Low energy, fatigue, or that afternoon slump are familiar feelings to many of us.
But what is often less familiar, is why you have low energy, and what to do about it.
Low energy levels can stem from lots of causes, and often is due to a different reason for everyone.
Becoming familiar with common causes however is a good place to start in addressing your own.
Here are some things to consider:
Lack of Sleep
Perhaps one of the most obvious causes of low energy is lack of sleep. When we go to sleep, our body and mind use the time to recover, repair and re-energize. Our bodily systems, such as our digestive system and immune system use the time while we are sleeping to eliminate cells that are old or improperly functioning, repair any damaged cells or parts of our system, and give normally hard-working body systems a rest. Without this time, none of this happens and chances are we will feel more tired as a result. For many of us though, it is not only lack of sleep, but also, poor quality sleep. Establish a night time routine which you can follow every night to improve the quality of your sleep, including wind down time before you sleep and cutting off screens in the hour before bed.
Poor Food Choices
Whether it is high amounts of processed foods or sugar, stimulants like chocolate or caffeine that send you crashing, or just food choices that don’t align with your body and how it feels best, the wrong energy input can give no energy for output. If you find yourself feeling constantly lethargic, having energy highs, followed by a crash, or just generally feeling like you have poor concentration and a foggy brain, look to your food choices for some guidance in improving.
While it may seem in the moment that you are too tired to get up and do exercise, if you have been sitting for a long periods of time, the lack of movement will in fact make you more tired and trick your brain into thinking you don’t have the energy to move. In reality though, getting up and going for a walk, getting some fresh air and going for a run in the park, or hitting up the pool for a swim after work are all going to improve your energy instead of make it decline further.
With so many of the body’s day-to-day functions requiring adequate water, it makes sense that without enough you’ll start to fatigue. When your fluids are low, your body cannot effectively carry out energy generation, digestion, brain function and cognitive work, and as such, chances are, you may feel the effects in the way of fatigue or low energy. And when this happens, you may not even realize that low water intake is to blame. Fix it up by drinking water every hour and staying on top of your daily intake.
From regular movement to regular water to adequate sleep, combine these things together and pretty soon, you’ll likely see your energy drastically improve.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH