Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Energy
Experts offer some fatigue-zapping tips that really work.
Top 10 Energy Boosters continued...
3. Take a Power Nap
Research has shown that both information overload and pushing our brains too
hard can zap energy. But studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health found
that a 60-minute "power nap" can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of
information overload, it may also help us to better retain what we have
4. Don't Skip Breakfast -- or
Any Other Meal
"Studies show that folks who eat breakfast report being in a better mood,
and have more energy throughout the day," says Heller.
Her personal theory, she says, is that breaking the fast soon after rising
supplies your body with a jolt of fuel that sets the tone for the whole
Moreover, studies published in the journal Nutritional Health found
that missing any meal during the day led to an overall greater feeling of fatigue
by day's end.
Reduce Stress and Deal With Anger
One of the biggest energy zappers is stress, says
psychologist Paul Baard, PhD.
"Stress is the result of anxiety, and anxiety
uses up a whole lot of our energy," says Baard, a sports psychologist at
Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.
Like worry or fear, Baard says, stress can leave you mentally and physically
exhausted -- even if you've spent the day in bed. More commonly, he says, low
but chronic levels of stress erode energy levels, so over time you find
yourself doing less and feeling it more.
In much the same way, unexpressed anger can give a one-two punch to your
energy level. The reason: "We're expending all our energy trying to contain our
angry feelings, and that can be exhausting," Baard tells WebMD.
The good news, says Baard, is that we can counter these energy killers by
programming more relaxation activities into our day. While for many folks,
increasing exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, others
find relief in quiet pursuits: listening to music, reading a steamy romance novel, or
even just talking on the phone.
"Whatever is relaxing for you will reduce tension and that will help
increase energy," says Baard.
6. Drink More Water and Less Alcohol
You may already know that it's easy to confuse signals of hunger
with thirst (we think we need food when we really need water). But did you know
that thirst can also masquerade as fatigue?
"Sometimes, even slight dehydration
can leave you feeling tired and lethargic," says nutritionist Keith Ayoob, EdD,
RD, an associate professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New
York and author of The Uncle Sam Diet.
The solution is simple: a tall, cool glass of water. This is particularly
important to boost energy after exercise, when your body is likely to be
craving fluids, Ayoob says. Conversely, Heller says, if you find yourself
frequently fatigued even after a good night's sleep, try cutting
down on alcohol during the evening hours.