A common complaint that people have as they age is feeling tired. As a result for some, sleep becomes a dominant activity. Others feel that there is enough time for sleep at the end of life. If we want to live life to the fullest, we need to be energised to experience the wonders that life has to offer.
Hey, this is not a revelation – of course we need to breathe. However, there is breathing and breathing. Most people breathe with short breaths from the chest or upper thoracic region instead of diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing allows for maximum intake of air (oxygen) into the lungs and allows for exhalation of carbon dioxide that oxygenates your blood more efficiently. That allows you to get more energised.
To breathe diaphragmatically, take a deep breath in while you push out through your stomach instead of lifting your chest up. This lowers your diaphragm which expands your lungs allowing more air intake. Focus on doing this a few times a day. It will not only energise you; it will also relieve stress.
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This may seem counterintuitive, but expending energy gives you more energy. Exercise releases chemicals such as endorphins and adrenaline. These have the effect of energising you.
Exercise increases the flow of blood to your brain, which makes you more alert. This also helps alleviate stress that is a major cause of fatigue. Studies have shown that depression can be reduced by exercising. If you have ever been depressed, you know that it is fatiguing and saps your energy.
The critical thing is to do something, whether it is walking, running, swimming, working out at the gym or playing a team sport. If you sit in front of a television or a computer terminal most days, this will deplete your energy.
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Contrary to what many people believe, quick-burst energy drinks should be avoided. Likewise, sweet, sugary, processed foods are very short acting which cause your blood sugar levels to drop in the medium term. Heavy intake of sugar results in the pancreas secreting extra insulin to cope; insulin then metabolises the sugar, and you get that flat, draggy feeling. If you indulge and over-eat, your body then has to divert its energy to digest that food.
Eat foods such as lean meats – high in protein – leafy, green vegetables, legumes, nuts and natural fruit, including berries, all of which are energy boosters. Something to remember is water – lots of it. Water is a universal solvent which flushes out toxic left-overs of metabolism. Water keeps your body hydrated, so all your tissues function better. Without adequate water intake, fatigue and other physical symptoms can set in that sap your energy.
Finally, get adequate sleep because if you do not, you start your day with a strike against you, and you play catch-up all day trying to restore your normal energy levels.
What do you do to keep energised? Do you have a workout or diet that works for you? Share below!