Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the best Singapore BJJ gym.
Whether it’s to power us through a tough workout, or even just to give us that extra push we need to get through the day, we all could use a little more energy. Energy is the invisible color of our lives. It makes every moment worth living. Without it, life is dark and gloomy.
A lot of us experience being sapped of energy even early on in our day. It’s a terrible feeling, when you just don’t have the enthusiasm to do anything. Even moving your body feels heavy and cumbersome.
Fortunately, there’s a way to fix this problem. With just a few life tweaks, we can be fatigued less frequently, and have more energy every day to enjoy life.
We’ve come up with a short list of suggestions you can try to endow yourself with a deeper reservoir of energy. Follow these pieces of advice and you’ll feel the difference instantly. These points may be obvious at first, but we’ve taken the time to dig deep into why doing these things is good for you.
Today, Evolve Daily shares four essential ways to boost your energy levels.
1) Improve the quality of your sleep
The lack of sleep leads to lethargy. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ve failed the day before you’ve even started. The average adult deals with a degree of sleep deficiency, and it’s time we address this matter in our own lives.
The concept is pretty simple. The more rested you are, the more reserve energy you should have. But the reality is, it’s not just about how much sleep you’re getting. It’s also about the quality of sleep you’re getting.
You should strive to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night, just like you’ve always been told. But in addition to that, there are a few small tweaks you can apply to improve the quality of your slumber.
Set a consistent bedtime every night and try your best to stick to it. Being inconsistent with your sleep schedule can throw your body and brain in a loop, leaving you often disoriented and uncoordinated.
The human body also has internal programming to sleep when it’s dark. Light inhibits the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that promotes good quality sleep, so try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Invest in good quality blackout curtains on your windows to block light from outside.
Get rid of electronic devices, at least when it’s time for bed. Turn off the television, radio, and embrace the silence. We all love to play with our smartphones before bed, but try your best to unplug and stay offline at least an hour before you sleep.
If you snore while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea, which is basically obstructed airways. It’s a great idea to get a sleep study done by professionals, so they can prescribe a treatment for you.
Improving your sleep quality should be at the top of your priority list.
2) Feed your body with the right fuel
When it comes to energy, eating certain foods has a direct impact on how you end up feeling afterwards, and how much energy you have in the tank. Generally, consuming food and calories will give you a boost in energy. But there are some foods that actually zap your energy and leave you feeling tired or drained.
The obvious answer is to eat clean and healthy, but let’s dig a little deeper.
What you ultimately decide to put inside your body matters. Foods that are known to cause low energy levels, hormonal imbalances, and slower metabolic rate include white bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, yogurts, fried and fast foods, and other foods with added sugars.
Food that is high in sugar and carbohydrates cause you to feel sleepy and tired. Studies have shown that it is because of the extra serotonin that your body is busy producing due to the high levels of carbohydrates present.
Also, for those who like to go for a casual drink, consuming alcohol constantly (you probably know this already) also zaps energy.
We’re not saying never eat these, but do so in moderation. Having too much of them will definitely have a negative effect on your gas tank.
Conversely, some foods you eat will give you more energy like bananas, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, eggs, avocados, and dark chocolate, for example.
The best practice is still to have a well-balanced diet, complete with all the basic food groups, and not over-indulge on a particular thing. Restricting yourself to only consuming certain foods is also not ideal and not sustainable. Remind yourself that the food you put in your body is fuel. Put good fuel in to get good results.
3) Get daily consistent exercise
Another obvious point to ponder is getting consistent daily exercise. It’s been repeatedly drilled in our heads how important this is, but we’re here to reiterate that.
Any physical activity that raises your heart rate is going to improve your blood circulation and release endorphins. It’s going to strengthen the most important muscle in your body, which is your heart, and in turn, will improve your stamina. Exercise also increases the oxygen flowing through your bloodstream.
All of these factors combined make us feel more energized. If anything, your body’s ability to use energy will help itself become more energy-efficient.
Furthermore, going back to point number one, consistent exercise helps improve the quality of your sleep. It also decreases the production of cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress.
Have you ever felt so tired that it’s hard to move? Elevated cortisol levels are known to cause fatigue, which leaves your body feeling unnaturally heavy.
Exercise does a world of wonders for your energy levels. Strive to workout meaningfully at least three to four times a week. If you can’t do that for some reason, just get your body moving for at least 10 minutes every day, even if you were just going for a leisurely walk. It’s better than just sitting at your desk the whole time. A little goes a long way.
Activities like sports, martial arts training, and just general physical movement will have lasting positive effects. You’ll find yourself more energized, and most importantly, more motivated to take on your daily tasks.
There are so many great reasons for why you should exercise consistently, for your health or otherwise. Increased energy levels is definitely one of the best reasons.
4) Learn how to meditate
Last but certainly not least, it’s good to give your mind some attention. After all, a healthy mind is part of a healthy body. One way you can give your mind some love, and that which has many physiological benefits, is meditating. Take some time to meditate every day, and your whole well-being will improve greatly, including your energy levels.
Some of the benefits of meditation include better stress management, better quality sleep, increased self-awareness, the reduction of negative emotions, and a calmer, more serene feeling overall.
Humans have practiced meditation for centuries, and it’s only brought about positive effects. Meditation helps people relax, manage chronic stress, and lower blood pressure. These are just some of the effects. It also trains you how to respond, rather than react, to situations in your life.
Meditation clears your mind, conditions your psyche, and gives you a more positive outlook on the world around you.
Take some time out each day to find a quiet place where you can relax, breathe deeply, and just sit in peace. Observe your breathing, and feel the oxygen flow within your body. Allow your mind to be free of external distractions and worries. Allow your thoughts to leave your physical body, even for just a moment.
Meditating consistently will make you feel more at ease. It will also eliminate the stresses and worries that zap your energy throughout the day, leaving your feeling more energized.