Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Ways to Increase Your Energy

This post was originally written when the blog launched in September 2011 and will be new to many of our readers, who have joined us since it originally published. I love Kevin's insight, especially about finding your passion in life.

If you’re feeling tired or worn out, reclaim your energy with these energy-boosting tips.

1. Get Enough Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, what makes for a good night’s sleep depends on your age. Newborns need as much as 12-18 hours of sleep while adults need 7 to 9. Sleep requirements also vary by person, so don’t feel guilty if your spouse needs only 7 hours to feel rested while you need 9.

2. Eat Healthy Foods

Catholic Health’s Deborah Richter, a registered dietitian at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus, recommends making healthy food choices to increase your energy.

Choose lean protein (low-fat lunch meats, for example), whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.

If you’re a coffee drinker, drink smaller portions, 2 to 3 ounces every hour or two, to get the maximum energy benefit.

3. Exercise

“Regular physical activity significantly improves your energy levels,” says Deborah.

To incorporate exercise into your daily routine, take a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, turn your housecleaning into a workout, or volunteer to walk the family pet.

Be mindful of opportunities that present themselves throughout the day and push yourself to be more active, rather than taking the path of least resistance.

4. Find Your Passion

Passion is the key to feeling energized, says Catholic Health Educator Kevin McCue.

“So many people I talk to seem to have no passion in life. By finding something that you truly love to do, you tap into one of the greatest things in our human existence: enthusiasm. Find your passion and you will find more energy!”

Take up a hobby, or many hobbies, until you find the one that resonates with you.

Or go back to something that you used to enjoy but haven’t made time for recently. What roadblocks did you encounter and how can you overcome them? If time is an issue, can you pursue your hobby in smaller chunks throughout the day?

5. Be Positive

We all talk to ourselves – but research has shown that more than 70% of that self-talk is negative. And negativity is a big energy-zapper.

“You’re not motivated or inspired when you have negative self-talks,” says Kevin.

He recommends taking negative statements and reframing them into something positive. If you’re feeling depressed about your job, think about how thankful you are to have one.

Make it a habit to give thanks for what you have. Every morning when you wake up, make a list of what you’re grateful for. Your positivity will put you in the right frame of mind to deal with the day’s challenges without depleting your energy stores.

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