By Dr. Willie Ong (Internist and Cardiologist)
We all want to have more energy. Energy to work, play and fulfill our dreams. If you’re feeling kind of tired, check out these tips to help give you an added boost of energy:
Eat a complete breakfast with protein and carbohydrates.
Taking a donut and coffee in the morning won’t work. You need to add protein-rich foods in your diet like milk, meat, fish or eggs to get more energy.
Eat a normal lunch.
There’s a saying that you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Don’t eat too much for lunch or you might feel sleepy afterwards. If you eat a lot, try walking for 15 minutes to help your digestion and keep you awake.
Take two bananas a day to keep the doctor away.
Bananas are, for me, the healthiest fruit. Two bananas can give you energy, potassium and the equivalent dose of half a multivitamin. It’s a healthy and convenient power snack. If you’re feeling down, take a banana or two and you’ll feel recharged.
Get your body moving.
Sometimes our body works like a car engine. It needs a few minutes to warm up and get going. Walking can get the blood flowing through your veins and to the brain. Stomp your feet and raise your hands a few times. This will keep you more awake and alert.
Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water.
On a hot day, a dehydrated person will feel weak, tired and sleepy. Drink enough water throughout the day to keep your “gas tank” filled.
Do one work at a time only.
Doing too many things at the same time is a sure way to feel fatigued and irritable. Focus on one thing at a time. Have a list of things to do and plan your day well.
Open a book (and close the TV sometimes).
If you’re just relaxing, you may find that a book is more intellectually stimulating than television. TV can sometimes lull you to laziness.
Get energy from your surroundings.
Get some morning sunshine (until 9 AM only). Fill your home and workplace with beauty and color. Listen to the kind of music that energizes you (from Bach, bands or pop songs).
Surround yourself with positive and energetic people.
This is because their positive energies can rub off on you.
Always think positive.
At the start of the day, read an inspiration passage from a book or the Bible. Think and believe that it will be a good day with many blessings to be received.
Take a multivitamin.
Sometimes our diets do not provide us with enough vitamins and minerals. Some people don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables so a multivitamin can fill up these gaps in our diet.
Don’t rely on energy tablets, energy drinks, weight-loss drugs, or prohibited drugs. These tablets may contain caffeine or amphetamines to give you a temporary boost of energy. However, in the long run, it can harm your body. Side effects include palpitation, anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. Limit yourself to two coffees a day only. Learn to rely more on your body’s natural energy.
Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
Smoking damages your lungs and reduces the oxygen content in the blood. Lack of oxygen means less energy. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a known depressant and will make you feel more fatigued, not to mention the hang-over in the morning.
Learn to say “no.”
Some people are too accommodating to their friends, even if their time and finances can’t handle it. If you have too much work on your plate, just say “no.”
Go for easy power.
One technique to have more energy is to go through your day in a light and easy manner. No pressure. Just take things easy. During the day, you can take a short nap or just close your eyes for 15 minutes. Relax and take slow deep breaths several times.
Find your ideal body weight.
Lose weight if you’re overweight, and gain weight if underweight. If you’re overweight, you’ll always feel hungry and sleepy. And your body has to spend twice the energy just to move the added pounds around. If you’re underweight, you need to get more nutrition to build up your muscles and strength. Eat a complete diet to keep you strong.
Listen to your body.
This is very important. Our bodies have natural highs and lows (called circadian rhythm). There are times we feel tired (then limit your work for the day), and sometimes we feel energetic (do more work for the day). Go with your body’s ebbs and flows in energy. If you feel really tired, then just go to sleep.
Sleep 7-8 hours.
Sleep is a crucial energy booster and body healer. If you lack sleep, then you’ll surely feel tired in the morning. Elderly people may get away with 5-6 hours of sleep. But they can also take some naps or rest during the day.
Take a vacation.
Wow, this is the best way to recharge. A weekend at the beach and just do nothing. Plan your next vacation. Just thinking about your next vacation is enough to relax you.
Have a passionate cause.
Having a concrete goal that requires your attention and commitment sharpens your mind and focuses your energy.
Be in love.
Have a lifetime partner. A happy and long-lasting relationship will give you all the love, support and energy you need.
Pray and ask for strength.
In times of weakness, there is always Someone who can give us that extra boost of vital energy. Pray for guidance, peace of mind and the strength to do your daily work.
Finally, if you’re always tired for no reason, then you could be coming up with the flu or some other problem. See your favorite doctor for a check-up as well.