It seems like more and more people are complaining about fatigue or wanting to feel more energetic. This is mostly because of our busy lifestyles which lead to poor sleep quality, insufficient rest, bad eating habits or lack of physical exercise. It doesn’t help that with aging, one’s metabolism dips and this also affects how energetic we feel.
How then can you increase your energy levels? I’m sure some of these things you already know…
Cut back on your digital devices
As with some of our earlier articles on sleep and digital detox, your smartphone or tablet may be the culprit causing you to fall asleep a little later and having less than ideal quality sleep. With a brain that is stimulated, it will take some time to quieten down enough for you to fall into deep sleep. As such, resist reading that message or email about an hour before bedtime and read a book or magazine instead.
Schedule exercise and relaxation time
The most common excuse for not exercising is “not having enough time”. But as most of us who exercise regularly, we know that we make time for it. The first and most important part is to make it a routine by scheduling it into your calendar. If you need motivation, get a workout buddy so that you are accountable to him or her. Perhaps, you might even want to hire a personal trainer (psst…we’re offering 1 free session) who will meet you every month and come up with a workout routine for you. You could also sign up for some fitness classes, ensuring that you stick to it since you know which classes will suit your schedule.
Best is to try and exercise at least 3 times a week, with a mix of both cardio and strength training. Even at your busiest, 15 minutes of exercise is still better than none as this helps you maintain your metabolism. Remember, we’re not talking about losing weight here but to ensure better metabolic health so that you feel more energetic than before.
Relaxation is also important as it will help to quieten down your mind and allow you to get better sleep. Some like to meditate before sleeping and this ensures that they don’t touch their digital devices while also preparing their mind and body to be ready to sleep.
Those who have gone through our 60-day Metabolic Tune Up programme would know that making the right food choices also affect one’s sugar levels throughout the day. Stick to complex carbohydrates such as brown rice or sweet potatoes and curb the urge for sugary drinks. If you must snack, go for healthier options such as fresh fruit or something less processed such as those below. When you eat right and your sugar levels do not go crazy high and low, that is when your metabolism is able to reach optimal levels and thus, keeping you energetic.
What if you’ve been sleeping relatively well, don’t really snack but you’re still feeling lethargic and tired? Ruling out mental health issues, perhaps that you might need to rely on…
Tru Niagen – Single Bottle S$69.90; box of three S$178.25. Sold exclusively at Watsons in Singapore.
Some people may nay say supplements and opt for more natural methods such as those highlighted above. However, sometimes, you may not be able to really eat well all the time nor sleep well all the time and that’s where supplements help to boost your energy levels. And we don’t mean through that extra cup of caffeine and sugar laden frappuccino.
One such supplement that we at The Wellness Insider got to try is Tru Niagen – the world’s first and only form of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) proven to safely boost Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which is the central regulator of metabolism and is required for energy production within your cells (mitochondria for those who know your biology). It is also NAD and the triggering of energy production within cells that enable your cells to resist cellular stresses and helps to repair DNA.
NR is found naturally in milk (whether it be in cow’s or human milk) but at levels too low to produce any differences in NAD levels in healthy adults. Which is where Tru Niagen comes in. The team has tried it for a week and all of us found that as explained by Dr Charles Brenner, who discovered NR and it’s effects on NAD, Tru Niagen does not cause you to gain sudden ‘energy’ like how caffeine does. Instead, all of us experienced better sleep quality, regardless what time we went to bed. There were still a couple of yawns throughout the day, but nobody felt that they needed desperately to catch a nap and concentration levels were relatively high.
You can get a bottle of Tru Niagen at Watsons Singapore for S$69.90 but they’re having a promotional box of three at S$178.25.
Some natural herbal supplements that contain Valerian or Camomile are also recommended as they are known to help relax and soothe. We like Activa’s Serenity as the herbs are encapsulated into tiny little pellets that ensure extended release into your system, thus ensuring that you will slowly get relaxed and have better sleep quality. And as we have established, with better sleep, it means less stress and more energy to your body – both physically and mentally.
Create a conducive environment
All the above are useless if not put into practice or your current lifestyle and/or environment prevents you from following through beyond a week. Remember, it takes at least 100 days for you to develop a new habit and to get rid of an old one. So how should you go about creating a conducive environment?
For example, keep your bedroom as a place for you to sleep (and perhaps some other bedroom activities) but do not do anything that’s stress or work related in there. In other words, you’re associating your bedroom with rest and relaxation. This will mentally help you to relax and be ready for snoozing once you enter your room.
If you can only workout early in the morning and you find it a hassle, why not sleep in your workout attire? When you wake up, you’ll only need to brush your teeth, wash your face, grab a quick drink before hitting the gym or the pavement if you’re jogging.
For those who have signed up for fitness classes after work and are always in a rush in the mornings to get things packed, pack your gym bag the night before. Then you’ll avoid the madness in the morning and you won’t associate working out with something that is stressful or a hassle.
Most importantly, find ways that work for you to help you feel that little bit more energetic throughout the day!
Photo credits: Watsons Singapore, Pixabay, The Wellness Store