If you’re feeling tired and run down, you’re not alone. Many Americans report feeling fatigued, and according to the National Institutes of Health, fatigue is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors. While occasional fatigue is normal, chronic fatigue can interfere with your daily activities and quality of life. If you’re looking for ways to boost your energy levels, here are five things you can try:
1. Get regular exercise
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to fight fatigue and boost energy levels. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. Exercise also helps to increase your overall fitness level, which can lead to improved energy levels. Even if you’re not a fan of traditional forms of exercise, there are plenty of other options to choose from, such as yoga, swimming, or simply going for a walk.
2. Eat a balanced diet
Eating a healthy diet is essential for maintaining energy levels. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, beans, and fruits, are slowly broken down by the body and provide a long-lasting source of energy. In contrast, simple carbohydrates, such as those found in candy and cookies, are quickly absorbed and can cause a quick spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a crash. To ensure you’re getting the most from your food, make sure to include a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups in your diet.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for overall health and well-being, and it’s also crucial for maintaining energy levels. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body doesn’t have time to repair and rejuvenate itself, which can lead to fatigue. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but everyone is different. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can try, such as establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
4. Manage stress
Chronic stress can take a toll on your body and mind, and one of the most common effects is fatigue. When you’re stressed, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, which is a survival mechanism that dates back to our ancestors. In this state, the body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. While these hormones can be helpful in short bursts, they can be detrimental if they’re constantly activated. To help manage stress, try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
5. Limit your alcohol intake
While a glass of wine or beer can sometimes help you relax, drinking alcohol in excess can actually contribute to fatigue. When you drink alcohol, it interferes with your body’s natural sleep cycle, which can lead to insomnia. Alcohol can also dehydrate your body, which can make you feel tired and run down. If you’re going to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.