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Last Updated on May 4, 2020

14 Simple Hacks to Increase Energy No Matter Your Age

14 Simple Hacks to Increase Energy No Matter Your Age

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!

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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![1] It’s a great quick-fix for increasing energy levels as it only requires 30 min to 1 hour.

Movement

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).

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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%.[2] 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.

Sunlight

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:[3]

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“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?

Grounding

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[4]. 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.

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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[5]. However, a recent study found that more than half of American adults spend 5 hours or less outside each week[6]. 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.

Conclusion

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

Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Adam Evans

BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in many fields including health and fitness, science, philosophy, metaphysics, religion.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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