High energy and vitality are signs of good health. Your body tells you when it feels good, and tells when it feels bad. Low energy is a sign that something isn’t right. You should evaluate your lifestyle immediately when you feel sluggish for more than a few days. Trying to cover up your body’s signal that it’s not feeling well with an energy drink or coffee is like throwing a blanket over a raging fire.
Here are 15 simple cures for constant fatigue (i.e. get more energy). First…
1) Evaluate Your Sleep
A lack of deep sleep is the #1 reason people feel tired. High stress can disrupt good sleep patterns. You should fall asleep quickly and wake up energized. How much sleep is enough? The right amount depends on several factors:
- Your age
- How much you exercise
- If you do (or don’t do) physical labor
- What time you go to sleep
For me, 7 hours from 10pm until 5am is perfect. The later I go to sleep, the more sleep I need. So, early to bed, early to rise, makes ‘you’ healthy, wealthy and wise. Consider four dietary supplements that may help you sleep better:
- Melatonin – Great if you’re older (45+) or traveling across time zones and trying to recover from jet lag. Start with smaller doses first, like 1mg and see how you feel the next morning.
- Kava Kava – Helpful for thinking minds that won’t turn off when they should.
- Eliminate stimulation 60 minutes before bed, including electronics like TV, email, social media and texting). Don’t think about work, finances or relationship issues.
- Keep your bedroom organized and clean for positive energy flow.
- Reserve your bedroom for two things: sleep and intimate relationships with your spouse. If you need to work, work in the living room. If you need to watch TV, watch it in the family room or wherever you have your TV.
- Don’t oversleep. Error on the side of ‘not enough’ sleep and take a power nap if you feel tired by early to mid afternoon.
2) Rule Out Anemia
Anemia is more common in women (of childbearing age) with heavy periods or who don’t consume enough iron. The female body also needs extra iron during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you feel any of these symptoms, get a blood test from your doctor:
- Feeling tired and physically weak
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of concentration
- Rapid heartbeat, chest pains, headache and even shortness of breath.
3) Power Nap 27 Minutes
Yes, 27 minutes is the exact amount of sleep I need if I am really tired in the afternoon. Otherwise, 15 minutes is usually enough. You should experiment to find out what is right for you. RARELY will you ever want to power nap longer than 30 minutes. Decide how much power-napping time is best for you measured by how you feel when you wake up. Groggy? You slept too much. Still tired? Sleep a minute longer the next time and see how you feel. Make sure you don’t sleep past 3:00 pm to guarantee a good nights rest.
4) Think About ‘Today’
A busy mind is a horrible disease that will not only drive you crazy, literally, but drain your energy levels. A machine or engine that never turns off for maintenance and rest will eventually break down. You are no different. The only thing you can control is how you respond to your current situation. Forget about yesterday, you can’t change it. If you have something unresolved from your past, take care of it now (yes, I mean now) and then forget about it. Don’t stress about tomorrow since it hasn’t even happened yet). The only way to influence what happens tomorrow is by how you deal with today. If you’re having a hard time focusing on the present moment, take a few minutes and do some Tapping, meditate or enjoy the same relaxation techniques Tony Robbins uses.
5) Eat Superfoods
What you eat (and don’t eat), how much you eat and when you eat are all important. If you eat processed foods high in sugar, fat and simple carbohydrates, you’ll feel like crap. You’ll ask yourself, “why am I so tired” without realizing the answer is right in front of you. Here’s some of my favorite superfoods.
Chia seeds – Healthy heart, skin and joints. Add to salads, smoothies, green drinks, recovery drinks (blend with watermelon and a little ice).
Goji – High in trace minerals, protein, fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron. Delicious by themselves, in smoothies, any cereal including granola and oatmeal, yogurt and salads.
Maca – Great for energy, to combat the effects of stress, supports healthy adrenals and increases libido. Smoothies and green drinks, you can even add some to your favorite cereal.
Cacao (nibs or powder) – High in antioxidants like flavanols and polyphenols. Also high in fiber, protein and iron. Protein drinks, smoothies, make your own chocolate chips (with coconut oil), cereal, yogurt and oatmeal.
Avocado – Anti-inflammatory, healthy skin. The highest concentration of carotenoids in avocado is in the dark green flesh just beneath the skin. Salads, fresh salsa.
Broccoli – Lowering of cholesterol when steamed. Body detoxification. Anti-inflammatory benefits from the flavonoid ‘kaempferol.’ Steam, steam, steam.Salads, eaten by itself or side dish with any main meal.
Cauliflower – Body detoxification, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Best Sautéing either by itself or with Turmeric for a nice curry flavor.
Kale – Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Body detoxification. Cut into 1″ pieces and steam 5 minutes. Enjoy in salads and green drinks.
Beets – High in phytonutrients called betalains which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Helps protect against heart disease and certain cancers, especially colon. Beet greens high in lutein/zeaxanthin, important for eye health. Steamed no longer than 15 minutes, roasted no longer than 60 minutes in low heat.
Blueberries – Nervous system, brain health, memory and antioxidant. Blood sugar balance for those with Type II Diabetes. Organic blueberries had a higher content of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants. Fresh or frozen by themselves, in desserts, smoothies, cereals. Delicious however you want to eat them!
Apricots – Help protect the heart and eyes, and provide disease-fighting effects of fiber. High beta-carotene content makes them important for heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation. Tree-ripened has most antioxidants: rich orange color (avoid pale and yellow apricots). Slightly soft.
