Ever watch a child run around and wonder where all that energy comes from? With a myriad of commitments and activities, keeping your energy level high all day may feel impossible. But the truth is it’s not hard with the right habits.
It Starts with Good Habits
We all have them. Habits are what make us take the same route to work every day and pick one place over another to get groceries. Even the routine you go through every morning is a habit. Some habits are healthy, such as brushing and flossing teeth; and some, well, not so much. Bad habits, like not getting enough sleep or riding the caffeine/energy drink roller coaster can contribute to low energy levels.
“Unhealthy habits punch holes in your energy bucket and, over time, deplete your resources,” says Dr. Sarah Ghorbanian, Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Des Plaines. “The best way to start improving your energy level is to pinpoint energy depleting habits and work on changing them.”
One way to change bad habits is to replace them with good ones. It’s much easier than quitting a habit ‘cold turkey’ and will probably give you a better chance of maintaining the change. Here are a few good habits to consider:
Easy, right? Maybe not. Trick your brain into thinking you’re relaxed. “Try 5-5-7 breathing,” suggests Dr. Sarah. “Inhale for a count of five, hold at the top for a count of five and exhale for a count of seven. You will instantly feel more relaxed.”
Another good habit with endless benefits is exercise. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day is the magic number to boost your body’s serotonin levels, the ‘happy’ hormone that can make you feel more energetic and vibrant.
Energy from Within
Chiropractic is all about creating the healthiest foundation possible to support your healthy habits. Don't play catch up with your health. Think of your chiropractor as your coach and biggest ally in making changes for optimum wellness and remember it may improve your energy level, too. "Your nervous system needs to be free from interference for the body to function optimally—this means energy, digestion, healing, everything,” says Dr. Sarah. “I've had patients say an adjustment gives them more energy than a cup of coffee any day.”
Think of Food as Fuel
Changing what and how much you eat can definitely impact your energy level. “When you skip breakfast or don't take time for lunch, your body can easily run out of gas,” Dr. Sarah points out. She also says eating fast food—like fried and processed drive-thru foods—can deplete your energy, too.
Ride the Wave
Knowing when to eat is almost as important as choosing the right foods. Dr. Sarah suggests making a journal of what you eat during the day and when you notice your energy levels draining. “Figure out the times of the day you crash and need that pick me up,” she says. “Then make sure to have a healthy snack or meal to help boost your energy naturally.”
Dr. Sarah’s last bit of advice: be patient. “It takes 7-12 attempts for a habit to stick, over varying periods of time. It takes time, stick with it!” For others, it could take two to three months of almost daily work to change or gain a habit.