The human body is a bioenergetic system. Bioenergetics is a field in biochemistry and cell biology that relates to energy flow through living systems. The essence of bioenergetics is to determine how living organisms acquire and transform energy in order to perform biological activities, and it can help you learn how to increase energy, no matter your age.
Energy, at its core, is acquired by a number of means, from breathing, movement, consumption (food/water), exposure to sunlight, and more! In this article, I will focus on each of those areas to help you learn how to increase energy, no matter your age.
What Affects Energy Levels?
Our energy levels can be affected by a number of prevalent things in our society. Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of lack of energy, and this is further aided by the fact that many gaze for hours on end at their devices and TV screens even after turning in for the night. I’m always surprised to hear that even some close friends of mine fall asleep many nights with the TV remaining on, or with a sleep-timer.
Unhealthy foods, including processed/refined sugars and even carbs can cause sleep problems. This is because refined sugars cause issues ranging from inflammation, to effects on cognitive function, and worst of all, to the well-known “crash” that comes after consuming refined sugar. Lack of hydration is right up there with sleep in terms of what most widely impacts people throughout the world.
14 Simple Energy Hacks That Work
Let’s get started finding ways to help you address your lack of energy. The methods that work for you are going to depend on what’s causing your lack of energy in the first place, so self-awareness is a good first step.
Rest and Recovery (Sleep)
Sleep is the most valuable activity for your body!
1. Put Away the Devices
I suggest removing all devices from the bedroom, and not just your TV but your mobile devices, laptops, and tablets as well! The main reasons for this are to calm a busy mind before bed, to avoid the impacts of low-level EMF exposure, and to reduce blue light exposure (from devices) that can suppress the production of melatonin (sleep-inducing hormone).
2. Get Adequate Sleep
Falling asleep at a reasonable time (between 9 and 11 pm) is ideal to maintain healthy Circadian rhythms. These are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. When I was in my teens an early twenties, I used to stay up all night working or partying, and would ultimately go to sleep around 6 am, and it took a huge toll on my body and mind. Now let’s just say I’m lucky if I make it past midnight, and partying involves playtime with my Doberman.
3. Take Naps
Sleep experts have found that daytime naps can increase alertness, boost creativity, reduce stress, improve perception, stamina, motor skills and accuracy, enhance your sex life, aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of heart attack, brighten your mood, and boost memory! It’s a great quick-fix for increasing energy levels as it only requires 30 min to 1 hour.
Energy efficiently utilized begets more energy!
4. Get Your Heart Rate Up
Cardiovascular exercises, like walking, hiking, running, and dancing improve blood flow/circulation, boost immune function, and much more! The great thing about this energy hack is that your body operates like a rechargeable battery, and as you continue to walk and perform other activities, it will produce more energy and beneficial biochemicals in your brain and body.
5. Lift Weights
Aside from benefits to your heart, improving your balance, strengthening your bones, and helping you lose weight, strength training helps boost your metabolism (the rate your resting body burns calories throughout the day). When you do strength, weight, or resistance training, you stimulate the muscles (and central nervous system) and improve overall circulation. In turn, your body demands more energy based on how much energy you’re exerting (meaning the tougher you’re working, the more energy your body demands).
Nutrition and Hydration
You are what you eat (or don’t)!
6. Drink More Water
Though this one seems like a no-brainer, many neglect hydration. Up to 60% of the adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. What all is this means is that your body needs a constant flow of water in order to function at its best. So buy yourself a reusable bottle and keep it filled throughout the day!
7. Be Careful What You Eat Before Exercise
This is a tricky one, and you’ll need to be careful how you apply it. There’s quick digesting carbs and sugars such as bananas that work great for exercise, and as long as you work out soon after consumption, you’ll benefit from the energy boost. You may even see some bodybuilders or powerlifters eating candy and sugar sweets before a workout, and the same logic applies as it allows for rapid access to energy. Instead of candy, try eating fruit as there is a difference in terms of impacts on the body and long-term chronic inflammation.
8. Mind Your Gut
The gut is essentially the human body’s second brain, and most people do not treat it as such. The gut has close ties to all aspects of human physiology as it is connected to everything in some way, and that means correlation to energy levels. One very simple hack is to consume probiotics, such as natural Greek yogurt or kombucha.
Let the sun shine through!
9. Watch the Sunrise
Many meditation practices involve sun-gazing or watching the sun rise, and there’s a reason for this. As Molly Maloof, MD, puts it:
“The blue light that’s outside in the early morning gives you a natural energy boost, no caffeine required! Blue light turns off melatonin production and turns on wakefulness.”
It also sets your body’s circadian clock for the day, priming you for maximum efficiency — particularly when it comes to metabolism.
10. Get More Sunshine
Vitamin D is an excellent source of energy, among other things. Our body’s don’t just run on Vitamin D and sun exposure, they thrive on it! Vitamin D helps fight disease, depression, and boosts weight loss — need I say more?
Staying grounded means more energy!
11. Go for a Barefoot Walk
Because the earth’s surface has a negative charge, it’s believed that you can absorb negative ions through your feet by walking on the ground barefoot. Other sources of negative ions include beaches, forests, and ion bracelets.
12. Practice Meditation
This is an excellent way to replenish our energy reserves. Meditation acts to clear your mind of all the distractions and allows you to focus our energy where it’s best suited towards your greatest good.
If you don’t have experience with meditation, this article can help you get started.
Forest Bathing: ‘Shinrin-Yoku’
Adopt the pace of nature.
13. Take a Nature Walk
Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as “forest bathing,” means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It is a therapy that was developed in Japan during the 1980s, becoming a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Research says Vitamin N (N, as in Nature) can boost your energy and improve your physical and mental health. However, a recent study found that more than half of American adults spend 5 hours or less outside each week. This disconnect with nature can lead to a drop in energy levels, but the good news is that it’s an easy fix — just get outside!
Creative Expression (Bonus)
Creativity brews energy!
14. Engage in Any Creative Activity
An effective way to generate more energy is to be creative! The best approach to this is to determine what makes you happy and allows you to express creativity. In practice, this one touches on the psychological aspect of self-actualization in terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as well as biochemical aspects that include the production of serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and more. Creative expression also enhances memory and brain function and can reduce the risk of mental disease/disorders later in life.
This list may seem overwhelming at first if you haven’t adopted these approaches, but once you integrate them into your daily life, they will gradually become second nature. Analyze why you may be feeling a lack of energy and pick and choose which practices will help you generate and utilize energy better within your mind and body.
More Tips on How to Increase Energy
- 6 Simple Hacks to Increase Your Energy
- 12 Changes to Make When You Feel a Lack of Energy and Motivation
- 11 Ways to Get More Energy in the Morning Instantly
Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com
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Healing Benefits of Biological Grounding (Earthing)
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|||^||Yale Environment 360: U.S. Study Shows Widening Disconnect with Nature, and Potential Solutions|