Most of us could use a little more energy. Keeping one’s metabolism humming swiftly means easier workouts, more calories burned per workout, and more energy (Food!) requirements to maintain your weight. Here are 4 valuable tips to keep your energy soaring:
Cut the Sugar
Sugar has a tendency cause cravings for more, while providing no nutrients or fiber to satiate you. It tastes good going down and keeps you from feeling ‘up’. When you crave something sweet, it is important to have something else ready and available to eat instead. Try to choose snacks that have a small amount of carbohydrates to give you a measurable amount of energy for your day, but that are also balanced with protein and some fat. For instance: whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese, fresh fruit or a small box of raisins and low-fat cheese, plain yogurt blended with fruit, or lean turkey breast and a small handful of almonds.
Watch The Coffee
Caffeine is another substance that will give us the wake up call that we need, but when overused, can leave our energy levels zapped later on. Try to choose the decaffeinated version of your favorite beverage like coffee, tea or cola after noontime and avoid using caffeine to help you stay awake; this will only throw off your natural sleep cycle and promote your low energy levels.
With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to forget to drink water throughout the day. We need water to flush out toxins, keep our energy levels elevated and to keep our tissues hydrated. It contains no calories, so you can drink as much of it as you want to, and if you need some variety, add a lemon or lime slice to it. You can also make homemade lemonade with lemon, water, and stevia or artificial sweetener. Remember to have some water before a meal or snack. Sometimes we assume we are more hungry than we really are, but it is actually thirst.
Whether or not you exercise consistently, the amount of exercise that you get (or don’t get) could be contributing to your lack of energy. While exercise energizes us physically, mentally and emotionally, we feel more sluggish without it. On the other hand, when we do exercise, it enhances our mood by releasing endorphins, a ‘feel good’ chemical that increases energy levels. Hopefully it will encourage us to exercise more…. but not too much. Overtraining will deplete your energy reserves, break down muscle and make you feel weaker instead of stronger. Exercising too much could suppress your immune system, which could increase your chances of a bacterial or viral invasion, making you more vulnerable to illness. So make sure that you stay in control of your workout sessions and the frequency of them. Yes, it IS possible to spend too much time on the Arc Trainer (say it ain't so!). Moderation makes maintenance manageable!
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast