Fatigue is one of the most common problems that people suffer from in day-to-day life. Sometimes, no matter how much sleep you get, you can still be left feeling sluggish, worn out and run down.
Turns out, a good night’s sleep isn’t the only thing that can help us feel rested. A healthy diet and a regular exercise routine are both major contributors to feeling energised. But how exactly can you achieve the perfect balance between diet and exercise?
The short answer is: everyone is different. The amount and type of food that is suitable for your body will differ from one person to another, and the same goes for exercise. Those with a higher metabolism can consume more food, as they burn through energy quicker than someone with a slower metabolism. But, there are a number of methods that anyone can adopt in order to feel more energised.
You’ve had a long day at work, you come home and collapse on the sofa in front of the TV. Next, you reach for a bag of chips or your favourite junk food and before you know it you’ve spent your whole night glued to the sofa.
It may feel like exercise is the last thing you want to do after a long day at work, but chances are, your body really needs it. For those people who sit at a desk from 9-5, there’s really no better way to shake off your tiredness than getting some fresh air and exercise.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a gym bunny or more of an outdoor-sy type, you just have to get moving! Even if exercise is the last thing your brain thinks you want to be doing, your body will thank you for it later with a rush of feel-good endorphins (read: ENERGY!)
Eat for Energy
Food is fuel – fact. But some foods are much more efficient in providing our bodies with slow-release energy. While you may think a sugar rush and caffeine hit will give you a quick fix for energy, in reality these are just empty calories with a very short effect on your body’s energy level. In fact, consuming too much sugar and coffee will just leave you feeling extra sluggish when you’re not consuming them. In other words, it’s a vicious cycle.
Switch up your sugary snacks for a protein rich snack. Quest Bars are a fantastic option for maximising your energy levels, especially before a workout. There are so many different flavours out there – from Rocky Road to Apple Pie – so you can trick your mind into thinking you’re chomping on a decadent dessert, when really, you’re consuming a high dose of protein, without any nasty additives or excess sugars.
Plan your Meals and Workouts
One of the easiest ways to ensure you keep your energy levels on track is to create a food and exercise plan at the beginning of each week. That way, you can see exactly what you’re putting into your body, while being able to factor in time for exercise outside of your busy schedule.
When it comes to boosting energy levels, the best foods to incorporate in your diet are fruit and vegetables, complex carbs and lean protein. The natural sugars in fruit are a much better alternative to the empty sugar found in processed foods. Start your day with a smoothie and a scoop of Gold Standard Whey powder to really kick-start the morning. You’ll be amazed at the energy levels you will have compared to a sugary bowl of cereal and milk.
In particular, women should focus on iron-rich foods to improve energy levels. Iron is required to deliver oxygen to our cells, which is why not enough iron consumption can make us feel tired. Focus on plant-based sources of iron, such as lentils, spinach and sesame seeds.
Change is Key
Don’t be afraid to change up your diet and exercise routine every few weeks. Studies show a change in routine can really boost your metabolism, which in turn will make you feel more energised. It can be small things: swap the treadmill for an outdoor bike ride; switch up your smoothie ingredients and try some new dinner recipes!
Most importantly, a healthy mind will keep your body feeling lively. While relaxation and rest might not be the sole answer to feeling energised, it is still an extremely important contributor. Always factor some downtime into your weekly routine, and make sure you get a decent night’s sleep as often as you can.