A conversation with my sister-in-law last weekend has left me thinking a lot about how to have more energy. She is exhausted every day. She told me that when she gets to the grocery store, she’ll sit in the parking lot in her quiet car to rest until she can gather up enough energy to go in and get her groceries.
Why do some people abundantly have more energy to get through the day, while others are struggling to stay awake?
I’m 46 years old this year, and have always had a lot if energy. I’m not sure if I was born with it. I don’t think it was genetic because my mom slept through a lot of my childhood. I have never been one to need a nap. In fact, I can’t sleep during the day even if I tried. I always wake up before 5 am without an alarm and I’m ready to get started with my day. I’m just not tired if the sun is up.
It should be noted that I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroid. In fact, my TSH level came back at 96, but I still wasn’t tired! I had gone in to get it checked because of an elevated cholesterol reading that wasn’t normal for me. (I also had some wrist pain which I believe to be a symptom of Hypothyroid.)
I have a few theories that I think contributes to my energy.
The Law of Motion for More Energy
The first theory about energy I have is an actual scientific theory. I repeat this when I need to get things done.
“An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest”.
Repeating that phrase can get me off the couch. It can get me started on dinner or housework, and it even can get me to tackle projects I want to procrastinate. Once you get started, it’s much easier to keep going. It’s starting that takes all the effort.
Deep Sleep for More More Energy
The second thing that contributes to energy is deep sleep. To be in bed at 9 means the kids have to be in bed at 8. It’s worth it to me for a good nights sleep. The more hours BEFORE midnight, the deeper the sleep is. If you don’t think you are getting into the deep REM sleep, consider sleep hygiene like shutting down devices in the evening, avoiding caffeine after noon, and sleeping with your bedroom temperature under 70!
Healthy Food for More Energy
Third way to have more energy is good nutrition. Overeating and processed food is the hugest drain on energy. But the following foods can have an immediate impact on your energy:
- Complex carbs is our bodies preferred source of energy! There are other ways to create energy from our macronutrients, but glucose from whole plant foods like beans or oatmeal is readily available to our body to use for energy.
- Simple Carbs– Also turned into glucose and used for energy, simple carbs have shorter chains to break, therefore can be used for quicker access to energy. Simple carbs are fruit, milk, or sugar.
- Iron – essential to energy production is iron. You can find iron in red meat or even spinach. Without enough iron, energy is non-existent.
- Vitamin B 12– If you suffer from low energy, consider getting your Vitamin B12 levels tested. It’s the vitamin that helps convert food into glucose for your body to use for energy. If you are low in B12 or suspect you have a deficiency, B12 shots, supplements, beef or tuna, or even fortified cereals may help.
Exercise Outdoors for More Energy
Lastly, outdoor exercise! Getting your heart rate up outside gives the biggest boost of energy! The outdoors have been associated with lower stress, reduced blood pressure, increased mood, and improved physical fitness. This can greatly impact your energy. For years I’ve been exercising outdoors and believe 100% it’s contributed to my overall optimistic mood and abundance of energy. In fact, I know on the days I run on a treadmill rather than outside, I’m moodier and don’t feel as good. Which is why I’ve committed to an outdoor running streak! I’ve been including some photos on my personal instgram (like below) to keep me accountable.