sweets can cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by a rapid drop that can leave you feeling drained. Try not to eat too much at any one sitting. High-calorie meals take longer to digest and can pull energy away from other parts of your body to get the job done. Look around and you’ll find many resources that tell what to eat and what to avoid to keep energy high.
4. Drink more water. Even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired. Stay hydrated to keep your energy levels higher, especially after exercise. That's when your body is craving fluids. Read our blog on hydration here.
5. Reduce stress. Stress and anxiety can leave you exhausted, even if you’re doing little physical activity. Twenty minutes a day in your hot tub can do wonders to reduce anxiety and help you manage stress.
6. Eat foods with magnesium. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions, including those that turn glucose into energy. The recommended daily magnesium intake is around 300 mg for women and 350 mg for men. Good sources include nuts, whole grains and fish.
7. Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can cause a wide range of problems ranging from increased anxiety to poor concentration, and low energy during the day. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, we have several ideas in this blog, including using your hot tub.
8. Stretch! At Health.com, Timothy McCall, MD and yoga instructor in California, explains a stretch can be invigorating. Stand in a doorway with feet apart. Grab the frame and push your chest forward until you feel a stretch in your torso and back, and hold it for 30 seconds. McCall says the stretch stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and energizes the mind and body.
9. Brighten up. Make sure you get enough natural light during the day. It will not only help you produce natural vitamin D, it will help you feel energized.
10. Start your day with a 20-minute soak. Begin your day in your hot tub to feel more rejuvenated and relaxed. Starting your day off with a clear mind and a sense of optimism will help you avoid stress that can sap you of energy.
What Do You Think?
What do you do when feeling drained during the day? If you have any techniques or ideas we haven’t mentioned here, we’d love to hear them. Is there a particular time of day you feel the slump coming on? How do you manage to get through it? Have you noticed that what you eat or drink affects your energy level?
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