Spring has well and truly sprung, so here are some natural ways to increase your energy and shine brightly with the warmer weather. Our energy levels tend to naturally heighten as the weather provides fewer chilly, dark winter days and more dewy, pre-summer sunshine. But if unlike the refreshing weather change, you're feeling a little more like a dull Winter's day than a Spring chicken, maybe it's time to look at a few natural ways to increase your energy - just in time for the Summer season.
It's worth taking a look at your lifestyle and seeing where you could make some healthy changes to see some big improvements and naturally increase your energy.
This sounds a little counter-intuitive; use up more energy to increase your energy. But it really works! Exercise boosts your overall fitness levels and improves your mood by producing endorphins - both of which should increase your energy.
With this said, you don't need to be out sweating buckets to reap the benefits of incorporating an exercise routine into your week. Everyday Health says that any exercise that gets your heart rate up and releases endorphins will lead to an energy boost. Routine exercise was even linked to lower rates of depression in the 2016 journal article Frontiers in Psychology.
Next time you're feeling a little flat or you've hit that 3pm wall, try going for a short 10-minute walk rather than reaching for a sugary pick-me-up.
Eat Nutrient-rich foods
This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Your body needs fuel to keep it going, so don't choose the cheap, processed and nasty kind; choose the most nutritious, wholesome foods that will keep you fueled for longer.
Whole foods that are unprocessed like fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts along with a good source of protein provide you with plenty of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to keep functioning at its optimal level.
Boosting Your Energy, an article published by Harvard Health School, highlights the issue of sugary, refined and processed foods giving you a quick lift of energy that quickly burns out and leaves you feeling even more sluggish. The article suggests that by eating a balanced, fresh diet with whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats, you'll have the reserves you need to keep your energy levels on track throughout the day.
Sugary foods, caffeine and refined carbs put you on a sort of energy roller coaster with massive ups and downs, whereas a balanced diet will have you highway cruisin' at a sustainable speed all day long.
Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of low energy. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can affect your brain function, mood and energy levels.
A News Medical article states that 'Our thirst sensation doesn't really appear until we are 1% to 2% dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform'. So try to keep a track of how much water you are drinking rather than relying on your thirst sensation to remind you to drink more.
Check Your Vitamin Levels
A number of vitamin deficiencies can cause fatigue. If you're feeling overly tired and worn down it may be worth seeking the advice of a healthcare professional and getting your vitamin levels checked.
Find Some Sunshine
Speaking of vitamins, who could forget about the goodness of vitamin D? The health benefits of vitamin D and the subsequent results of a lack of this vitamin have been hot topics in articles such as this one from Brain MD.
Regardless of the physical effects this vitamin has on our bodies, getting a little sunshine and warmth on your skin really does make you feel pretty damn good. Try sitting by a sunny window in the mornings, even if it's just for 15 minutes, it's a great way to set you up for a bright day.
Did you know that some essential oils can provide the same kind of pick-me-up as a caffeine fix? It's true! Some oils work to boost your energy. This article from MONQ explains that when inhaled aromatically, certain oils can control brain responses that trigger feelings of fatigue and stress.
Check out this article that further explains how essential oils work and what makes them such powerful tools in the wellness world.
Essential oils can shift your mood and help you to feel more awake and energised. Some of the most effective oils for naturally increasing your energy levels are listed below.
The bottom line is that sometimes we're all going to feel a little tired and less energised than we'd like. But if you're feeling more fatigued than usual and looking to do something about it, it's worth trying these natural ways to increase your energy and start feeling Spring fresh for, er... Spring!
Do you have any extra tips for increasing energy levels? We'd love to hear any of your advice in the comments below!