5-Minute Energy Fixes

Simple solutions for more stamina.

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Feeling sluggish? Exercise may be one of the best ways to revive, but it’s not the only way. Keep your energy stoked all day long with these quick fixes.
Photo by Erik Reis

Get Figgy With It

Figs are loaded with iron, which helps stave off anemia and fatigue. And, according to one report, a single serving of this chewy fruit contains more polyphenols (recently linked to longevity) than tea or red wine.
Photo by Elena Elisseeva

Get a High-Fiber Start

Some research shows that people stay more alert until lunch-time when they eat a high-fiber breakfast cereal (like All-Bran) than when they consume a low-fiber cereal like cornflakes. The likely reason: Fiber slows digestion, which helps you maintain a more consistent energy level.
Photo by johave

Treat Problematic Periods

Don’t disregard the heavy bleeding that often accompanies perimenopause; A heavy flow can substantially lower your iron stores and cause anemia, a serious energy drain. "Have your doctor check your hematocrit [red blood cell count], and if it’s low, your ferritin level to see if you need an iron supplement," says JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, president of the North American Menopause Society. Your physician may suggest trying birth control pills or progesterone therapy to lessen bleeding.
Photo courtesy of studiovespa

Get a Vitamin D Test

Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D blood level, especially if you aren’t getting daily sun exposure, Pinkerton says. Lack of vitamin D can make you more susceptible to energy-sapping depression; you’re more likely to experience a shortfall as you grow older, when the skin’s ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D slows down. If you’re low, she may recommend taking a vitamin D3 supplement.
Aleksandrs Jeme?janovs

Cut Back on Caffeine

Caffeine can give you a buzz, but using it can also bring you down because caffeine withdrawal, and one of its primary symptoms, fatigue, may make this boost backfire. Withdrawal can occur with a caffeine intake as low as 100 milligrams a day (the equivalent of one cup of brewed coffee) and can set in as early as 12 hours after your last cup of joe. "Symptoms increase with the amount of coffee you drink," says Chad Reissig, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Consider progressively easing back on caffeine, slowly switching to decaf or substituting peppermint tea.
Photo by Vera Dolezalova

Solve Sleep Problems

Night sweats, midnight awakenings and other sleep disturbances are common in midlife. Keeping a diary (go to sleepfoundation.org and type "sleep diary" into the search box) can help you pinpoint the problems that are keeping you awake.
Photo by Inga Nielsen

Eat a Better Burger

To get a good night’s rest, consider swapping that cheeseburger for a turkey burger. A study from the Federal University of São Paulo, in Brazil, found that increased fat intake-at any point in the day, but especially at dinner-resulted in less REM (deep) sleep, more sleep apnea and more tossing and turning. And it’s a double whammy: Fat steals sleep, while fatigue makes the body crave it. To break out of the cycle, trim the PM fat from your diet.
Lauri Patterson

Stretch Away Stress

Feeling overwhelmed? Pick a yoga pose and hold it. Yoga appears to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which brakes the adrenaline-fueled reactions you experience while you

Courtesy of iStock

Avoid Added Sugar

It’s easy to want to turn to sweetened foods and drinks, such as soda, for an instant energy surge. The only problem with that is, you’re likely to crash just as fast. Michael F. Jacobson, executive director at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, suggests eliminating all table sugar and packaged foods with sugars from your diet for two weeks. That will help your body process sugar more efficiently when you do start eating it again, and it also may diminish your cravings. After that, aim to eat no more than eight teaspoons of the white stuff a day. You can figure out how many teaspoons are in a serving of a food by looking for the grams of sugar listed under “total carbohydrates” on the nutrition label, then dividing that number by four. The easiest way to cut back is to eliminate sweetened bottled iced tea, juice and, especially, sweetened soda: A single 12-ounce can of cola contains 10 teaspoons. Jacobson recommends switching to plain H2O or, if you like the sparkle, flavored seltzer water.

David Claassen

Schedule a Blood Donation

Iron deficiency can be a surefire energy zapper, but if you’re postmenopausal the opposite issue may be your problem. According to the Nurses' Health Study, almost 10 percent of postmenopausal women have too much iron in their blood, which can also cause fatigue. How do you remedy that? Get rid of the blood. It turns out that the most efficient way to reduce iron is to give blood—often. As the body replenishes iron-containing red blood cells, it borrows iron stored in the tissues. Repeating the process gradually reduces the iron level in the body.

Steve Jacobs

Drink Up

By the time you feel parched, you’ve already lost 1 to 2 percent of your body weight in fluids—enough to increase fatigue and confusion, and spoil your mood, according to recent research. Other signs of dehydration include muscle weakness, headache, dizziness, and lack of perspiration. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. That may seem like a lot, but food and beverages composed mostly of water—such as milk, juice, coffee, watermelon and tomatoes—also count towards the quota. If you rarely feel thirsty and excrete colorless or pale yellow urine, you’re probably getting enough fluids.

Next: 12 Free Ways to Feel Better Fast

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Comments


THE SECRET OF KEEPING YOURSELF REJUVENATED IS MAINTAINING YOUR BODY WITH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TREATMENTS, PLUS A GOOD QUALITY DE-AGING NUTRIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION,(PREVENTION NATURAL MEDICINE), ANTI-AGING WORK OUTS, A DAILY ORGANIC DIET AND HEALTHY POSITIVE LIFE STYLE..IT WON'T JUST HELP YOUR BODY BUT IT WILL HELP YOUR MIND AS WELL.....TO KEEP LOOKING FABULOUS AT ANY AGE IS NOT JUST EXTERNAL CARE BUT INTERNAL AS WELL....LADIES OUT THERE, IS IS VERY POSSIBLE TO SLOW DOWN THE AGING PROCESS WITH PROPER DE-AGING HOLISTIC TREATMENTS...I HAVE GOOD TESTIMONIALS FROM MY CLIENTS WHEN THEY FOLLOW A GOOD DISCIPLINED DAILY REGIMEN TO CARE FOR THEIR BODIES,..THE RESULTS ARE EXTRAORDINARY!!!.....VIVA LA BEAUTY OF MATURE WOMEN!!! Clarisa Patterson www.wix.com/antianging50/anti-aging-soft-aesthetics
THE PICTURES ON MY WEBSITE REPRESENTS MY SELF....
LETS CELEBRATE BEAUTY AND LIFE TOGETHER!!!!!......

Robin Barr03.14.2011

I've always been terrible at keeping up with drinking recommended amount of water daily. What helped is something I read, that drinking water is giving the inside of your body a bath. LOL, somehow, that struck a responsive chord.
RobinBarrBuzz.com

jane dow03.12.2011

If you want tips, exercises, recipes and solutions for energy, sleep, etc., you definitely want to check out the book "Are Tired and Wired" by Marcelle Pick of Women to Women Healthcare. She sites the adrenal glands as the key to treating these issues and has solutions. It just went on sale on Amazon at half price intro cost. I was a patient of hers. She knows her stuff!

Mari Hackett03.09.2011

Great article. Thanks!

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