Some days, having enough energy to get through until bedtime is easier-said-than-done, and in spite of my best intentions I just feel sluggish and worn out. Sounds familiar? It would be nice if the world would just stop moving long enough for us to catch up, or better yet, catch a quick nap! When my days of feeling exhausted began to outnumber my days of feeling energetic, I scheduled an appointment with my family doctor.
I found out that some of my problems stemmed from issues with being anemic. Vitamins help balance this to a degree, but I will never again have the metabolism that kept me looking so fit during high school and college. A healthy lifestyle is imperative in keeping this from happening again, and that lifestyle must include a balanced diet and exercise.
Once I came to terms with the problem, I faced it head on and along with assistance from my family doctor began researching ways to naturally boost energy. Although my primary goal wasn’t to lose weight, although losing a few extra pounds that lingered after more than a decade was a nice side effect to having enough energy to get through the day. The following changes are what helped me the most in my quest to feel less fatigued.
I work from home and also home school my two teenage sons, but that’s no excuse to stay cooped up inside all day. I have a golden retriever, and anyone familiar with the breed can attest to their high level of energy. My sons were glad when I took over some of the dog walking duties. A fifteen minute walk with the dog allowed me some much needed fresh air, sunshine, and the opportunity to see neighbors face to face – a welcome change from spending most of the day with two teenage boys.
The term power nap is not an overstatement. Slight changes in my daily routine allowed time for a quick nap, about twenty minutes of shut-eye to be exact. Twenty minutes is the perfect amount, because it helps me feel replenished and ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon and evening with renewed energy. Anything more than twenty minutes has the opposite effect on me though, so I always keep an alarm handy.
Some days the weather just isn’t agreeable and as much as I’d like to take a quick walk around the block I’d prefer to not get caught in snow or a rainstorm. Other days it’s not the weather at all, but I’m just that busy. It’s days like these that I’m so thankful for my treadmill, a quick set of walking/jogging intervals really helps to clear the cobwebs from my head and shake the fatigue from my limbs.
I was surprised to learn that I was breathing wrong. How does someone breathe wrong? Apparently most people are a shallow breather, which means they don’t allow time to fill the whole rib cage with air. Some of this is because of stress-related issues, like tightness in the shoulders and neck. But the result is fatigue related to being oxygen depleted. Deep breaths lengthen and stretch your spine and can give you a quick energy boost in as few as three minutes.
If breathing and posture exercises are only getting the job half done, take it up a notch and look into some stretching exercises. Perhaps take yoga or similar low-impact aerobics class at the local gym or community center. When I finish a quick session of meditative stretching, I feel elongated and alert, but more importantly I feel calm and ready to face whatever the rest of the day has to offer.
Music has a way of naturally lifting spirits and easing stress that otherwise drains energy. Even if I only take a ten minute break from work, I take the dog, iPod, and bag of tennis balls into the back yard. A game of fetch with the dog includes silly dancing as well as traditional moves that harkens back to the dances of my grandparents’ time. I probably look like a lunatic but the dog enjoys it – and so do I! And best of all, when I get back to my desk I am able to accomplish much more than if I’d not taken the break while the dog contentedly naps at my feet.
We’re all unique, which is why it’s important to discover what’s best for you. I hope my advice has been inspiring, if not at least a little helpful. If naps aren’t your thing, try resting somewhere with your eyes closed with soft music or a noise machine playing to cancel background noise and distractions. If stair climbers and exercise bikes aren’t your thing, look around for the best treadmill brands to find one that fits your lifestyle. And replenish the body with energy that keeps you lively throughout the day.
About Author: Jason Munroe is a freelance writer who is always on the lookout for ways to combine his busy schedule with opportunities to exercise, like jogging on his new treadmill! He’s currently working on a series of articles about best treadmill reviews, to help others with similar lifestyles find their own perfect workout machine. When he’s not sitting at her desk or running on her treadmill, Jason enjoys crossword puzzles, swimming, and playing tug-of-war with his golden retriever.
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