The energy-in-a-bottle industry is booming. Visit any checkout counter in America and you’ll likely see a variety of energy drinks and supplements with questionable health qualities.
Increasing your energy, focus, and productivity doesn’t come from a convenience store, it’s about how you treat your body. Getting exercise, good sleep, proper nutrition, managing your stress, and yes, maybe a little caffeine are some ways of increasing your energy and focus.
You’ve heard this before. If you are feeling drained, you should head to the gym. This is easier said than done when you are feeling lethargic, but the data doesn’t lie. A University of Georgia study says that those who are most sedentary stand to gain the most from light to moderate exercise.
People from all different activity levels can stand to gain from exercise. According to the same study, a group of mostly sedentary people who began a light workout regimen saw a 65 percent increase in energy levels. A simple walk in the morning can help you wake up for the day, burn a few calories, and even reduce stress.
2. Get the Appropriate Amount of Sleep
Setting a sleep schedule that works for you is vital to maintaining healthy energy levels. Being sleep deprived or sleeping too much are both causes of fatigue. Your brain and body need you to sleep!
A University of Rochester study determined that during the day proteins build up in your brain as a byproduct of cognitive activity. While sleeping, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid increases and washes away the toxins. Without this process, the brain cannot function at full capacity. This is why it is hard to focus when sleep deprived.
Sleep position is also key to getting proper rest and avoiding fatigue. Having bad sleeping posture can lead to a laundry list of problems including back and neck problems, acid reflux, snoring, premature wrinkles, and fatigue.
According to various medical specialists, side sleeping is the best solution to the issues mentioned above. In order to get better rest, make sure that you choose memory foam pillows and a comfortable mattress designed especially for side sleepers. For further information regarding the benefits of using a high-quality mattress, click here.
3. Don’t Neglect Nutrition!
Proper nutrition is one of the most effective ways of increasing your energy and focus. You are what you eat! Garbage in, garbage out. Getting advice to eat nutritious foods for energy is not news to anyone, yet as a society, we still eat sugary, non-nutritious foods.
There are countless studies backing up a balanced diet, but reading those aren’t likely to change behavior. Try an experiment on yourself. Keep notes of how you feel on your current diet, especially if that diet is high in refined starches and sugars. Then for a few days, cut out the processed foods and eat more fruits and vegetables.
Take note of your energy levels! When you realize that your energy and focus, and therefore your productivity has increased, you may finally be convinced to make those changes permanent.
Nutrition isn’t just what you eat. It’s what you drink as well. Being dehydrated can cause low energy. If you find yourself feeling low during the middle of your day, the first thing you should do is take a brisk walk to the water cooler. The walk, plus the hydration can be just what you need to catch your second wind.
Alcohol can also affect energy levels, especially when consumed right before bed. Having a night cap might help you fall asleep, but on average you’ll be awake again in a few hours leaving you sleep deprived the next day.
4. Consume a Proper Amount of Coffee
Caffeine is a classic and often abused tool in the arsenal of ways of increasing your energy and focus. However, excessive consumption can lead to awful side effects, affecting cardiac rhythm and raising blood pressure.
On the other side, moderate caffeine consumption can improve your focus capacity. According to various studies, 4mg of caffeine per 1 kg of body weight can improve focus and memory. In other words, when used properly, caffeine will certainly increase your productivity!
Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight impulses. This is very useful in short-term circumstances, but when the body is exposed to chronic stress, including job-related stress or relationship stress, many adverse symptoms can arise including exhaustion.
Sleep can be a self-defense mechanism and when faced with constant stress, your body wants to “check out” by sleeping. If sleeping means your body can avoid the stressor, then that’s what your body wants you to do. Rooting out the causes of chronic stress or better managing the demands of your daily life can allow your body to get better rest when it’s time to be restful and therefore have more energy and focus daily.
Energy and focus are valuable commodities. You don’t have to buy them at the convenience store, you can control your energy levels by following the five steps above.
When the body gets proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep there is no doubt your energy levels will rise.