Apples – Antioxidant, cardiovascular (lowers cholesterol), blood sugar, anti-cancer, anti-asthma. Polyphenols act as an apple’s natural sunscreen by helping absorb the sun’s UV-B light. The darker the red, the higher anthocyanins giving more health protection.Eat both the skin and pulp to get maximum nutrients.
Watermelon – High in lycopene, important in cardiovascular health and bone health. High phenolic compounds makes it a great choice for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits. Eat by itself, in a fruit salad or as a exercise recovery drink blended with chia seeds.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that moving your body is essential to generating energy. You can’t create energy without some type of movement. The best exercises for you depends on your physiology, health and state of mind. Things to consider:
- Are you overweight?
- Are you stressed out and uptight?
- Do you have any chronic injury?
- Is your goal to tone down, build endurance, bulk up or release stress?
I love exercises that are somewhat easy on my joints and provide an emotional and physical release.
- Trail running
After exercise, it’s important to rest and recuperate. A good night sleep is the most important, but also practicing ‘active rest’ where you consciously allow your mind to be empty for a time. This can come through meditation and yoga.
7) Eat Plant-based Protein
I used to eat a lot of protein from animal sources and protein shakes. I always asked; which is the best protein powder? What are the high protein foods I should be eating? Today, I eat much less protein. I feel better. My digestion is better. My energy is better. I used to always ask myself “why am I so tired” when I was eating a lot of protein, 100-200 grams per day. I believe the body process of digesting animal based foods and so much protein was a contributing factor to my low energy. Too little protein can also cause low energy levels, so find out what’s right for you by experimenting with different sources and varying amounts. I like eating my protein from nuts, vegetables, grains and legumes and whole-food based protein like SunWarrior. It fills me up and doesn’t bloat.
8) Take a Daily Multi-vitamin
Taking a multi-vitamin and mineral daily is important. While my preference is to get all my nutrients from food, I realize it’s impossible to eat a perfectly balanced diet and to get food that hasn’t been genetically-modified or altered, sprayed with disease-causing chemicals, etc. Our food labels hide how our food is grown, processed and transported. It’s impossible to know exactly what we’re eating.
9) Try EFT
I really enjoy EFT (Tapping) to relieve stress and help overcome fears and blocked emotions. EFT is a technique of stimulating certain energy meridians within our body while visualizing or verbalizing the reason for our stress, fears or blocked emotions. Stress, fear and blocked emotions are a significant drain on mental and physical (and spiritual) energy. Recent studies have proven that EFT, or Tapping, really does work, especially with certain conditions. I encourage you to learn more about EFT and experiment with it. It may look a little weird at first, but have an open mind and give it an honest effort. I think you’ll like the results.
10) Personal Development
We’re happiest when we’re making progress in those things important to us. If we’re not progressing, we feel tired, stressed and have little desire or motivation to do what we know we should. We may feel more anxious as well. Taking time daily to develop yourself and grow as an individual, to refocus your goals and listen to and read inspiring stories will reenergize you.
11) Release Tension
Yoga is one of the best ways to release daily and built up tension. For my married friends, relax with your spouse and let your libido do the rest. Intimate relationships are a great way to rejuvenate the body and the mind. There are other ways to release tension. Runners find it with their running shoes on the road or trekking through the wilderness on trails. Do what releases tension and do it regularly. Prevention will keep you healthy and energized.
12) Increase Your Libido
Low sex drive happens to most people at least once in their married life. 40% of women report a decline in libido at some point in their life. Low testosterone (low T) may be causing some of your fatigue. If you suspect low T, see your doctor and explore bio-identical hormones if needed. Bio-identical hormones appear to be safer than synthetic hormones. Consider taking Maca root on a regular basis. 3-6 capsules daily of Maca Power, or one teaspoon of Maca powder. Stress is a major cause of low sex drive. Consider GABA, Tryptophan or Kava Kava to take the edge off and give your mind a rest. Zinc is critical to fertility and sex drive. Women with high libido also have high testosterone levels. 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. Zinc blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen (important for mens health). Dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao, helps to increase dopamine levels, the brain’s “pleasure chemical.” The bioflavonoids in dark chocolate also open up blood vessels and improve blood flow. If you smoke, stop it. It kills your health (and breath) and reduces blood flow to your reproductive organs.
13) Why Am I So Tired? Try Fasting
Fasting is one of the greatest tools available to improve your health and it’s FREE. Fasting gives your body a rest from work. We’re taught to eat so much and so often, whether we’re hungry or not, that body processes like digestion never get a vacation. Begin fasting for 24 hours once per month. Or, if you’re ambitious, do a water-only fast every week. Some like juice fasting though it’s not as cleansing as water-only. For most, these short fasts are completely safe and will help restore energy. A small percentage of people who experience serious health issues already, may want to fast under the guidance of an experienced heath professional. It’s your body, so be smart and do what is best for it.
14) Get Rid of Sugar and Soda
The average American eats almost 23 teaspoons of sugar every day. 23 teaspoons!!! 36% of this is high fructose corn syrup. 7% (21.1 million) of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Americans consume the most high fructose corn syrup, Brazil the most refined sugar. Is it really surprising that we have an epidemic of poor health? Is it surprising after 23 teaspoons of sugar that we feel like crap? Can we honestly ask “why am I so tired” without sounding hypocritical? Be careful what you eat, observe how you feel after eating and make changes as needed. You’ll be rewarded for making the right choices.
15) Be Grateful
Finally, one of the greatest characteristics we can have is gratitude. Being grateful for your life situation, good or bad, will put your mind and body at ease and allow you to experience life as it should be experienced. Being grateful will reduce your stress and allow you to experience vitality and energy.
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