Ever feel like you’re going to hit the wall from fatigue and all you want to do is nap…but it’s only 9am….and you’ve already had 5 cups of coffee? Yep, I’ve been there!
Lately my days begin at 5 am and are filled with writing, social media (I’m now managing the SM for a company I write for), workouts, subbing fitness classes, teaching Zumba, training clients, and helping coach kids volleyball, not to mention cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring,….it makes for busy days!
One of the biggest hurdles for me with staying active and keeping busy has been my energy levels. I have struggled for years with fatigue, especially in the last year or 2, and daily stress doesn’t help. Some days I get completely wiped out by 8 pm, and it gets even worse around certain times of the month…if ya know what I mean, ugh. Here are a few things I make sure I do to keep my energy levels up while staying active.
- Hydrate! I cannot understate how important proper hydration is for keeping energy levels up: drink, drink, drink! Speaking from experience, chronic dehydration and under-hydration can lead to muscle aches, headaches, joint aches…your aches will have aches! Drink up and drink often. If you need more than water, drink some herbal tea or mix pieces of fruit in with your water for some flavor. My favorite is lime slices.
- Watch your sugar intake: This may come as no surprise, but watching your sugar intake can go a long way in keeping your energy levels steadier throughout the day. Avoiding high glycemic sugars and refined carbohydrates can keep your blood sugar steadier without the blood sugar spikes and crashes that can accompany high sugar consumption. Speaking from experience on this, too, your mood can improve as well. Carb intake is important, but keep your sugar intake in reasonable limits.
- Electrolytes, Vitamins, and Minerals: Make sure you are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes in your diet or through supplements (when approved by your doctor). High volume and intense exercise can deplete your body of it’s stores of nutrients much faster than normal, so make sure you are staying on top of your nutrition. Calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium are big players in muscle function and can help alleviate muscle soreness and improve nerve transmission. If you are constantly having problems with recovery, consider talking to your doctor checking for imbalances or deficiencies.
- Macronutrient Balance (protein/fat/carbs): A big part of staying energized through fitness and training is making sure you are eating enough calories to sustain your work load AND making you have balanced macronutrient in each meal. Eating carbohydrates is really important for endurance athletes, but don’t forget about the protein or healthy fats either! Each macronutrient plays an important role in re-fueling your body so you next workout or fitness event is even better than the last.
- Down time/R&R: Get plenty of sleep! Sleep is your body’s time to repair damage sustained during the day, so make sure you are getting enough shut-eye. Rest times also include planning rest times and taking adequate time off with complete rest days and active recovery days so you allow your body to repair itself while still maintaining your fitness level.
- Work with your body, not against it: Always stay in tune with your body! If you are feeling run down, take a break and let your body recover. If certain foods make you feel icky and drained, then find other foods that agree with your body better. You have one body for the rest of your life, take care of it!