How's your energy level today? Be honest; we won't tell anyone.
Video of the Day
Have you noticed changes in your energy levels over the past week? It's likely you have, and you're not alone. Though the most common suspect is usually a lack of sleep, that might not always be the case, since many factors can affect your energy.
Sleep is important, yes, but diet, stress levels and your surroundings also impact your energy levels. We recommend that you take an honest look at your current habits and see if there's anything you might need to change to make sure you're running at optimum efficiency.
6 Things Wrecking Your Energy Level
Here are some possible culprits if you're always feeling sluggish:
- Sugar: Sure, a donut might give you a short-term boost of energy (and even put a smile on your face), but it can also cause a sugar crash later.
- Alcohol: Imbibe a little too much last night? Even if you're not hungover, your energy levels can still suffer the day after drinking, as alcohol throws off your sleep pattern.
- Smoking: Cigarettes can cause lung damage that makes it hard for your body to get enough oxygen. Without it, you're left feeling winded and exhausted.
- Being sedentary: It's natural to want to lounge around the house when you're tired. But getting up and moving is a great way to boost your energy, even though it might seem counterintuitive.
- Inconsistent sleep: If you're always going to bed and waking up at different times, your body has a hard time getting into a circadian rhythm, which can leave you feeling behind the eight ball all day.
- Health issues: Conditions like anemia, depression, hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia all come with feelings of fatigue. Check with your doctor if you're concerned your tiredness is due to a medical problem.
5 Ways to Stay Energized
There are many ways to fight fatigue and boost your energy, but here are some quick tips that will keep you from dragging:
- Catch some rays. Get all Sheryl Crow, "Soak Up the Sun" and get some vitamin D. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and/or a protective hat and clothing to ensure you don't get too many rays.
- Wet your whistle. Know what a flower does when it doesn't get enough water? Wilts. Your body needs water, too, to function at an optimal level.
- Take a hike. OK, maybe not a hike (unless you want to!), but a brisk walk (bonus points if it's sunny outside) around the block when you're feeling fatigued can reinvigorate you, increasing blood flow and delivering oxygen to the body.
- Snack smarter. Keep raw, unsalted nuts (like almonds or walnuts) on hand for snacking; they're full of fiber and protein to keep you fueled up.
- Take five. Make sure you take quick breaks every few hours to clear your head and regain focus. This is especially important if you work a desk job and stare at a computer screen all day.
Be on the lookout for signs of sluggishness. Use these tips to avert an energy crisis and keep your energy levels in the green.
How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge
1. Download the MyPlate App
Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!
Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.
- Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
- Exercise and activity
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
2. Print Out Your Daily Calendar
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge, you're accountable for five key steps: tracking breakfast, lunch and dinner; tracking your water intake; and either walking or running.
We created a helpful calendar to keep you on task for all 30 days. Print it out and check off each activity as soon as you complete it.
3. Stay Connected on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Discover More Ways to Increase Energy
- The Best Non-Caffeine Ways to Boost Your Energy
- Surprising Reasons You're Tired All the Time
- 8 Foods to Boost Your Energy
Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.