Five Ways to Increase Vitality
There are many ways to increase vitality, but today we’re going to talk about five. Some of these may come as a surprise to you, while others may seem like common sense.
The thought that “I’m just getting old” is a misnomer; our bodies are designed to last for many decades, and do it with overflowing energy and amazing levels of function.
So, without further ado….
Here are a few simple ways to increase vitality:
That’s right. It may sound counter intuitive but if you want to increase your energy levels then you need to cut out the caffeine. Caffeine has supposedly been the savior of flagging energy levels over the year. However, scientists and researchers have started to discover that caffeine in excess of certain quantities can actually have the opposite effect in the long term.
Caffeine actually inhibits the adenosine receptors in the brain and throughout the body, reducing the sensations of fatigue. At the same time, this increases general stimulation levels.
As the body’s hormone and chemical levels become off balanced, the body starts to produce additional adenosine, which creates even stronger feelings of drowsiness once caffeine’s effects have passed through the body.
What this means in the long run is that your addiction to that cup of good old java is giving you the illusion of energy for a short period of time while sapping what you actually have.
Is it any surprise that activity makes you feel more alive? While this does not mean that you have to lace up your running shoes for a marathon, it is important that you spend time moving throughout the day.
The movement will help your body to wake up, and then you will be able to respond to the day’s activities more efficiently. The blood carries oxygen and all of the other necessary components throughout your body so that you can function. When you get up and move, stretch, run, or even just walk, you stimulate additional blood flow.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to get up and move around at least once every half hour, though you will feel even more alert and energy filled if you can manage it every fifteen minutes.
Try setting an automatic timer to remind yourself if you find you get lost in your work. A good workout program is likewise essential, though you will want one which trains you in functionality and not just rote and boring motions.
Eat Lean Protein
Your body needs fuel to run. Instead of eating high sugars or high levels of carbohydrates, it’s important to eat lots of lean protein. Small amounts of seeds and nuts contain good levels of protein as well as levels of magnesium which can help to increase your energy level.
However, it’s important to only enjoy these in small amounts. Other forms of protein are also good. They take the body longer to digest, but they provider stronger levels of energy throughout the day and do not lead to such drastic rises and falls in your blood sugar.
Drink Lots of Water
Most people tend to drink too much coffee and too little water. If that describes you, then pass the coffee pot and pick up the water bottle. One of the primary reasons for decreased vitality actually stems from dehydration.
Most people do not realize how dehydrated they are until they start to feel thirsty. But by the time that thirst registers, your body has already entered a state of mild to moderate dehydration. Dehydration then starts slowing your body as it feels that it needs to conserve its resources.
Drinking plenty of cool fresh water throughout the day will not only promote increased energy levels but also help your body to flush out toxins and bacteria. This is another reason why water is so powerful. Instead of trapping bacteria and germs inside your body like caffeinated beverages, it pushes them out and helps your body to function more efficiently.
The Iowa State University Nutrition Clinic recommends that people start their morning off with water before anything else.
Take Time to Relax
Sometimes your body just needs a rest. If you take care of your body, it will do much better in getting you through all the things you need to accomplish. Part of taking care of yourself means that you need to allow yourself time to rest and recuperate. You can accomplish this through taking a nap or through meditating or just sitting and enjoying the silence.
Increased vitality does not mean that you spend every waking moment running like a gerbil in a wheel. Increased vitality corresponds to a higher and fuller level of living.
When you are filled with energy and ready to take on the day’s challenges, you will have a brighter and more positive mood. You will be more creative and alert. You will not be as worn down by the cares of the day, and you will find that you actually have the time to enjoy your life.
So get out there and start using these ways to increase your energy. You’ll be glad you did!
Roger Downey, “Health: Does Coffee Make You Sleep?” Chicago Reader, http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/how-does-caffeine-affect-nervous-system-health-research/Content?oid=875717.
Sally Barclay, “Wellness at Work,” Iowa State University Nutrition Clinic, http://www.fshn.hs.iastate.edu/nutritionclinic/handouts/newsletters/WellnessAtWork.pdf (2011).