You know you need energy in order to get through your day; however, balancing work, your exercise regimen, and your social commitments can be a bit tricky to say the very least. Ensuring you have enough energy is key. To do this, you first have to be aware of what gives you energy in the first place, as well as what takes it away. “It’s not enough to just focus on things that motivate, inspire, or drive us to be more positive; we must also identify things in our life that are ‘energy-drains,’” explains Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness. “For example, helping others often brings us positive feelings and a euphoric energy boost, while having that friend that does nothing but complain about everything can lead to us losing positive feelings and actually may lead to feelings of dread simply in their presence.”
To be in control of your energy is to sync your emotions, thoughts, words, and actions altogether. One of the most effective ways to naturally increase your energy and positivity is by incorporating a daily exercise regimen (using a fitness app like Aaptiv) into your schedule. “Regular exercise can help you sleep better, increases oxygen in your body, strengthens your heart and lungs, and gives you a slight boost in both epinephrine and norepinephrine—hormones that affect the blood vessels and allow more blood to the tissues and cells,” explains Dr. Adams. “This translates to a major energy boost.” Other health benefits of exercise include improved stress levels and reduced anxiety.
If you’re having difficulty amassing enough energy to get through your day, let alone through your daily workout, here are some ways to harness as much as possible and score the boost your body craves.
Take a deep breath
Life begins with your breath. Being able to control your oxygen level is necessary for having a relaxed life. “Regular deep breathing throughout the day forces more air into your lungs, which, in turn, increases the available oxygen into your cells,” explains Dr. Adams. “This process can slow down your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and improve heart and lung function.” As an added benefit, focusing on deeper breathing during the day can also lower stress levels and give you a better sense of control over your life.
Meditation is a practice that incorporates mindfulness, or focusing on one’s inner monologue through a myriad of breathing exercises. When practiced properly, meditation can not only help you optimize your breathing, it can also release endorphins, explains Jamie Bacharach, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics. “Meditation is proven to reduce stressful or ruminative thoughts, further promoting healthy, deep breathing, regulated blood flow, and flow of oxygen in the body. In short, meditation promotes all of the most critical bodily functions necessary to boost energy levels,” she adds. When meditating, try to shut down your brain completely, setting it free of any words, buzz, noise, or distortion. Close your eyes and try to silence everything out.
Surround yourself with positivity
Your surroundings subconsciously affect you on a great level, whether you are aware of it or not. The environment you live in, the people you meet, and the chores you make on a daily basis generally constitute the person you are today. “Stressful thoughts and negativity wreak havoc on our body and its ability to function properly,” says Bacharach. ”Shortness of breath, disrupted sleep patterns, and poor diet are just a few of the byproducts of a stressful lifestyle—all of which sap our body of energy and strength.” Not only does positivity aid in avoiding these lifestyle pitfalls, but Bacharach further explains that it promotes healthy breathing, improved posture, and sound sleep, all of which are critical components of an energized being.
Furthermore, constantly surround yourself with nature and greenery. Nature can always help elevate your spirit, enhance your creativity, and, thus, boost your energy. Whether you want to go for a swim amid nature, sit outside in the sun with a friend, or read a book leaning against the bark of a tree, these surroundings will surely relieve any ounce of stress you might have. Imagine what mountains, waterfalls, and beaches can do for your soul and energy.
Maintain proper nutrition
As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Every time you feel down and order pizza or binge-eat some ice cream, you’re often doing more harm to yourself than good. Processed food can completely destroy your energy. The nutrients you consume, or the lack thereof, affect your brain one way or another. Maintaining a healthy diet, rich in vegetables and nutrients, is key to a healthy mind. “Complex carbs, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats boost our energy levels by helping our body run more efficiently and healthily,” explains Bacharach. “When our body is efficient, our energy reserves don’t need to be tapped out as frequently, and as a result, we find ourselves with more energy when we need it.” The best food that is good for your brain is: bananas, fish, brown rice, sweet potatoes, coffee, eggs, apples, dark chocolate, yogurt, and many more. So, make sure to incorporate these into your diet. And don’t forget to drink lots of water—preferably eight-ounce glasses a day or two liters (to be precise).
Score enough sleep
Sleep is an absolute necessity—not just an added energy bonus. In fact, sleep is arguably the most critical area of focus for individuals looking to improve their energy levels. “Not only is it important to sleep for seven to nine hours per night, but to get that sleep at the right time (i.e. nighttime) is a critical part of making sure you have quality sleep as well as quantity of sleep,” says Bacharach. “Allowing your body to properly wind down towards sleep and avoiding smartphone or computer blue light in the evening hours can also go a long way towards ensuring a healthy sleep, which will lead to a refreshed morning and energized day.”
Have fun with your energy
At the end of the day, life is about balance. While it’s important to harness what you can to ensure you have enough energy on a day-to-day basis, you have to make sure you’re happy and enjoying your life. With these simple guidelines, you are sure to have a superfluous amount of energy to sustain. So, if you are a beginner, start moderately but with consistency and persistence. Only then, will you start to feel the difference, and it will be sure to push you forward to make a healthy lifestyle out of these tips.
If you’re ready to start crushing your goals, get started today with our #1 fitness app, Aaptiv.