Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Kickstart your New Year’s resolutions this winter with 10 ways to get more energy and stay healthy – whatever the weather in Delaware.
Do you feel tired and exhausted as it rolls around in the late afternoon? We understand that. With the winter season comes the urge to go to sleep, and although daylight may be shorter, the days are even is it not. Here we offer ways to help you regain your summer vitality and find the stamina you need to push through. And just think: Spring is here before we know it.
Turn off your tired
When you do not drink enough water, dehydration causes your energy levels to drop. It also negatively affects brain function and cellular health.
“Dehydration can lead to decreased ability to concentrate, affect your mood, increase your chances of having headaches and contribute to feelings of anxiety and fatigue,” says Jennifer C. Katz, RDN, LDN, CC, a culinary-registered dietitian who runs Fresh Balance Nutrition, serves customers in Delaware and Maryland. “Your brain needs to be hydrated to function properly. In addition, staying hydrated will boost your energy levels because it helps control your body temperature, prevents fatigue during exercise and protects sensitive tissues in the body.”
While the Mayo Clinic recommends consuming eight glasses of water each day, you may need more depending on your activities. Do you feel sluggish? Choose water over caffeinated or highly sweetened beverages. Adding some lemon, cucumber or citrus slices can help you swallow more of this source of life.
Give your stomach a break
Intermittent fasting (a cycle of fasting and eating) can also provide an energy boost. Common intermittent fasting methods include daily 16-hour fasting or fasting for 24 hours twice a week.
“If someone is a good candidate for it, they have no eating disorders and are not severely underweight, then they can benefit from intermittent fasting,” Katz says. “Your body becomes more efficient in a fasting state to use your energy stores, which can increase your overall energy and improve your mood. It also reduces insulin resistance, which can be beneficial for people who have trouble controlling blood sugar levels and thus improving energy levels. “This way of eating, she points out, has also been shown to reduce brain fog and reduce the chronic stress that leads to a higher risk of disease.
Go to bed, Sleepyhead
If you feel tired during the day, you probably will not get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can make you feel lethargic, moody and unproductive. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, although the amount of sleep you need largely depends on your own body and lifestyle.
“Sleep is at the heart of all things energy-related and is characterized by maintaining momentum throughout the day,” said Bradley Sandella, DO, Director of Sports Medicine at ChristianaCare in Wilmington. “Sleep allows the body to recover from the events of the day and restores our energy levels.”
Do you find it difficult to fall asleep at night? Try relaxing with a hot bath, reading a book or going to bed a little earlier. Relaxation techniques such as meditation or mindfulness to calm your mind can also help. And avoid using cell phones or other electronic devices before bedtime as they can have a stimulating effect.
When you get a good night’s sleep, you feel awake rested and refreshed, enabling you to be more active and have more energy during the day.
Sweat the sweat
Have you heard the phrase “lethargy breeds lethargy”? Well, regular exercise does the opposite, plus reduces your risk of developing a chronic illness (diabetes, heart disease and obesity, to name a few).
“Exercise affects how the heart pumps and circulates oxygen to the brain,” says ChristianaCare’s Sandella. “Participating in a regular exercise program is one of the most important things you can do to take care of your body and ensure you have plenty of energy throughout the day.”
If you have some time, a quick high-intensity workout, half an hour of yoga or a brisk walk outdoors can also help clear your head and give you the boost you need.
“Find [a fitness routine] you enjoy it so you keep going, ”advises Rob Lundgren, owner of Shift Fit, a personal training studio in Newark. “Try something new and get out of your comfort zone to keep yourself motivated.” Since most of us are surrounded by technology all day, it is especially beneficial to get some fresh air and get started afterwards, he points out. “It makes you feel more energetic and leads to better overall health.”
Let your mind relax
Stress can take a serious toll on both your physical and mental health and leave you tired and overwhelmed to the point where you feel completely obliterated.
“Stress management is essential to maintaining energy levels,” explains Sandella. “The emotional strain on our body puts a strain on our energy. Focusing on mindfulness, meditation or yoga can help reduce anxiety and help you recharge.”
