Too Tired To Workout? Try These Proven Ways To Amp Up Energy
You may have figured out already that there’s more to getting energized than a morning cup of coffee. You’re right! How invigorated and engaged you feel is determined by what you do throughout the day. Little habits can either bog you down or boost you up! Patterns like multi-tasking can suck up your energy. So here are a few proven fixes that send your stamina soaring throughout the day.
Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep prepares you for more stamina the next day. Set yourself up for a restful sleep by following these tips:
- Disconnect from you electronics by 7 pm
- Remove any LED lights from your room
- Adjust the room’s temperature to make it comfortable
- Think about your mental attitude. If you’re feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, try a simple yoga routine to help you transition to a good night’s sleep. (To read more about the deadly link between anxiety and weight gain, click here)
Beware Of Energy Vampires
Does your liveliness seem to be sucked away throughout the day? When this happens, look for energy vampires. These can be things like:
- Constant Indecision
“Making choices pushes us back and forth, which is energy zapping,” says Kathleen Vohs, PhD, lead author of a recent study at the University of Minnesota. When people were asked to choose from a variety of things they could buy, they had less stamina and scored worse on math problems than those who were asked simply to look at the options.
- Toxic relationships
Steer clear of relationships that bring you down. Instead, call a friend or spend a few minutes on your favorite social network. Researchers have shown that when we’re around loved ones, we release a chemical called oxytocin that promotes feelings of calm and well-being.
- Multi-tasking nightmare
Take a time-out from technology! A British experiment found that when people tried to juggle work and simultaneously keep up with their email, their measured IQs dipped 10 points. Find a few times throughout the day to close your e-mail and power off your phone. Also, set a 1-hour technology-free window when you first get home from work. Although the work will still be there, you’ll have increased energy to handle it…stress free.
Shake Off The Sugar
Food, and the types of foods we eat, trigger the sugar, or glucose, in our blood. And when our blood sugar levels rise or fall too dramatically or too frequently over the course of the day, we’re suddenly stuck in a vicious cycle. Our energy levels are quickly depleted, we become prone to fuzzy thinking, and we start to crave sugary foods. We reach for those foods, get a quick sugar boost, and suddenly it all begins again.
The best way to get off this roller coaster is to re-program your system with the right combination of foods to curb your cravings and balance out blood sugar. That means filling up on protein – which can inhibit sugar’s negative effects – and fiber, which slows down digestion and helps your body avoid those undesirable spikes. (To learn more about the blood sugar roller coaster, click here.)
Multiply Your Magnesium
A study from the Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center confirmed that women with low magnesium levels have to work harder at physical tasks than they do when their magnesium levels are up to par. Of course, working harder can leave you feeling depleted, so having an adequate amount of magnesium in your system is important.
Magnesium is used for breaking down glucose into energy. It’s recommended that women have 300 mg a day, and men have 350 mg a day. Two easy ways to increase your magnesium levels are by adding a handful of cashews or almonds into your diet and eating more fish (particularly halibut).
Go For Five
Everyone may need something different to get over that initial hump of a workout. But for most everyone the first five minutes are the hardest. Once you get the circulation going and the heart beating faster, the body takes over! It’s like the law of inertia: A body in action tends to stay in motion. (For a 5-minute belly-fat blaster, click here!)
Remember, even if you’re feeling tired, working out will give you more energy. So tie up your shoelaces, get moving, and you’ll notice that your energy levels will pick right back up again.