9 ways to recover your energy
Running in fumes? This is how to stop feeling so tired all the time.
By Peter Jaret.
You're as old as you feel, the saying goes. But what happens if you feel old, tired and exhausted?
Fatigue is a common complaint, especially after people reach middle age. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to increase energy. Some even delay the aging process.
This is how to refill your tank when your energy levels soar.
1. Rule out health problems.
Fatigue is a common symptom of many diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, anemia, thyroid disease and sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you feel unusually tired.
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Many medications can contribute to fatigue. These include some medications for blood pressure, antihistamines, diuretics and other medications. If you begin to experience fatigue after starting a new medication, tell your doctor.
2. Get moving.
The last thing you can feel when you are tired is to exercise. But many studies show that physical activity increases energy levels.
Exercise has been consistently related to better vigor and quality of life in general, says Kerry J. Stewart, professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. People who become active have a greater sense of self-confidence. But exercise also improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs and muscles, says Stewart. That is what is equivalent to improving the fuel efficiency of a car. It gives you more energy for any type of activity.
3. Make a pose.
Although almost any exercise is good, yoga can be especially effective in increasing energy. After six weeks of yoga classes once a week, volunteers in a British study reported improvements in mental clarity, energy and confidence.
It's never too late to try it either. Researchers from the University of Oregon offered yoga instruction to 135 men and women from 65 to 85 years old. At the end of the six months, participants reported a greater sense of well-being and a boost in energy in general.
4. Drink a lot of water.
Dehydration eliminates energy and affects physical performance. Our research shows that dehydration makes it more difficult for athletes to complete a weight-lifting workout, says Dan Judelson, PhD, assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University in Fullerton. It is reasonable to think that dehydration causes fatigue even for people who only do housework.
Dehydration has also been shown to decrease alertness and concentration.
How to know if you are drinking enough water? The urine should be pale yellow or straw colored, says Judelson. If it's darker than that, you should drink water.
5. Go to bed early.
Lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents and is one of the main causes of daytime fatigue. The solution: Go to bed early enough to sleep through the night.
When people enrolled in a study at Stanford University in 2004 were allowed to sleep as long as they wanted, they reported more vigor and less fatigue. Good sleep habits can also have important health benefits. Centenarians report better than average sleep.
If you can not sit still, take a short nap in the afternoon. The nap restores wakefulness and promotes performance and learning. A 10-minute nap is usually enough to increase energy. Do not sleep more than 30 minutes, or you may have trouble sleeping that night. A nap followed by a cup of coffee can provide an even greater boost of energy, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
6. Go fishing.
Good for your heart, omega-3 oils can also increase alertness. According to a study conducted in 2009 by scientists at the University of Siena in Italy, volunteers who took a capsule of fish oil for 21 days showed faster mental reaction times. They also reported feeling more vigorous.
7. Keep time with your biological clock.
Some people get a burst of energy first thing in the morning. They are often called morning larks. Night owls are people who are at their best at the end of the day.
These individual differences in daily energy patterns are determined by the structure of the brain and genetics, so they can be difficult to change. Instead, become aware of your own circadian rhythms. Then schedule demanding activities when your energy levels are normally at their peak.
8. Throw extra weight.
Losing extra weight can provide a powerful energy boost, says Stewart of Johns Hopkins University. Even small reductions in body fat improve mood, vigor and quality of life.
Most weight loss experts recommend reducing portion sizes, eating balanced meals and increasing physical activity.
9. Eat more often.
Some people may benefit from eating smaller meals more frequently during the day. This can help stabilize your blood sugar level.
Favor whole grains and other complex carbohydrates. These take more time than refined carbohydrates to digest, avoiding fluctuations in blood sugar.
If you start eating more often, look at the size of your portions to avoid weight gain.

Video credits to DAILY FAMILY TRY YouTube channel

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