Jennifer Sweigart, owner of Sadhana Yoga in Wilmington, adds: “When you are able to slow down, create silence and connect your breathing with movement, create peace and tranquility that carries into your everyday life. We relate our yoga practice to to give energy to our bodies, as well as to develop and maintain good health. In the end, if you feel good, you will have more energy to cope throughout the day. “
Although the brain accounts for only 2 percent of your body weight, it uses as much as 20 percent of your energy reserves, adds Diana Hoscheit, founder of Harmony Yoga Therapy in Wilmington. “So it’s easy to see how unmanaged stress can deplete your energy. When you pay attention to your body and breathing during a yoga practice, you get a exposure to stressful thinking while promoting the balance between body and mind.” The balance and lightness of mind you cultivate during your workout does not just disappear the moment you step off the mat, Hoscheit points out. “You take it with you into your day.”
Taking your yoga practice or any activity you love outdoors can also be a huge boost to your energy, she says. “When you are surrounded by nature, your heart rate tends to drop, your blood pressure drops and muscle tension begins to melt away. Your nervous system shifts from stress response to relaxation and rejuvenation. Soaking in the heat from the sun or feeling the wind energy can help to make you feel more alive and connected to the world around you. “
Not so cute
Processed foods – especially those with a lot of sugar – lower … you … down. Too much sugar can cause blood sugar levels to rise; as a result, your body releases large amounts of insulin to reduce these blood sugar levels, which can make you feel tired and sluggish.
“Foods with low glycemic or low sugar content, such as nutrient-dense carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, keep our insulin and blood sugar levels stable, resulting in a good energy level,” says Katz. “With a low-glycemic diet, you will not have crashed where you feel slow and foggy or stuck together and bloated.”
Choose healthy snacks like unsalted nuts, carrot sticks, hummus, grapes, Greek yogurt, apple slices, cheese or peanut butter for a more stable flow of energy throughout the day.
A cup of Joe – but that’s it
While caffeine gives you a temporary boost, it ultimately puts you ready for a crash if not ingested in moderation.
“Caffeine is a stimulant that can give your body a shot of energy, but afterwards you may feel increased fatigue,” Sandella points out. “While it may be helpful in short bursts if you ingest caffeine later in the day, it can disrupt your sleep, which in turn leads to decreased energy.”
Caffeine can also lead to poor food choices. “You may feel nervous and anxious after consuming caffeine because it affects your blood sugar level,” Katz explains. This can affect your appetite so you feel like the wrong type of food. It’s not good for your energy or your waistline.
“Caffeine is a stimulant that can give your body a shot of energy, but afterwards you may feel increased fatigue.”
Dietary supplements can occasionally help with your wellness routine and may help some people struggling to maintain their energy levels, but it is always recommended that you talk to your health care provider to determine the best course of action.
“I always encourage people to look at their diet and lifestyle first before taking supplements,” Katz says. “It’s important to look at what you eat, how you sleep, how you deal with stress, whether you exercise … before jumping straight into supplements.”
Certainly more common vitamins, such as B-12, can help the body convert the food you eat into glucose, which can give you more energy, or CoQ10, an antioxidant needed for proper cell function and energy production, can be helpful , if your body is deficient in these areas.
Adjust your position
A positive mindset can also boost your energy level. Your mental attitude and how you respond to stress can play a significant role in the long run.
“A positive perspective that is not burdened by the worries of the world helps reduce stress,” says Sweigart of Sadhana Yoga. “When you are relaxed and participate in a practice like yoga, it releases endorphins in the brain that make us feel better and more energetic. When you are able to harness your energy, you can build strength, endurance and flexibility. , stay healthy and feel good about yourself. ”
The key to maintaining your energy level and feeling good every day is to take care of your body, mind and soul. If you eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, find time to relax and live a satisfying life, your energy level should be plentiful.
Taste the rainbow
Eating a nutritious diet not only repels disease – it also significantly affects energy levels.
“Having a well-balanced diet is the key to getting all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and keep your body energetic,” says Brooke Jacob, MS, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian at ChristianaCare. A well-balanced diet should provide all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. An easy way to eat healthy is to put a rainbow of colors on your plate.
“A good rule of thumb is to fill your plate with a quarter of vegetables, a quarter of complex carbohydrates and half a protein,” she adds. “Healthy calories provide fuel for your body, which can be converted into building blocks to give you more energy.”
Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources can help keep you healthy, fit and energetic.
“Eating three regular meals throughout the day with light snacks in between, combining carbohydrates and protein like low-fat cheese and whole grain biscuits or peanut butter, will give your body the fuel it needs to keep going and help you feel satiated longer. ” says Jacob.
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