How's your energy level today? Be honest; we won't tell anyone.
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.
Discover More Ways to Increase Energy
Sometimes, that 2 P.M. slump just can't be avoided. When it hits, be prepared. In addition to the tips above, you'll want to check out the stories below for even more information on keeping your energy levels sky high all day long.
How to Join the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge
1. Sign Up for Daily Emails
There are two main places this challenge is taking place online — your inbox and our Facebook group (more on that in a second). So first, make sure you've entered your email to sign up for the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge. (Yep, even if you're already signed up for our regular daily newsletter.)
Every day, we'll be sending you your daily workout and a healthy recipe to try, along with fun extras like workout playlists, motivational quotes, self-care tips and other fitness and nutrition information to make 2019 your best (and healthiest) year ever!
2. Print Out Your Calendars
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge, you're accountable for two main things: working out and eating healthy.
To help keep you on track for the entire month, we created two calendars — one with each day's workouts listed and another with each week's nutrition goal and healthy recipes. Print them out and check off each workout and day of healthy eating as you complete it.
3. Join Our Challenge Facebook Group
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Share Your Journey on Social Media
Are you on Instagram or Twitter? So are we! And we'd love to see photos and updates of your progress. When you post to social media, be sure to use the hashtag #GetStrongChallenge. That way, you can also connect with other Get Strong challengers!