by BRIAN KIM, M.D.; Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Carlsbad

Tired of Feeling Tired?

Try These Tips to Increase Your Energy

scripps_kimIf you’re tired of feeling like a sluggish sloth, try these tips for fighting fatigue and energizing your battery. Our everyday habits play a powerful role in how we function throughout the day.

Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration zaps your energy levels and is one of the main causes of fatigue. Always drink when you are thirsty and always have water available. Foods that naturally contain water include yogurt, carrots, and juicy fruits such as watermelon.

Eat nutritiously.
Include protein, fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Some people may benefit from eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to help maintain their blood sugar levels. Nibble on nuts and seeds, such as almonds and sunflower seeds, which can provide sustained energy. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain crackers can give you quick energy without the fluctuations in blood sugar.

Take a digital break.
Take a break from checking your phone or the internet all the time. While technology is useful and fun, it can also be distracting and create a sense of false urgency. In addition, the visual fatigue caused by staring at a digital screen for hours at a time can cause headaches, tired eyes, difficulty concentrating, and neck or back pain. Obesity and irregular sleep have also been linked to too much screen time.

Exercise regularly.
Even a 10-minute walk will increase your endorphins and boost your mood. Physical activity improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs, and muscles, which can give you more energy overall. Yoga, swimming, walking, and biking are good low-impact workouts.

Get outside.
Sunlight and vitamin D are an energizing duo that can also generate optimism. Be sure to layer on the sunscreen so you don’t get too much of a good thing.

Turn on the tunes.
Listening to music can decrease tension, increase energy, and distract you from feeling fatigue. Listen to your favorites when you need a pick-me-up.

Go to bed.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining energy throughout your day. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep per day.

Smile and laugh.
Smiling makes people happy – you and those around you. Choosing to genuinely smile – not fake smile – can help you relax, which contributes to good energy and a stronger immune system. Try laughter yoga.

Brian Kim, M.D., is a family medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center in Carlsbad. Dr. Kim provides care for both adult and pediatric (older than age five) patients.

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