Full of life
Lacking zest as we enter 2024? Chester Health Store offer up five easy steps to feel more energised
Are your energy levels flagging? From not getting enough sleep, to sitting too long behind a screen, there are lots of reasons why your energy levels may be low – and some of these may surprise you.
Here we look at what could be draining your mental and physical reserves, and how you can feel more energised in five easy steps.
Of the sweet (or fake) stuff
Sugary, processed foods that are high in refined, quick-release carbs (found in white bread, pastries and sweets), may give you a quick energy fix, but after a couple of hours, sudden spikes in energy will plummet, making you feel tired and sleepy.
Many of us reach for a mug of coffee to help fight fatigue, and in moderation, coffee can boost alertness, but too much coffee has been linked to agitation, a raised heart rate, raised blood pressure and fatigue.
Too social for your own good? According to an article in Women’s Health magazine, research from the University of Illinois found that the constant use of a smartphone had a negative impact on mental health, leading to fatigue, anxiety and low mood.
Feeling stressed can take its toll on energy levels. Whilst it may not be possible to remove stress completely from your life, allow yourself at least 30 minutes each day to do whatever helps you to relax.
Low mood affects the body mentally and physically. Those suffering from low mood often experience fatigue and low energy levels.
Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. The brain, vital organs and muscles contain even more. Even slight dehydration will cause body tissue to lose fluid and function less well, resulting in tiredness and poor concentration.
Poor sleep on an ongoing basis will deplete your energy levels. If you’re having trouble sleeping, taking time to wind down before bedtime will enable your nervous system to shift into a pre-sleep pattern.
Heavy periods – even regular periods – can cause low iron levels, which can cause profound fatigue, as well as light-headedness and feeling disassociated – quite disconcerting.
Of all the B vitamins, B12 is especially important for red blood cell formation and energy release. Having low levels of vitamin B12 will zap your mental energy, your attention span and your cognitive function.
Low energy can also result from a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of exercise, especially if you spend most of your day behind a computer screen.
Happily, there’s plenty you can do to increase your energy levels naturally – here are five of our favourites…
Drink more water! It may seem obvious, but one of the main causes of fatigue is dehydration. When temperatures increase it’s easy to forget to increase your water intake accordingly – and if you’re not drinking enough water to begin with, it won’t be long before you’ll start to feel the effects of dehydration, which include difficulty concentrating, headaches and fatigue. Aim for at least two litres of water daily.
Get sufficient sleep. Poor sleep on an ongoing basis will soon zap your energy. If you’re having trouble nodding off because your bedroom is too stuffy, try changing your bedding – choose natural fibres over synthetic, and sheets over duvets to help increase airflow and circulation. A natural sleep remedy can also help. A.Vogel’s Dormeasan® Sleep with extracts of fresh Valerian and Hops can help restore a better sleep pattern. It’s not known to be addictive, and is not associated with groggy feelings when you wake in the morning, or with side effects when you come off it.
Slay your stress! Feeling stressed can take its toll on energy levels. It causes the digestive system to slow, meaning we don’t get as many nutrients, and therefore less fuel from food. It also means we can become deficient in the vitamins and minerals we need to keep our bodies working, and our energy levels up. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes each day to do whatever helps you to relax, whether that’s a walk by yourself, a long soak or a dip into a good book.
Ditch the quick-release carbs found in white bread, pastries and sweets. They might give you a quick sugar fix, but after a couple of hours that sudden spike of energy will drop, making you feel tired and sleepy. Low GI, energy-rich foods, such as wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and foods rich in protein, will keep you full for longer.
Still feeling tired? Bring your minerals into balance. Minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are essential for turning the food we eat into energy. A.Vogel’s Balance Mineral Drink contains magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D, to help release energy and maintain vitality. Simply add to water and stir.
For further information, pop into Chester Health Store, 59 Bridge Street Row, Chester CH1 1NW or online at chesterhealthstore.co.uk