When you feel your energy levels slipping, you might reach for a cup of coffee, a snack or even head to bed for a power nap. These are all decent short-term solutions, but the real way to improve your energy levels is to engage in more exercise.
It seems kind of counter-intuitive – doesn’t exercise wear you out? Sure, it can, but working out actually boosts energy levels mentally and physically, helping you feel better overall. If you get into a good exercising groove, you’ll never have to gag down an energy drink again.
Boosting the best brain chemicals
It’s almost impossible to feel pooped when you’re in an awesome mood. That’s because of brain chemicals – dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals are kicked into high gear when you work out, which will in turn boost your energy levels and your mood.
A burst to your bloodflow
When you work out, your heartbeat increases, which means it is pumping more blood at a faster rate. This means more blood is flowing throughout your body, but most importantly to your brain, which allows your brain cells to absorb more oxygen. The result? You’ll feel more mentally alert and clear.
Having a brain fart at work? Instead of making another trip to the coffee machine, get up and take a 10-minute walk around the block to get the blood flowing to your brain. An even better tip? Exercise before work for increased energy throughout your day.
Soothing you into better sleep
Sleep and exercise go hand in hand. The more you work out, the better you will sleep, and the better you sleep, the better your workouts will be! It can be hard for the body and mind to wind down at bedtime, but when you put your body through a workout, the sheep practically count themselves.
However, make sure not to exercise too close to bedtime. Because exercise energizes you, leave yourself at least three hours between the gym and bedtime to make sure it doesn’t interrupt your sleep cycle.
Strength = energy
Exercise tones your muscles, making it easier for you to complete daily tasks – from toting a shopping basket around the grocery store to doing heavy lifting in the garden. Weak muscles get fatigued much easier than strong ones, so bulking up will help you stay active longer. Remember the phrase “use it or lose it” when it comes to your muscles and strength.