Energy Zapper #1: Routinely Missing Sleep
We need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order for our bodies and brains to operate at high energy levels. This amount of sleep also makes it easier to keep our moods bright and positive. If you hit the snooze button repeatedly and find yourself dragging by mid-day, give yourself more time to sleep. We can’t catch up on lost sleep over the weekend; instead, aim to gradually get to bed earlier so that you routinely get sufficient sleep.
Energy Zapper #2: Sitting
Whether we’re at work or at home, the more we sit, the lower our energy levels get and the more damage we do to our health. If you have a sedentary job, raise your computer so that you can switch from sitting to standing throughout the day. If that’s not possible, get up and move for 2-3 minutes every hour. Instead of making a beeline for the couch when you get home from work, take a quick walk around the neighborhood, put on fun music and dance, or do some simple stretching. If you do this, you can watch your energy levels soar!
Energy Zapper #3: Clutter
Clean kitchen counters, an organized desk and office, clothes that are neatly hung up and put away, and a closet with contents that don’t crash around your head every time you open the door all go a long way toward increasing our energy levels, at least according to Marie Kondo’s bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Energy Zapper #4: Quick-Fix Energy Drinks or Snacks
Relying on caffeine, energy drinks, or sugary snacks for a quick burst of energy backfires when your blood sugar drops and your body’s energy tank comes up empty. Choose high-fiber and nutritious foods instead — these offer a constant stream of energy that won’t drop suddenly and leave you exhausted.
Energy Zapper #5: Stress
As stress builds, energy levels become depleted. Off-load as much stress as possible by divvying up household chores, deciding which activities are truly important, and surrounding yourself with positive, happy people. Optimum sleep, routinely choosing healthful foods, and getting regular exercise also help decrease the effects of stress and increase energy levels at the same time.
By Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, CPT, CWC
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.