“How can I boost my energy?”
A common thread we hear in the studio is how many people are struggling with flagging energy levels. Whether it’s waking up tired or experiencing a dip in the middle of the day, this can take begin to take a toll. That’s why we’ve put together these five tips to help you reignite and boost your energy levels. You’re welcome.
1. Amp up your nutrition
Good energy starts with good nutrition. So, for a quick boost to your energy, look at what you’re eating. If you aren’t eating in a way that includes lots of nutrients from whole foods, you’re going to start depleting your body. And with depletion comes fatigue.
According to a report by CSIRO, 4 in 5 Australians are not eating the recommended five serves of vegetables. And this recommendation is really just the bare minimum we need to keep our bodies functioning well without deficiency. If you really want to thrive, you should be eating even more than this. So, to boost your energy, load your plate full of veggies!
2. Get moving
Humans aren’t meant to live sedentary lives; if you don’t move enough, you will begin to feel sluggish. So, it stands to reason that boosting your energy involves moving more and exercising regularly.
Movement and exercise aren’t exactly the same thing. Think about movement as your incidental activity throughout your day. It might include walking from the carpark to the supermarket, taking the stairs instead of the escalator or standing at a desk instead of sitting (if you have an office job). Exercise is scheduled time focused on building muscle and/or getting our heart rate up. Both are important to our health and play a role in boosting your energy.
Look for opportunities to increase your incidental exercise and ensure you’re also doing a good 30 or more minutes of exercise most days. For the perfect energy boost, we recommend mixing it up with some cardio or strength-based classes and alternating that with some yoga or Pilates. See our schedule for all our class times to help you plan out your week.
3. Include more restorative practices
Sometimes we need to move more and other times we need to move less—or at least consider the intensity of the exercise we are doing. If you’re on the go from the minute you get up until the minute your head hits the pillow at night, you might benefit from more restorative practices. This will help to support your nervous system which, in turn, will boost your energy.
Living at full throttle 24/7 can communicate stress to your body (especially if you also have a busy mind or often feel overwhelmed by all your tasks) and activate your ‘fight or flight’ response. Our body isn’t designed to live in ‘fight or flight’ regularly. If you don’t slow down or learn how to switch off that stress response, you will begin to notice your energy wane. Practices that focus on slowing down and regulating our breath (especially deep, diaphragmatic breathing) are the ideal solution. So, to boost your energy when you’ve been busy, tired and overwhelmed, try yoga, yin yoga or Pilates.
4. Build muscle
Muscles aren’t just there to make us look good! They also have many important functions in the body. One of them is to boost our energy levels. Inside every cell in your body are mitochondria, and without unpacking this too far, what you need to know is that these little guys are responsible for converting nutrients into energy.
Muscle contains the highest density of mitochondria than any other tissue in our body. This is because you really need a good amount of energy when you’re exercising. However, maintaining a good amount of muscle mass will serve to boost your energy well beyond exercising!
If you’re keen to amp up your mitochondrial levels by building long, lean muscles (and boost your energy in the process), we recommend taking up a strength-based class such as our Strength, Functional Fit or even Pilates classes.
5. Address your stress
Stress drains us. Not just for the reasons we discussed above regarding the stress response, but because it clouds our brain and squeezes all the colour out of our world. Plus, when we feel stressed, we generally feel less motivated. We might forgo our usual exercise routine and lean towards less nutritious food choices in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. So, getting a handle on your stress is an important part of boosting your energy.
Yoga is a great way to alleviate stress and quieten your mind. Yin yoga in particular. One of the greatest gifts this practice gives us is the ability to bring our mind to the present moment by focusing on our breath and bringing our attention to how our body feels through each movement. What we learn on the mat we can apply off the mat, so yoga can be a wonderful tool to help you build your stress resilience while reducing stress levels in your body. Other ways to address your stress and therefore boost your energy include meditation and having clear boundaries about down time and self-care.