It seems like everyday we hear someone promoting their latest “get rich” scheme. We all know it is difficult to get rich quick. Getting anything worthwhile takes time, effort and discipline. Developing a healthy body and mind is similar, although you may be able to see progress a little quicker.
Let's face it, we live in an instant gratification world. We can buy anything we want instantaneously with a few clicks on our phone or computer. We want it all now, but like my grandfather used to say, “If it is something truly rewarding, it will take work and preparation.”
Developing a healthy body requires a steady dose of planning and following through over long period of time. However, if you need more energy and vitality in your life, you can follow a few of these tips recommended by Harvard Health and you will begin seeing results and improving energy levels rather quickly.
Control stress - Engaging in stress induced conversations or projects consumes huge amounts of energy. A few proactive measures to help lower stress levels by taking time to do relaxation therapies like Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and self hypnosis will enhance energy levels, especially in older adults. As we discussed in our recent blog post, Tai Chi reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Also, talking with a friend, mentor, support group or psychologist can be an effective way to diffuse stress.
Lighten your workload - Overwork happens to be one of the main causes of fatigue and stress. On many occasions, the extra workload comes from our family, job or social obligations. Creating a “To Do” list and prioritizing projects will go a long way toward reducing anxiety.
Exercise - Studies show that exercising slows the aging process. According to WebMD, fitness is timeless. At every age, it makes a difference in how you feel and move. Even if you a walk around the block or take the steps as opposed to the elevator, you will begin seeing your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure going down. Exercising produces endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that improves sleep. A good night sleep reduces stress.
Limit alcohol and avoid smoking - Limit drinking alcohol during lunch and early evening if you are interested in having energy later on. If you are planning to drink, it is wise to do it in moderation and especially when you are looking for a boost. As for smoking, we all know that smoking is hazardous to our health, but you may not realize that it also causes insomnia. The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant and speeds up the heart rate. Additionally, it raises blood pressure and interferes with brain activity making it harder to fall asleep.
Drink water -Water is proven to be the only nutrient to enhance performance except for the most demanding sports and activities. Just in the last 12 months, my mother and father in law went to the emergency room for feeling light headed, weak and dizzy. The medical personnel told both of them that they were dehydrated and to drink plenty of fluids. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to drink at least eight-8 ounce glasses per day.
Eating for energy - This is an area where we can all improve. Taking the time to be selective as to what we eat can make a dramatic difference in our energy levels. By choosing foods like bananas, tuna, salmon, chicken, sweet potatoes, eggs, apples, oranges, strawberries, oatmeal, yogurt, avocados, beans, berries, nuts and seeds, it is proven you will improve energy levels.
- Using caffeine to give you an edge - Caffeine is proven to give you and edge and sharpen the mind when you need it. However, it can also keep you awake at night if you choose to drink it later in the afternoon. Tea is a good beverage to give you a boost in place of the sugar drinks that give you an instant spike, but also can cause an energy crash later in the afternoon.
If you do not experience any progress and your fatigue continues to linger, you may want to consider scheduling a visit with your physician.