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Do you often feel exhausted from working 40+ hours a week, running children around, waking up in the middle of the night to deal with kids, and the stresses of everyday life?
Of course, you do! You are a parent!
If you want to regain some of that lost energy with solutions other than four cups of coffee and Redbull, then you need to read this post!
The Importance of Energy
“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talents to produce outstanding results. “ ~ Anthony Robbins
You are smart and probably already know the outcome of more energy is better results in your life, family, and career.
The thing you may not know is how to increase your energy.
Reasons for Low-Energy
Low energy affects millions of adults. This information shouldn’t be surprising considering the lives we lead and the bad habits we knowingly and unknowingly create.
The following are just some of the stresses and bad habits in our lives:
- Paying the bills
- Mom/Dad-guilt for working so much
- Pressures of work
- A few drinks before bed
- Fast food
- Lack of or no exercise
- High sodium diets
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Long commutes in addition to long working hours
- Distancing relationship from your spouse
- Ignoring children
- Checking email in bed
Often, we ignore these habits and stresses, and they take a toll on our lives. The results are our energy plummets.
When you don’t keep up your energy levels, then you can become irritable, put on weight, develop health problems, and become a shell of the person you once were.
Fortunately, there are solutions to increase your energy levels so you can dominate your life.
7 Best Ways to Increase Your Energy and Dominate Life
1) Optimize Sleep
As parents with full-time jobs, it’s hard always to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep. Instead of worrying about how much sleep you are getting, at a minimum optimize your sleep.
While you are sleeping the worst thing you can do is wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle. You will feel the most refreshed and have the most energy if you wake up at the end of the loop.
To ensure you wake up at the end of your sleep cycle; remember the 90-minute rule. For most of us, a sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes. During this time you move through five stages of sleep. To learn about the five stages of sleep, the WellnessBin has written a very informative article you can read here.
To solve this problem, set your alarm to wake you up at the end of your sleep cycle. For example, if you go to bed at 11:00 then set your alarm for either 5:00 or 6:30. Remember it is 90 minutes from the time you fall asleep; so if it takes you 30 minutes to go to sleep, factor in that 30 minutes.
An app I use to help me wake up at the end of a cycle is appropriately called Sleep Cycle. The app uses sound analysis to identify sleep states by tracking the movements in bed. The app then wakes you up when you are in the lightest state possible. A great review of the app is at MyMorningRoutine.com.
If you are genuinely interested in optimizing your sleep beyond sleep cycles, then download my Complete Guide to Optimizing Your Sleep below.
According to the DailyMail.com, 20% of patients suffer from dehydration. The site wrote, “A survey of 300 GPs found one in five patients go to the doctor with symptoms – such as tiredness- that can be caused by not drinking enough (water).”
Water helps flush out waste in our bodies. When you neglect drinking enough water, toxins and waste stay gummed up in your system. Then you start to feel like a couch potato.
To ensure you are drinking enough water, drink half your body weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds try to drink 90 ounces of water.
My favorite tool to stay hydrated is my Hydro Flask 40 oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Wide Mouth w/Flex Cap, Black bottle I purchased on Amazon.
Since our schedules are full, skipping a workout is easy. Ignoring exercise altogether is even easier!
However, exercise helps give you sustained energy to get through the day. Reasons regular exercise increases your energy include:
- Strengthens circulation and the heart muscle
- Produces more mitochondria (the energy of our cells)
- An increase in endorphins
If you are like most people, then exercise is an afterthought. Instead of waiting until the end of the day to workout, wake up 30 minutes early and get after it.
4. Move Around Throughout the Day
Personally, I exercise five to six days a week but still felt tired during the week while I was at work. Most of the time I am in the car for the majority of my day, so I am very sedentary.
Then I read an article on LiveScience.com, titled Too Much Sitting is Killing You (Even if You Exercise).
YIKES!!!! I got a little nervous.
After some more research, I learned that being sedentary most of the day could be my problem. So I started doing mini-exercises during the day.
Every 90 to 120 minutes, I try to stop my car and do some mini bodyweight exercises. These activities include (depending on where I am):
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- A brisk five-minute walk
Typically I will do a variety of these exercises for five to ten minutes. After I complete these quick exercises, I get a boost of energy and am ready to go again.
To ensure you are recharging your body set a timer on your phone or watch for every 90 minutes to two hours. When it goes off, try a few of the above exercises.
You probably don’t pay much attention to your breath. Why would you? It is something you do automatically.
It is one of the most ignored these we do as a culture. Most of us, have gotten into a habit of (myself included) of just breathing. Ignoring how we breath leads us to take quick, short breaths all day.
There isn’t anything wrong with that because it has kept you alive.
On the other hand, practicing a few breathing exercises every day can increase your energy. When you breath slow and deep you will send powerful doses of oxygen to your brain and the cells of your body; this helps improve your energy levels.
Usually, I do the following breathing exercise five times a day:
- Breath in slowly for five seconds
- Hold the breath for seven seconds
- Breath out slowly for five seconds
- Repeat 4-5 times
This practice is an easy exercise to perform, and you can do this at your desk without anyone noticing. If you want to learn more about breathing exercises, Jenifer Dene has an excellent article on PaleoHacks that will blow your mind (no pun intended).
Additionally, if you implement a breathing practice, you’ll start decreasing stress (another energy sucker) and improving your mood by practicing a form of mindfulness.
We are considered the fast food nation. I’m far from being a healthy/clean eater, but what we put in our bodies does have serious ramifications.
When we fill our bodies with sodium, processed foods, sugar, and alcohol; then we aren’t going to feel our best. We’ll wake up tired, not feel like moving, and probably look to Redbull or coffee to get us through the day.
I’m not going to harp on you for the food choices you make, and you don’t have to become a vegetarian (or worse vegan:), but if you want to increase your energy start with your diet.
Here are some great articles I have read that have been helpful to improving my diet:
The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Clean Eating – Easy Living Today
Top 10 Energizing Snacks – MomToMomNutrition.com (I love this article because most of us cheat with snacks)
7. Chia Seeds
Kale has been the sexiest food for health nuts and hipsters for the past couple of years. Now it’s time for Kale to move over and give that title to Chia Seeds.
According to an article on EatThisNotThat.com, Carolyn Brown, MS, RD at Foodtrainers was quoted saying, “Chia seeds give you stable energy because of their great ratio of protein, fats, and fiber combined with the fact that they’re low carb. They won’t cause spikes and drops in blood sugar or insulin levels, preventing cravings and overeating later.”
When I discovered how beneficial Chia Seeds were, I started adding a tablespoon of them to morning green drink.
There is no doubt many of us don’t have the energy we once had (especially before children). Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.
To increase your energy and dominate your life start implementing a few of the tips in this article and let me know how you feel.
Pretty soon you’ll know what Norman Vicent Peale meant when he said, “You can have peace of mind, improved health, and ever-increasing flow of energy. Life can be full of joy and satisfaction.”
If you feel like this post helped you in any way, please share freely!