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Question #10 “How do I get more energy?” (0.9% of questions)

Your energy throughout the day is affected by many different factors. The most common include overall health, mental stress, sleeping patterns, activity/inactivity, diet, prescriptions, drugs & alcohol.

Sleep:
Obviously, if you are not sleeping well, your energy levels will be directly affected. The old adage is that we need 6-8 hours of sleep per day. Though everyone is a little different, most of us fall into this category. If you are not sleeping at least 6 hours a day, you are most likely dealing with sleep deprivation.

Increasing activity, avoiding high sugar diets (sodas/starches/sweets), improving dietary choices to more natural foods, lessening drugs/prescription/alcohol use, avoiding naps, resting between workouts and maintaining proper electrolyte levels based on your specific metabolism are all ways to improve sleep.

See also Sleep on HEALTHandFITNESS.com.

Stress:
Not allowing your mind to relax from everyday concerns at the job, home life, relationships, uncontrollable events and other life matters will deplete your body's immune response and make you susceptible to increased sickness/illness/disease and rob you of daily energy levels.

Focusing on important day-to-day needs will allow you to overshadow less important life distractions that cause unnecessary stress. One of the easiest ways to avoid overloads of non-life-threatening (wasted) concerns is to turn off that media source blaring it at you!

Activity:
Just as important is being active enough to sleep better & lessen stress, as well as increase your metabolism ,which in turn provides more energy. The more active you become, the more energetic you feel (as long as you get sufficient rest between workouts). The increase in activity also burns more calories, which assists in weight loss.

Diet:
Your diet has enormous effects on your energy levels throughout the day. It is advisable to start every morning with a full glass of water, some type of fruit or yogurt, oatmeal or cereal (add a bagel or toast if you like a large breakfast)...and in that order. Lunch offers another productivity issue for most of us because we get tired after we eat. This is especially true when we overeat or eat the traditional fast food burgers/sandwiches and fries. Fast food burger/fries options are the last choice for health no matter how inexpensive they become!

Few of us have an hour-long lunch. But for those who do, this is an ideal time to get some energy through activity. If possible, get in a 40-minute workout/walk/jog/run or 30 minute swim/aerobic type class followed by a 10 minute cool down. Lunch can be taken back to the site, office or desk for leisurely consumption.

The Bottom Line:
Trying natural alternatives like increasing physical activity, altering your diet, being sure to get enough sleep while avoiding unnecessary prescriptions or over the counter drugs (including many of the energy drinks) should be the first choice.*

Regular activity keeps your system in a heightened state of oxygen consumption, which, in turn improves your alertness. Increases in adrenalin levels in the bloodstream also contribute to more energy and leave you less tired after exercise or daily activities.

* Always check with your doctor before discontinuing prescribed medications or starting an exercise program.