5 Ways to Rev Up Your Energy

Dr. Rebecca Tocher-Richmond, ND

For many people, the best indicator that you’re having a great day is feeling that your energy is high, and you’re enjoying accomplishing the tasks at hand.
Now, how often do you have that feeling?  Do you remember the last time you felt that way? It’s normal to have periods of time where life gets so busy that our energy has to be directed into specific tasks, or that we might be overtaxed and tired as a result. But if you’ve had low energy for a long period of time and can’t seem to get out of that funk, it could be time to address your energy levels more proactively. Try exploring these tried and true methods of protecting and bolstering your energy levels.

Stay Hydrated
Think of it this way: your body is about 60% water so if you’re dehydrated your body won’t be able to function as well as it should – and it will tell you so. Headaches, lethargy, dry mouth, irritability, these are all signs that you need to hydrate. When your body is hydrated, your blood can more easily carry oxygen and nutrients to where they need to be and that results in a lift of energy!

Short High-Intensity Exercise
Even as little as 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week can help you increase your energy and motivation. And some of the best kinds of activity for revving up your energy come in short bursts of high-intensity movement. Whether you choose to take a HIIT class that focuses on interspersing bursts of cardio and strength training, or you decide to get outside on your lunch break for a brisk walk, swinging your arms and moving vigorously, those bursts of exertion will help you rev up your engine and keep you going for the rest of the day. Extra points if these activities happen outside, where you get the additional energy boosting effects of being in nature and getting healthy doses of sunshine!

Increase Your B12
B-vitamins are also known as the ‘happy vitamins’ for their ability to convert dietary nutrients into chemicals that the body can use for energy. While the body needs several different B vitamins, one that is especially tied to good energy is vitamin B12.  Brain fog, fatigue and low mood can all indicate low levels of vitamin B12 in the body. B12 is primarily found in animal-based foods like meat, dairy, and eggs, so people who avoid these foods are at higher risk of B12 deficiency.  Vitamin B12 absorption also decreases as we age making it a common contributor to low energy as people get older.  Vitamin B12 levels can be tested in blood tests but the levels that are considered ‘normal’ in conventional medicine are not high enough for good energy from a naturopathic perspective.   A good B complex can be found in a capsule but the most effective way to boost Vitamin B12 specifically is through a tablet that dissolves under your tongue, or through B12 injections.

Improve your sleep
On average we need 7 hours of sleep per night.  Some people need 8 or even 8.5.  Figure out where you land on the spectrum of sleep requirements and make this a priority.  Equally if not more important is the quality of your sleep.  Research is showing that screen time before bed can negatively affect sleep quality.  Nighttime snacking and consuming alcohol (even small amounts) are other lifestyle factors that can make you feel sluggish the next day.

Look at your nutrition
There isn’t one approach to eating that’s best for everyone but a good start is focusing on consuming whole foods and limiting processed food.  A wide variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans, and clean protein will give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal energy.  The most common nutritional culprit in depleted energy levels is sugar.  By reducing sugar many of our patients notice their energy improves.   Also, you would not believe how many people tell me that their overall energy is actually much better after eliminating coffee!

Maintaining healthy energy levels can be challenging when faced with the stresses of everyday life, but these tips can help you rev up your engine and keep you humming a happy tune all day long. If you still find that your energy levels seem low, or your sleep isn’t restorative, we may need to take a closer look at what is going on.   Low energy is a very common (but treatable!) concern for patients in our clinic.  Book an appointment and let’s help you get back to your energetic self.