While this is both figuratively and literally true, often how much you can do in those hours is limited not by the numbers on the clock, but by the energy you have during that time.
But while the benefits of having more energy are pretty easy to understand, it’s less clear how to become a more energetic person. While there’s no shortage of products, drinks and foods that promise you more vitality and less sluggishness throughout the day, many of the best tips are free, easy and relatively painless.
So, if you are looking for an easy to way to put more pep into your day, here are 10 practical tips to get you started.
1. Get a Good Night’s Rest
If you want more energy during the day, the best place to start is with the rest you get at night. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and get at least 7-9 hours of good sleep per night.
Being sleep deprived affects your body in a similar way to being drunk, hurting your ability to focus and complete tasks.
Getting more sleep, including taking a power nap in the afternoon if you feel inclined, will help you feel more alert and useful when you’re awake.
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and, if you want to have good energy levels throughout, the adage is certainly true.
Getting a good, healthy breakfast first thing in the morning gives your body a jolt of energy and sets the tone for the day.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can skip other meals either as its important to keep yourself well-fed if you want to keep moving. This is also why, sometimes, getting a healthy snack between meals can give you a boost of energy to get through the day.
3. Get Some Exercise
Though most people think of exercise as being something to tire them out, the truth is that the exhaustive effect of exercise is short lived. Once your body has recovered from the workout, it usually has more energy for the rest of the day.
In addition to the short-term energy gains, exercise helps you stay healthy, lose weight and be more active in general, all things that can help you increase your energy level long term.
However, if you can’t or don’t want to set aside time for exercise, find ways to get more movement in your day in general. Take the stairs at work or just walk around the block on your lunch break. Every little bit helps.
4. Drink More Water
Dehydration is a tricky problem to detect. It can often hide itself as hunger or mere fatigue.
Making sure you get plenty of water to drink can help your body function normally and help keep your energy levels high. Failure to do so can make you groggy and sleepy, even if you don’t necessarily feel thirsty.
How much water you need depends on you and your diet. Most people need to drink at least 8 8oz glasses of fluid (not necessarily just water) per day.
5. Eat More Healthy Foods
Cutting out junk foods, reducing salt, eating more fiber and getting more healthy protein can do wonders for your metabolism and your energy levels.
Heavier, fattier foods are tougher to digest and require more energy process. Likewise, salt can make you feel more bloated and sluggish.
Eating the right foods can help your body work better and more efficiently. This translates to more energy and less fatigue.
6. Use Caffeine Carefully
Caffeine can be a great boost if you start feeling sluggish, but use it carefully as becoming dependent on it can actually make you more sluggish in the long run.
Grabbing a coffee or a latte when you start to feel a bit slow can be fine, but keeping a steady stream in your system is going to lead a rush/crash cycle that hurts your energy levels.
Also, don’t drink caffeine too close to bedtime as it can interfere with your sleep and make things much worse the next day.
7. Shake Things Up
Sometimes we get fatigued because we’re stuck in a rut, doing the same things over and over again. This can take an emotional toll on us that also makes us physically tired.
Do something different, shake things up a bit. It can be something as simple to listening to new music, changing your appearance or trying out a new schedule.
Doing something different can make things seem fresh and new, that makes them exciting and that makes it easier to find the energy to do them.
8. Feed Your Mind
Your mind needs stimulation too and if it isn’t being challenged at least a little bit every day, it’s going to become bored and apathetic.
Challenge yourself every day, consider listening to interesting lectures (consider TED talks as a great place to start), read a book or do a crossword. Something to keep you mind engaged every day.
9. Learn to Relax
Stress is one of the leading causes of fatigue. Learning how to relax, turn off and do nothing is often crucial to keeping a healthy energy level all day.
Be sure to set aside a little bit of time each day for you to do nothing. This can be difficult if you are balancing work, family and other responsibilities, but just 30 minutes a day to meditate, take a bath, read a book and generally unwind can be a huge help.
Best of all, if you do this right before bed it can help get you ready to go to sleep and get that good night’s rest you need.
10. If You Must, See a Doctor
Finally, if taking the above steps don’t work and other lifestyle changes (including stopping smoking and cutting back on alcohol) don’t help improve your sagging energy levels, you may want to talk with a doctor.
Low energy levels can be a sign of many different ailments, including anemia, hormone imbalances and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
A doctor can look at your symptoms and test for various ailments that may cause them and suggest treatments for any problems you have.
However, for most people getting more energy and more out of their day is as simple as making a few lifestyle changes.
After all, for most people fatigue isn’t a sign of an illness, but a sign that we have gotten complacent with some bad habits. It’s easy to do and pretty much everyone falls into that trap at least once in a while.
The important thing is to catch it and correct the mistakes as soon as possible so you can continue living life to its fullest, with all of the energy you need to make it happen.
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for an inspection company that offers a variety of pre shipment inspections, and who also consults for a psd to xhtml conversion company.