Summer is winding down and autumn is just about here. The weather is getting cooler and we can breathe comfortably outside again. I notice more people outside exercising and enjoying nature. Autumn is like a natural energy boost.
We don’t have to wait until autumn though to get that natural energy. We can feel good and be energetic all year if we choose. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), fatigue is one of the most common modern day health complaints. Many people treat their fatigue with excess sugar, energy drinks or energy-boosting supplements.
Here are a few tips to naturally increase your energy levels:
Practice deep breathing and mind-body exercises. We feel better after exercise because we circulate oxygen throughout the body. Exercises like yoga, Pilates and tai chi help to increase energy levels and relax the mind and body.
Eat fresh food. Make a choice to eat fresh foods that provide essential nutrients to your body. Reduce the amount of processed and packaged foods that contain empty calories (foods with calories but little nutrition). This may be the hardest thing for you to do if you’re used to snacking. Give it a try.
Reduce technological stress. When was the last time you turned off all technology and opened a paper book to read, or sat quietly without any noise or distraction? Computers, smartphones and tablets can zap our energy by the end of our day. Take a break and walk away from the technology during your day. It’s also important to reduce your technology use before bed. Technology devices give off light that trick the brain into thinking its daytime instead of nighttime.
Sit less and move more. Sitting is exhausting. Get up and move. Take three or four 10-minute walks throughout your day, or take one or two 30-minute walks per day. Walk and talk with a friend to make it even more fun.
Reduce your caffeine intake. If you’re using caffeine to increase your energy level, that’s usually a sign that you need to reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeine doesn’t need to be eliminated. It just needs to be consumed in moderation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, we only need 250 mg of caffeine per day, which is about 2.5 cups of regular coffee.
Make the choice to feel energetic all year long. Here’s to you choosing natural energy.
Jonathan Souder is the Fitness Director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Delaware. This column appeared in the September 1, 2016 edition of the Seaford Star.