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Studies show that exercise increases your energy in many ways – from building up muscles to boosting your mood and self-confidence.
How often do you feel so exhausted that you would rather hit the sofa than the gym? Yet if you do make the effort, you will feel re-vitalised. Studies show that exercise increases your energy in many ways – from building up muscles to boosting your mood and self-confidence.
Watch the caffeine which is often demonised as an addictive drug that should be avoided wherever possible. But in moderation it can be a useful pick-me-up, can improve physical performance and appears to have health benefits, too, such as improving mental performance and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Just avoid it after lunch as it takes time to clear from the system and may affect your sleep.
Mind your omegas Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish have been shown to help sleep and improve mental concentration. However, high levels of omega 6, found in processed foods (cakes biscuits etc) as well as dairy, can compete with omega 3. Try to redress the balance by cutting down on processed food and eating oily fish or seafood three times a week (or using high quality supplements if you aren’t a fish lover).
Stressless Being under stress throws your hormones out of kilter. Those fight-or-flight hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, are supposed to provide a short-term reaction to help you deal with potential danger – not be switched on all the time. Not only does stress interfere with your sleep but it can affect your digestion, heart, weight, memory and mood.
Shut-down the screens More and more evidence is showing that our addiction to screens – computer, TV, phone etc – is affecting our sleep and general well-being. Not only do you find it difficult to switch off if you have been working or surfing the net late into the night, but the bright light affects your melatonin levels, throwing your natural circadian rhythms way off course. No wonder studies show that people sleep badly after excessive screen time in the evenings. Back to the hot bath and cocoa pre-bed routine!
Avoiding excess sugar wherever you can will also do wonders for your energy levels. The rapid boost it provides is soon followed by a slump as your blood sugar levels plummet in response to the hormone insulin, which is released when you eat sugar. Much better for energy levels is to have slower burn energy sources – protein, fats in moderation and complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains.