Written by the Good Health team.
It can be hard to reset for summer after a long, cold winter. But as the days are getting longer, spring is the perfect time to set new intentions for a healthier, more energetic you. Check out our five helpful ways to put the spring back in your step, and boost your energy levels this spring.
Iron carries oxygen in the blood and therefore has the ability to affect our energy levels greatly. Insufficient iron can be a huge blow to our energy levels and leave us with little momentum for the day ahead. Women are especially prone to low iron levels due to the amount of iron lost each month during menstruation, and the more iron the body uses, the more it needs.
If you are suffering from symptoms of fatigue, the best place to start is by looking to boost your iron intake through diet (red meat, lentils, kidney beans, chick peas and spinach, silver beet) or by supplementation. Taking Iron with Vitamin C will also help to increase its absorption. Boosting your iron levels will not only ensure you have enough energy to face the day, it also helps support optimal immunity.
B Vitamins are particularly important as together they help to support the mitochondria, which are the power-houses of our cells. B Vitamins are commonly found in whole grains, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables. However, B Vitamins are water-soluble (meaning our bodies don’t typically store extra amounts) and are quickly depleted, particularly during times of stress when we need it most. Therefore, it can be hard to achieve the necessary daily levels through diet alone making B Vitamin supplementation are helpful way to boost your energy levels.
When you are tired, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing; however exercising can help to improve your energy levels. Burning calories and engaging in physical exercise sends oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. Spring is the perfect time of year to enjoy exercising in the outdoors, this will also increase your exposure to Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed to support our immune system and for the production of important neurotransmitters that boost our mood and energy levels. If you feel too tired at the end of your day to exercise then try restorative yoga, pilates or meditation instead - it will have the added benefit of helping you to get a better night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, stress is a huge part of our modern, everyday life and it has a huge impact on the level of energy we have and operate with. Many of us realise how important it is to reduce stress however this can be easier said than done when you have pressing work deadlines or family commitments.
When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is in control, meaning our body is preparing for the ‘fight or flight’ response. Our body responds to stress in the same way no matter what the source, therefore any type of stressors cause hormones to be released, raising our heart rate, blood pressure and reducing our body’s ability to repair and regenerate. How resilient you are to stress will affect how you react to stressors, therefore it is important to support your body so that it can respond appropriately.
Breathing exercises can be a useful technique in helping quickly calm and decrease stress levels. Making yourself more aware of how you breathe, by breathing into the diaphragm and up towards the lungs can help the body slow down and rebalance. Take some time each day to focus on your breathing and you will be amazed at how calm this can make you feel.
During sleep, you are allowing your body to restore and repair. A regenerative sleep is an essential ingredient for optimal energy and it can help to minimise the risk of major illnesses. Not only does sleep support your immune system, it improves mood, memory, mental and physical performance. It is recommended that you have 7-8 hours of sleep a day; however, it is not just about the quantity, but the quality of sleep.
Spending your nights tossing and turning can definitely make you feel exhausted the next day. If getting to sleep or not being able to stay asleep is a common pattern for you, it may be helpful to reflect on how your daily choices are affecting your sleep. It is recommended to avoid stimulants such as caffeine after lunch if you have trouble sleeping, but also to avoid alcohol before bed; because although it may initially make you drowsy it can disrupt your sleep. Blue-light from electronic devices can also disrupt sleep; therefore instead of taking your phone to bed with you, try making your bedroom a device-free zone.
Good Health is a proudly New Zealand operated business, started over a quarter of a century ago by John Blanchard. At Good Health, we understand how the power of nature can boost your body’s natural immunity and support systems, enhancing your health and vitality.