Feeling spritely and noticing a spring in your step?Winter can make us all feel incredibly drained, lethargic, demotivated and sluggish, but luckily, as of yesterday, winter was well and truly over. Hurrah! We are finally transitioning into lighter evenings, warmer temperatures, the odd rain spell and the lingering smell of blossom.
What better time to rejuvenate, revitalise, and refuel your energy in time for the sunshine…Coffee might be the easiest go-to-solution to pick up your energy levels and rev you up for the outdoors, however, although it may have its benefits, it isn’t long-lasting and there are certainly healthier ways to get a boost. In fact, making a few small changes to your daily routine can significantly affect how energetic you feel, along with many other aspects of your health. We are going to delve into ways in which you can feel refreshed and energised in the most sustainable way.
Food Sweet FoodChoosing nutritious, whole foods will provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best, and keep you feeling young and energised. Processed foods that are high in sugar and fat on the other hand can negatively affect both your energy levels and your overall health. Be sure to choose foods high in vitamin D, iron and Omega-3s. Also, it is worth nothing that smaller meals are often easier to digest so the body doesn’t consume as much energy trying to process them.
Say No To SugarConsuming added sugar can raise blood sugar and insulin levels, resulting in a burst of energy known as a sugar high that very quickly reverts to a sugar crash. Although these effects are similar to those from chemicals like caffeine, sugar is not a stimulant, the body uses it as fuel. What’s more, research suggests that eating foods high in added sugars will increase other sugary food cravings, potentially creating an energy-depleting cycle. This is due to the fact that sugar also creates dopamine spikes and can lead to addiction.
Jump AroundFeeling sluggish? Skip the lie-in and flat white and get a sweat on. Physical movement releases endorphins which gives you a natural boost of energy, even when your muscles feel knackered. It will also induce a better night’s sleep and can improve mental clarity and focus.
Shut-EyeDefinitely the main cause of decreased or unsustained energy levels, sleep is rather self explanatory. If you have trouble sleeping, you may benefit from setting a regular sleep schedule and winding down at the end of the night by lowering lighting, shutting off devices, taking a bath, reading, and most certainly not stalking your ex on instagram.
Happy When HydratedDehydration can have a huge effect on brain function, mood, and yep, energy levels. Studies reveal that dehydration can also have a significantly negative effect on muscle performance and create major fatigue. This may sound incredibly obvious but some people just aren’t good at it; drink water when you’re thirsty and be sure to increase the amount of H2O you consume when the temperature warms or when you are exercising to make sure you have stable energy levels.
Ice, Ice BabyCold water therapy is thought to improve your circulation, deepen your sleep, and spike your energy levels. It has also shown signs of significantly improving mood which can also boost energy through also activating the release of dopamine.
Crucial ConnectionStudies reveal that lack of meaningful social connection is actually one of the biggest causes of low mood, fatigue and lack of energy, especially as we age. Evidence even indicates that social connection can improve your mental and physical health in the long run. Social interactions release the reward neurotransmitter dopamine, which gives us a boost of energy and makes us feel happy. Even introverts can massively suffer without connection. Be sure to keep in touch with your close ones and make an effort to see them regularly, or join a club or sporting team.
ZenPracticing yoga and mindful meditation is shown to significantly improve brain function and energy levels. Similar to exercise, meditation releases endorphins and is proven to increase blood flow to the brain, whilst reducing focus on ruminative thoughts which can lead to unstable mood and lack of motivation.
Bye BoozeWe all know it, alcohol makes you feel drowsy, tired and depletes your mood. Many people use alcohol as a sedative to aid sleep, however it has quite the opposite effect. Alcohol affects our quality of sleep by interrupting both our REM and non-REM sleep cycle, meaning we feel even more tired after a night-cap. Alcohol can also be diuretic, meaning that it increases the production of urine. This means you are more likely to have interrupted sleep if you have a few drinks before bed. Try to limit alcohol consumption to increase overall energy levels and be sure to avoid drinking too much just before bedtime.
Even when the sun is booming and the birds are singing, we can still struggle with tiredness and lack of energy. If you feel you are struggling then it is worth looking at your lifestyle and trying out some of these simple tips to get you up and motivated this spring.As always, we wish you the best, and hope that this information will bring you a little closer to an improved, healthier and happier version of yourself. Good luck! POW Team x Sources: Ncbi.gov