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6 Simple Hacks to Increase Your Energy

6 Simple Hacks to Increase Your Energy


    Getting things done quickly and well requires mental and physical energy. The better more you have the better your results. This applies to all every area of life from getting in a good workout to performing your best at your job. Unfortunately, energy isn’t something we always possess. This is especially true when we’re under stress, haven’t gotten enough sleep, or are distracted by having too many things to get done.

    In this article I provide 6 tips to increase energy. Some work immediately and others provide their benefit over time. I use all of them regularly myself. They’ve helped me get through 80 hour work weeks while running a start-up business without having to overstimulate myself with too much caffeine.

    1. Explode

    I don’t mean lose your temper or find a way to self-combust. What I do mean is to perform explosive exercises like jumping in place as high as possible or burpees. These exercises help ‘wake up’ your nervous system and will have you feeling more alert and energized.

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    The key is to not wear yourself out. This is done by doing several sets (5-10) of low reps (1-3) of 1-2 exercises. Rest about 30 seconds between each set. I like to perform 1 upper body and 1 lower body exercise. Body weight and kettlebell exercises are best but you can do weighted movements too. If you do, use a very light weight.

    Perform this type of exercise when you are feeling tired for a quick pick me up at work or before you workout to boost your energy all workout long.

    2. Take a Shot of Tyrosine

    This amino acid is used to make the chemical dopamine that’s found in large amounts in your brain. This chemical sends signals to your brain that tell it to get to work and stay focused. Studies on soldiers show that supplementing with l-tyrosine can help boost mental and physical performance, even when you are sleep deprived and exhausted from performing hours of exhaustive exercise.

    You can buy l-tyrosine supplements at any health food store. Start by taking 500 mg to see how it works for you. Increase the dosage if necessary in 500 mg increments. Studies show that 2-3 grams (2000-3000 mg) is the most effective dose.

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    3. Eat Some Protein

    Eating a protein rich meal will give you more energy for several hours. Studies show that eating protein is superior to one that’s high in carbohydrates at increasing attention span, memory, and the time it takes to make a decision.

    The reason for this, it seems is that a protein rich meal helps to better stabilize your blood sugar levels and therefore providing our body and brains with a steady source of fuel High carbohydrate meals on the other hand cause large increases and then rapid decreases in blood glucose and mental energy.

    So, instead of having a meal of pasta, rice, or a sandwich on a roll opt for salad with steak or chicken, an omelet, or a seafood and vegetable stir fry. If you’re pressed for time, a protein shake will do the trick too.

    4. Eat Smart Fats

    This tip applies specifically to mental energy and focus. If you want to have lots of each you need to give your body the right fats every day. The best types for this benefit are the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. They way these super fats help you is by increasing levels of certain chemicals in your brain which enable you to focus and deal with stress better.

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    The best way to get these fats is to eat fatty fish (i.e. mackerel, salmon, sardines) several times a week. While I strive to do this, I find that taking a fish oil supplement is the best way for me to get enough omega 3’s into my diet to see a benefit.

    Aim to get 2-3 grams of EPA and DHA into your diet every day. This is equal to a large serving of salmon, 4 fish oil supplement capsules, or a tablespoon of liquid fish oil.

    5. Take a BCAA Supplement

    This is my favorite way to boost my energy. Nothing gives me more energy so quickly. No even caffeine. Studies show that supplementing with branch chain amino acids can decrease fatigue when you are stressed from physical or mental work. Research also finds they’re good for boosting your mood. The better your mood, the more you will be able to focus on getting things done.

    The best way to get an adequate dose of branch chain amino acids is with a nutritional supplement. Start by taking 2-3 grams and increase the dosage until you find what works for you. You’re likely to find the best results by taking them on an empty stomach.

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    6. Take a Nap

    Last but not least, the best way to feel mentally and physically energized is to give your brain a rest so it can re-charge. The best way to do this is to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. We both know this isn’t always possible, especially when you’re busy at work. One way to give yourself a mental boost is to take a nap. Studies show doing this …

    Don’t nap too long or you may find yourself feeling as tired as you did before sleeping. Studies show that a 10-15 minute nap is all that it takes to feel more mentally alert.

    Conclusion

    Now you know 6 great ways to boost your energy. The next time you find your body and mind feeling sluggish, give them a try and experience their effectiveness for yourself.

    Sources: Fischer K, Colombani PC, Langhans W, Wenk C. Carbohydrate to protein ratio in food and cognitive performance in the morning. Physiol Behav. 2002 Mar;75(3):411-23; Hassmén P, Blomstrand E, Ekblom B, Newsholme EA. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation during 30-km competitive run: mood and cognitive performance. Nutrition. 1994 Sep-Oct;10(5):405-10; Lovato N, Lack L. The effects of napping on cognitive functioning. Prog Brain Res. 2010;185:155-66.

    (Photo credit: Running Man via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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