Energy: Boosting your Daily Vitality
Energy is essential to our ability to function every day. Each cell in our body contains an energy factory called the mitochondria, whose function is to produce energy-rich molecules known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The energy stored in ATP is used to drive multiple cellular processes in our body allowing us to move, learn and grow.
However, fatigue is something that can get in the way and as we grow older, the more fatigued we tend to feel. Although age and other underlying health issues can have a strong effect on fatigue, our daily lifestyle habits also have a significant part to play. The following, are some common lifestyle habits you can focus on to improve your daily energy levels.
It is well known that physical exercise comes with many health benefits. Naturally with age, we begin to lose muscle mass and consequently, the production of ATP energy molecules begins to slow down. Being inactive can also cause muscles to weaken over time resulting in the inability to use and produce energy efficiently. With regular physical activity, you can maintain and increase your muscle strength ensuring that your body is producing energy in the most effective way. Even a quick 30-minute work-out can give you a noticeable boost of energy and make a significant difference in your energy levels throughout the day.
Stress can be caused by almost anything in our everyday lives. Cortisol is a stress hormone that our body releases to help us deal with stress. While we can manage a certain amount of stress in a healthy way, chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol levels. When cortisol levels rise too high, it can begin to interfere with our daily cycles causing tiredness. Although it is impossible to completely remove stress from your life, taking up practices such as yoga or meditation not only relieve some stress and reduce your cortisol levels, but can also make you feel more energized.
Sleep is an essential process that allows our body to rest and recover, however, we repeatedly take it for granted in our busy lives. Sleep deprivation is often a common cause of poor energy levels and decreased productivity. Timing, length and quality of sleep can all have an impact on cortisol levels in the body. An important way to maximize energy levels is to focus on improving your sleep routine: keep a consistent sleep schedule, maintain a quiet sleep environment free of interruptions, and aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
The nutrition that comes from a healthy diet has a significant impact on your energy levels. Without proper nourishment, the production of ATP is affected, causing you to feel more fatigued. Eating processed foods high in sugar and fat can have an effect on energy levels as well. Erratic eating habits such as skipping breakfast or eating too much food at one time can also cause chemical imbalances in the body that lead to fatigue. Here are some simple tips: eat a balanced diet of whole foods and aim for multiple smaller meals throughout the day to ensure a consistent supply of nutrients.