We have all experienced sleepy spells, nodding off during zoom calls and yawning our way through the work day. Low energy levels are universally experienced, but that does not negate their annoyance. With summer approaching, days are getting longer, and temperatures are rising. We want to make the most of our days—work to play. This requires sustained energy throughout the day.
Today, we will discuss some of the common causes of low energy. We also came equipped with suggested solutions. Soon enough you’ll be giving the Energizer Bunny a run for his money!
3 Reasons You May Have Low Energy & How to Fix It
Afternoon slumps, extreme tiredness and low energy result from different lifestyle deficiencies. Below are three reasons you may be tired with subsequent solutions.
(1) Low Quality Sleep and Sustainable Energy
Though this may seem counterintuitive you cannot discuss energy without acknowledging sleep. Many of us fall victim to the false reality that we can function on limited sleep. Just because we are functioning, does not mean we are functioning at our optimal capacity. Adequate sleep is needed for optimal function.
We tend to underestimate the importance of adequate sleep times and the negative effects of too many sleep disruptions.
Average adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. | Studies recommend that the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Sleeping too little—and sleeping too much—can encourage low energy. Sleep needs differ person to person, so if you have direct concerns, it is always best to speak directly to your healthcare provider.
(2) Insufficiencies In Your Diet
You have likely heard this saying: food is fuel. Commonplace, but true! Food is—literally—fuel.
Our bodies function on the nutrients we consume. A well-rounded diet allows for optimal body function. Understanding that our bodies run on the basis of what we consume allows us to understand how our diet may be negatively affecting our energy levels via nutrient and diet deficiencies.
Supplementing nutrients that we do not naturally produce—Vitamins D and B12—may support healthy energy levels. Beyond supplementing, we can bulk our diets with naturally occurring nutrients simply by eating a well-rounded diet.
Focus on nutrient-dense whole foods. | Consider supplementing what cannot be naturally consumed. If you have explicit concerns about nutrient deficiencies and supplementation, talk to your healthcare provider.
(3) Too Much OR Too Little Exercise
Exercise is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When we are sedentary—or overactive—our body responds with lowered energy. But, proper, consistent exercise revitalizes our lives in so many ways. Below are five benefits of exercise:
- Sustainable energy
- Balanced mood
- Healthy sleep quality
- Boosts self-esteem
- Aids immune function
Sustainable exercise sustains energy levels | Exercise has been proven to support energy on a cellular level. Harvard Medical School offered the following reasons for this cellular energy. ATP levels—the foundation of energy production in the body—increase during exercise, allowing our bodies to sustain the activity. Cardio-based exercise increases blood circulation efficiency. This increases oxygen-delivery capacities and speed.
Exercise supports sustainable energy on a cellular level | Beyond the physiological, exercise releases stress hormones. Chronic stress promotes lethargy. Absolving stress through physical release—exercise—encourages healthy energy levels.
Healthy modes of exercise include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Strength Training
If physically able, begin with walking 10k steps every day! | Exercise needs and abilities differ person to person. Find what works for you! The best exercise is sustainable exercise that is feasible in your day-to-day life. If you have specific concerns, or questions about what exercise best suits your needs, reach out to your healthcare provider!
Low energy levels often feel as though they are plaguing us—BUT—there are simple changes that may help! Consider the following when building your energetic, healthy lifestyle:
- Sleep: prioritize sleeping 7 to 9 hours every night
- Diet: focus on eating nutrient-dense, whole foods
- Exercise: get in 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week