14 Ways To Increase Your Energy

I  run a busy business during the day, teach power-packed fitness classes in the evenings and write this blog. The question I get asked the most is, "How do you have so much energy?". So I decided to answer this question in this post, with a list of everything that helps me stay as energetic as I am. I'm not going to mention that you should be getting enough sleep each night, because that's obvious. Apart from that, here are all my energy-enhancing secrets:

1. Start your day with a good breakfast
Don't even THINK about skipping breakfast. Don't. Even. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need fuel in your body at the beginning of the day to feel energetic throughout the day. And not just any fuel. Good fuel. Opt for eggs, whole wheat bread, smoothies, and other such foods that release energy slowly, and wake you up slowly. Eat within an hour of waking up.

2. Exercise.
We tend to think that we need to HAVE energy to exercise. Which is not true. Exercising increases your energy levels. So even when you get home tired after work, get your butt off that couch and go exercise! You'll feel more energetic the next day and the next. Your energy levels will steadily go up as you keep working out and building stamina and endurance. If you're very tired, try doing 30 minutes of exercise. Or even 15 minutes everyday.

3. Eat many times a day
Flagging energy levels can be quickly perked up by eating the right foods throughout the day. Your body needs sustenance to keep going. Your brain needs fuel to keep going. But this sustenance and fuel should be in the form of good food. Don't starve yourself until your next meal. Have a mid-morning snack, a mid-afternoon snack, and maybe one before dinner as well. No, you won't get fat. Not unless you're snacking on sugary biscuits and fried chips.  Raw nuts, a small bowl of fruit, a cup of yogurt, one banana, etc., are good examples of healthy snacks. 

4. Go potty
Carrying toxic waste inside you makes you feel tired and sluggish. You can even get massive headaches from being constipated. You should be going to the bathroom at least once a day to empty your stomach. Try and notice how you feel much lighter and peppier after you've done so. Do whatever it takes to make sure you go at least once a day- eat more fibrous foods, drink honey-lemon water when you wake up, and drink lots of water throughout the day.

5. Eat fresh, natural foods that are cooked right
Food that is closest to its source, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, will give you more energy than food that is processed and sitting on a shelf for months and months. Avoid canned, processed and packaged food. Frozen food is okay as the nutrients are retained. Make sure you cook your food in such a way that the nutrients are not lost. Don't overcook and deep-fry your food. Reduce eating in restaurants and cafes that use frozen foods that have been sitting in a container on a ship for god knows how long. 

6. Reduce red meat
Notice how you feel heavy and lethargic after eating red meat like mutton and beef. This is because red meat is harder to digest. Stick to white meat like chicken, turkey and fish which is easier to digest and has less fat. If you really can't live without your steak or burger, try and reduce it to just once a week.

7. Be around happy, optimistic people
Negative, high-strung people will bring your energy levels down. You're not going to feel exuberant with energy when someone has been whining and complaining to you about the world and all their problems all the time. Be around happy, kind people who make you laugh and you'll have more energy to attack your tasks.

8. Find out what your adaptogens are and keep them around 
An adaptogen is anything that helps your body resist stress. Imagine you've had a long, hard day. You find a kitten on the side of the road and you play with it for a bit. Suddenly you realize that you don't even feel that tired anymore. The kitten acted like an adaptogen that changed your mood and uplifted your spirits. Find out what your personal adaptogens are and keep them close. 

9. Drink up!
A major reason for your tiredness and fatigue could be because you're not drinking enough water. Drinking water not only helps your body properly, but it keeps your mind awake and fresh. Keep a big bottle of water on your table and aim to finish it before you leave for home. Ignore the funny looks from your coworkers when you make several trips to the bathroom. You're the one who's getting more work done and feeling more energetic while you're at it.

10. Do a brain dump
Most of the time {or even ALL of the time} our thoughts weigh us down and rob us of energy. Take a piece of paper or a notebook and write down EVERYTHING that's on your mind right that second. Don't worry about proper sentences and grammar, just write. Dump your brain on that paper. It'll help you feel much better and more energetic. 

11. Chew your food properly
It's so important to sit down at the dining table and have a relaxed meal. Shoveling food in as if eating is a race does your body no good. In addition to making you put on weight, it also leads to indigestion, gas, and a general feeling of heaviness and discomfort. Enjoying a meal and chewing food slowly helps to release energy steadily.

12. Take a nap BEFORE you're tired
There's a lot of research showing the benefits of naps to recharge the body, but I believe it's better to take a nap or relax BEFORE you get too tired. When you're super-tired, it's harder to relax, and even harder to sleep. Also, when your brain is buzzing with a thousand things on your mind, you can't relax. So take a nap when you feel even slightly tired or sleepy. A 30 min to 1 hour nap after lunch is great to feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day. If work doesn't allow you to take a nap during the day, try and have a siesta once you get home.

13. Have smoothie bowls and raw juices
Whenever I have a nice big glass of green juice or a yummy big smoothie bowl, my energy levels lift. A smoothie bowl is simply a smoothie served in a bowl. You can top it with fruits and nuts, and because of its thick consistency, it's easier to eat it with a spoon than drink it from a glass. Raw juices are any juices made from raw fruits and vegetables. I prefer making these at home rather than buying packaged smoothies and juices because I can be creative with the ingredients. There are many smoothie/ juice recipes available online but you can blend your favorite fruit and veg with ice water or fresh coconut water. Have them for breakfast or post-workout, but just make sure you don't add sugar as sugar will make your energy levels crash after some time.

14. PLAY!
Children have so much more energy than us because they fill their days with play. You could play a game of cards alone, play simple board games with a friend or family member, blow bubbles even if it's in your own kitchen, build a blanket fort in your living room, do some drawing and coloring, or make paper boats and planes. The list is endless! {You already feel like doing one of those things right now, don't you?}. Find out how you can incorporate play into your day, even for a short burst of time and watch your energy levels shoot up.

That's it! Those look like a lot of things, but trust me, once you incorporate these tips into your lifestyle and make a habit out of them, it becomes easy. And SO worth it because you'll have more energy to do the things you love to do.

Until next time,

Shabana Feroze

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