6 Health & Exercise Tips to Boost Your Energy
It’s a phrase uttered by so many women, so often: “I’m so tired.” Most of us have moments where we feel less than energetic, when we wish we could take a magic pill to feel instantly bubbly and ready to go. There is no magic pill, but there are some natural, safe things you can do to boost your energy level (and no, Red Bull isn’t one of them). Here are six energizing health and exercise tips:
1. Get off the couch.
This may sound like common sense (and let’s face it, it is), but one of the main benefits of exercise is that it gives you energy for more exercise! So, when you’re doing your full body workout at Curves, you’re fueling your body to move even more. When you move more during the day, you sleep better at night.1 Plus, exercise gives your cells energy to burn and circulate oxygen more efficiently.2 And another health benefit of exercise: it makes your body release epinephrine and norepinephrine, two stress hormones that naturally make you feel more energized. You don’t need to run a marathon to get these effects—a brisk walk around your neighborhood will do it.2 Plus, you’ll get an energy-boosting dose of fresh air!
2. Eat energizing foods.
An energizing healthy diet plan includes the right foods, at the right times. For one, eating smaller, more frequent meals will promote better energy than having three large meals a day. This style of eating will give your body a steady stream of nutrients and help prevent the “slump” that can make you feel tired in the middle of the day.3 Secondly, eating foods with a low glycemic index (which are also great if you are following a weight loss eating plan) will help keep you satiated and prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking and then falling, which leaves you energy deprived.4 Foods with a low glycemic load include whole grains, nuts, high-fiber vegetables, and healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil.2
3. Banish energy sapping beverages.
When you’re tired, you may be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee or an energy drink. It’s true that one cup of coffee can perk you up, but more than that can backfire and keep you up at night. Other beverages to watch are those that contain alcohol, especially in the middle of the day (which can make you tired in the afternoon) or at happy hour (which can leave you tired for the rest of the evening). If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, do so in moderation and time your drinks right.3
4. Guzzle water for extra gusto.
Your body is made of 60% water, and H2O is the main component of blood and helps carry nutrients and waste products to and from cells. One of the first symptoms of dehydration is fatigue, so drinking enough water is critical for maximum energy. A study published in Sports Medicine found dehydration can decrease your strength by two percent and your endurance by 10 percent during a whole body workout, which could really put a damper on your performance during the Curves Circuit.5 So, water is a crucial ingredient to a successful workout. Plus, a study published in Nutritional Epidemiology found water to be an essential part of a weight loss eating plan.6 A total of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is a good goal, but you may need slightly more or less depending on your size and level of exercise on a given day.7 To maintain your energy level while you exercise, drink 8 ounces of water before you start your full body workout at Curves, and another 16 ounces when you’re done.8
5. Breathe deeply
When we’re stressed, we tend to engage in shallow breathing. Over the course of a stressful day, continued shallow breathing can prevent your body from getting enough oxygen and leave you exhausted.9 For relaxation and more energy, try deep breathing. One of the easiest deep breathing methods is belly breathing. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position
- Put one hand on your belly, just below your ribs. Put your other hand on your chest.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, letting your belly push your hand out. Your chest shouldn’t move.
- Breathe out through purse lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go inward, and use it to push all the air out.
- Repeat this breathing exercise three to 10 times.
- Notice how you feel when you’re finished. You should feel more energized and more relaxed at the same time.10
6. Take some things off your plate.
As women, we tend to take on too much. Between to-do lists for our children, our households, and our jobs, it’s easy to become overloaded. And too much work equals too little energy to get it all done. To preserve your energy, pare down your to-do list so it includes only the highest priority items for that day. Also try to delegate some of your obligations to family members or co-workers. By saving mental and physical vigor, you’ll have energy left to engage in self-care, like your ever-important full body workout at Curves!