FEELING TIRED? 5 GREAT WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY
By Bernadette Fallon
Studies show that the average Briton spends more than seven-and-half years of their lifetime feeling tired – that’s more than twenty hours per week! It doesn’t have to be like that. Try our top tips to beat fatigue and boost your energy – while having fun and staying healthy
Find the right exercise for you
It’s true, the endorphins released during exercise will give you a powerful energy boost, but you don’t need to put yourself through a wringer to benefit. If you hate the gym but love being outdoors, add a brisk walk into your daily routine or go for a jog at lunchtime. If you’re a social butterfly, give solitary exercise a miss and join a dance class. Or find a partner and take up tennis, badminton or squash. The NHS recommends taking 150 minutes of exercise a week so make it enjoyable, not a chore!
Change your diet
Maintaining a healthy weight is key to boosting energy levels, as medical research links obesity to increased daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Beware quick ‘pick-me-ups’, such as sugar and caffeine, which will give you a fast fake boost, followed by a slump. Instead, tuck into ‘mood supporting’ foods, such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins that will boost energy. Add plenty of whole grain and fibre to your diet and eat food in season, which is rich in nutrients.
According to national surveys, 1 in 5 people in the UK have low vitamin D levels, which can lead to softening of the bones, rickets, falls and poor muscle strength. A lack of vitamin D is also associated with fatigue and exhaustion. Given our climate, it’s not always possible for our bodies to make enough vitamin D from sunlight in the winter months (and sometimes even in summer!), so an over-the-counter supplement from a pharmacy or health store is a good solution. You could also add vitamin D rich foods such as oily fish, eggs, fortified cereals and spreads to your diet.
Anxiety and stress are well-documented sources of fatigue and finding a new hobby might just be the answer. Over three-quarters of respondents to the recent Great British Creativity survey of 50,000 people said that creativity helped them block out stress and anxiety, and results showed that the brain blocks our negative emotions when we’re being creative. Crafts, including knitting, painting, woodwork and pottery, are the most popular creative pastimes in Britain, followed by playing music, singing, gardening reading, cooking and writing. It might just be time to take up that new hobby you’ve been thinking about.
Research shows that positive social interactions are critical for our health and well-being, as they can boost our immune systems and decrease feelings of depression, which cause mood slumps and low energy. So it’s important to make an effort to spend time with people who make you feel happy. Arrange fun activities for evenings or weekends, plan a walk in the park or encourage a friend to sign up for a dance or exercise class with you. In fact, just making time to grab a cup of tea with somebody during the day for a quick chat can boost your energy levels.