Fitness Facts: How to feel more energized during the holidays
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Feeling sluggish as the end of the year is approaching? Here are some helpful tips to boost your energy levels.
Increase your magnesium intake: Studies have shown that a slight magnesium deficiency can zap your energy. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. Adding these foods can also add magnesium naturally. Add a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet. Increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal. Eat more fish, especially halibut.
Eat more whole grains and less sugar: Whole grains provide a slow and steady release of nutrients; thus, your energy levels will be balanced and you will have more energy at the end of the day. Sugar and processed foods throw your energy levels up quickly but also drop them quickly, which can make you tired and nonproductive.
Drink more water: Even a slight dehydration can leave us feeling tired. Did you also know that we often mistake hunger for dehydration? Next time you are feeling hungry or tired, try drinking a cool glass of water. You might feel more energized and less hungry.
Take a walk: Studies show that walking in particular can boost your energy levels. Get out at lunch and walk for half your break, and you might see your productivity increase.
Do not skip breakfast: It kickstarts your metabolism and provides you with energy, BUT make sure you are making a good choice: no doughnuts or sugary cereals or drinks. Avoid processed foods and grab a protein-packed energy bar with low sugar and fiber if you are on the go. READ labels before you eat. If there are a lot of ingredients that you cannot pronounce, it most likely is highly processed. Fresh is best!
Have a power snack between meals: Combine protein, fiber and a little fat to help energy last (whole wheat crackers or apple with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with almonds and fresh fruit, trail mix without candy added, veggie and hummus). Most of all, avoid sugary snacks and ones high in carbohydrates. Your energy will not be sustained.
Drink vegetable juice: Drinking fresh vegetable juice can give you needed energy and vitamins without utilizing energy for digestion. Again, make sure it does not have added sugar! This will deplete your energy in a short time.
Add Vitamin B12: Make the “energy vitamin” part of your daily routine. Liquid works best and gives you a boost in the morning. Go to your local vitamin store and ask about dosages and brands that are best.
Decrease stress levels: Stress quickly zaps energy both physical and mentally. Say “no” to what you can. Don’t overload your holiday season. Go out and have fun. Watch a funny movie. Laugh to increase those endorphins.