Has Your Get Up and Go, Gone and Left?

January 7, 2019

We all do it every year, that big push to create a ‘new me’ for the New Year. Over the Christmas holidays as we eat just one more chocolate or treat ourselves to an extra helping of pudding, we all promise ourselves that come the 1st of January we will be up and out of the door into a brand new fitness regime. We plan to clear out the cupboards of unhealthy foods, (usually by eating them!) and aim for the dizzy heights of smoothies that are distinctly green and bursting with goodness.

Then what happens? The weather is bad, it’s back to work, the children back to school and suddenly we find we have no energy to do anything more than cope with getting back into the daily routine. But don’t beat yourself up over it, you are not alone. Plus, there are some simple steps you can take to help get your energy levels back up and perhaps get on the road to the New You!

It is never a good idea to suddenly leap into an exercise regime that would befit an Olympic athlete when the last bit of exercise you did was to run for the bus.

It is never a good idea to suddenly leap into an exercise regime that would befit an Olympic athlete when the last bit of exercise you did was to run for the bus. If you have been relatively inactive, you need to start any new plan with a sensible gentle approach. Firstly, it avoids injury, which is rather important and secondly it also means you are far more likely to actually carry on and achieve your goal. If you want to run, aim for a 5k run, not a marathon. Nothing is stopping you having a marathon as a long-term goal, but most experts agree that if we set ourselves smaller goals that may lead to a big one, we are far more likely to achieve them.

If running is your goal, check out Couch to 5k, a programme of walking and running that is supported by the NHS with podcasts to lead you through a gentle progression from walking through to running continuously for 30 minutes over a 9 week programme. There is lots of support from a friendly forum too.

Of course, to even feel motivated enough to take part in any form of exercise, we need to feel we have the energy to do it. Overeating, eating the wrong sorts of foods, lack of exercise, not drinking enough water can all lead to a lack of energy. Either caused by a lack of nutrition in the food we are eating, perhaps eating foods that put a strain on the digestive system and of course being dehydrated. It’s time to take a look at your supplement regime to help support you in reaching your new health goals.

Are you constantly craving sugary foods for the ‘energy boost’ that you feel they give you? If it is more than just the occasional sweet treat and you find you are relying on these types of food every day, it is time to break that habit. The benefits can include weight loss and more energy, plus avoiding those sudden dips when your top up of sugar has vanished. Long term you are also helping to prevent increasing your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

The mineral chromium has been shown to help play a role in glucose management in the body. Many users report that it helps to reduce their sugar cravings. Women have found it useful around the time of menstruation too, if they find they are suddenly wanting to eat sugary foods.

As always, there is never a quick fix to giving you a boost of energy, but by making supplements part of your new healthy regime, you can give your body a helping hand.

Firstly, you need to try and analyse why you are lacking in energy.

Firstly, you need to try and analyse why you are lacking in energy. Is it not enough sleep? Poor diet? Stress? Not enough water? There can be many causes and keeping some sort of log or diary of how you feel every day along with a brief note of what you ate and did, can help you pinpoint the days that may be worse than others.

So many of us lead very busy lives without the proper rest, simple steps such as leaving the phone outside of the bedroom can help you get a better sleep. Not just avoiding the constant urge to check the phone, but also avoiding the blue light that devices emit and is beginning to be shown as a cause of sleeping issues as it can suppress secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps your body know when it is time to sleep.

If lack of restful sleep is causing you to wake up tired, try detoxing your bedroom by getting rid of all electronic equipment and if you live in an area with a lot of street lighting, think about getting heavier curtains or maybe wearing an eye-mask to give you proper darkness. This will help reset your circadian rhythms and you will wake up with a better level of energy. As a supplement, consider 5HTP, a precursor to serotonin, that can help us rebalance.

To get the best nutritional value, look for a B complex with the nutrients in their active forms.

We can’t avoid stress altogether, but we can adapt or help our bodies cope with it more effectively. Consider taking a good B Complex as part of your supplement regime. B Vitamins play a role in the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and are required for normal psychological function. Being water soluble, they do not stay in the body, so you need to take them regularly. To get the best nutritional value, look for a B complex with the nutrients in their active forms. This will give you better absorption and utilisation of the vitamins.

Herbs that are known for their adaptogenic properties include Rhodiola and Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is sometimes called Indian Ginseng. Traditionally used to restore strength and create balance, research has also shown that it may help to lower cortisol levels in stressed individuals. If we feel less anxious, we tend to have more energy.

One final supplement to consider is Coenzyme Q 10. This coenzyme works in the mitochondria of the cell, which can be described as the ‘boiler room’ of the cell with CoQ 10 acting like a sparkplug to help release energy.

CoQ 10 is a natural antioxidant and helps support other nutrients in the body such as vitamins C and E. Research also shows that it plays a role in cardiovascular health, so if you are increasing your cardio exercise, it is a good supplement to take. Look for a supplement containing around 100mg.

As with all dietary and lifestyle changes, take it slowly and if you have any health concerns check them out first with your health practitioner. Simple steps such as increasing the amount of water you drink, reducing your sugar intake and getting a good night’s sleep can all help you recover your energy levels.

Don’t be afraid to set yourself small achievable goals

Don’t be afraid to set yourself small achievable goals and give yourself a pat on the back when you reach them. Here’s looking forward to a happy and healthy new you and new year and getting back, your get up and go!

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