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Why Some People Never Get Tired, and How You Can Join Their Ranks

You know the type. They always seem awake, alert, ready to achieve, even as your energy level seems to have hit "Empty."

If energy seems hard to come by these days, you're not alone. Close to one-third of respondents to National Sleep Foundation poll said they have missed work or other events, or made errors at work, because of being too sleepy.

So what is the secret that these "other" people, the ones with the seemingly endless energy, know that you don't? It's not that their lives are necessarily any easier, any less complicated or any less crammed with things to do. And their days are not any less laced with the trials and tribulations of a normal life.

Kids aren't the only ones who should have lots of energy.

More so, it is that they have discovered the following secrets and incorporated them into their own lives. But here's the real kicker: You can too.

You are What You Eat

It sounds cliché, but it's true. According to Cynthia Sass, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), there are six diet-related factors that can drastically affect your energy levels throughout the day.

  1. Drink more water. If you get dehydrated, it will make you feel sluggish.

  2. Eat plenty of protein. Make sure you are eating enough healthy protein throughout the day. Your body needs it to keep organs functioning and energy levels up.

  3. Watch your carb intake. Eating too many carbs can slow you down, but so can not eating enough of the healthy kind (like those from veggies). Carbs are what keeps your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day, which in turn makes you feel awake, so be sure you're eating the right amount for you.

  4. Limit your caffeine fix. If you can't get going without a cup of coffee, you're probably drinking too much. It will actually end up making you feel more tired in the long run, so limit your intake to about one cup a day.

  5. Eat when you're hungry. If you keep pushing lunch back until you're about to faint, your blood sugar levels will plummet--and so will your energy.

  6. Eat a balanced diet. If you're not giving your body all the protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals and more that it needs, you won't feel up to par.

Too Tired to Exercise? There's no Such Thing!

Aside from illness, there's no excuse for not exercising. And if you feel you don't have enough energy to do it, you're probably the type that needs it most!

"Your body is probably begging for activity," says Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Though it sounds ironic, putting out the energy to work out will give you more energy and make your daily tasks easier. Ask any regular exerciser to take a break from their routine, and they're sure to notice a drop in their energy. Here's how to exercise for the maximum boost:

  1. Vary your workouts. Do an aerobic activity like jogging or kickboxing one day, a strength training work out another, and yoga or Pilates the next. This will keep you from getting burned out and keep things fun. "Whatever gets you to move is the exercise that will energize you," says Gaesser.

  2. Stretch. Stretching is a key way to increase your daily energy. Using the proper form in stretching is essential to achieving the maximum energy benefits.

    To learn 15 important stretches that stretch all the key muscles groups throughout your entire body in only 15-20 minutes a day, highly recommends the "Stretching Toward a Healthier Life" DVD.

  3. Use intervals for cardio. While doing a cardio workout, alternate several minutes of high-intensity movement with several minutes of lower intensity. This will get your energy levels up without wearing you down.

  4. Watch your intensity. If you're working so hard that you can't talk, you probably need to tone it down a notch. Says Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., chief exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego, exercising too hard can leave you feeling tired, rather than energized.

Emotions Can Sap Your Energy

If you've got a lot of negative emotions cooped up in your mind, it will definitely drain you of your energy. These could be things like:

  • Lingering resentments from an argument with your spouse or family

  • Frustration about a work project

  • Disappointment in yourself or others

  • Feeling not good enough

  • Anxiety about an upcoming event

  • Worrying about finances, illness or other issues

Most of these things are issues that lead you to have a lot of negative stress, and no way to vent it. And let's face it, even the positive things in our lives -- buying a new house, having a baby, getting married, planning for retirement -- can lead to energy-zapping emotions. Here are some solutions to free your mind and recapture your energy:

  • Try energy psychology tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique. Similar to acupuncture but without the needles, tapping on specific energy meridians on your body can help you let go of all kinds of negative emotions.

  • Take part in a pleasurable, constructive (working on a project you enjoy) or altruistic (volunteering) activity. It will keep your mind off the bad and help you focus on the good.

  • Try journaling. This can work in many ways. You can use a journal to write down your thoughts, concerns, fears, etc. By physically writing them on paper, it can help you remove them from your mind. You can also use your journal to make lists of tasks at hand, projects you need to finish, even groceries you need to buy. If these things are cluttering up your head, they're using up your valuable energy needlessly.

Stretch Your Way to Boundless Energy

Stretch DVDProper stretching is one of the most widely recommended methods to help you look and feel younger, live longer, avoid and even overcome serious health issues, and increase your mental concentration, energy and emotional well-being.

With the "Stretching Toward a Healthier Life" DVD, you'll:

  • Reduce tension in your muscles
  • Improve the flow of oxygen and the intake of essential nutrients
  • Help reduce and manage stress
  • Improve your posture
  • Get better blood circulation
  • Have more energy to perform daily tasks

Learn more about "Stretching Toward a Healthier Life," including how to get FREE SHIPPING for a Limited Time Now!

Do Something You Love Everyday

Says Steve Brunkhorst, a professional life success coach, doing something enjoyable everyday is "a great way to replenish the energy consumed during daily living."

This could be something small, like watching the sunset or taking your dog for a long walk, or something more indulgent like heading to the spa for a Swedish massage. It could mean taking time to be alone or getting together with a group of friends.

Whatever you enjoy is up to you. Just make sure it gets done everyday. If you like, you can add some of your favorite things to your journal, then pick one or two to do each day.

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

The more energy you expend over the small stuff, the less you have for the fun (and necessary) stuff. Choosing your battles wisely is a key way to increase your energy. All it takes is some conscious thinking on your part, and the dedication to let those small daily annoyances glide off you like, well, spilled milk.

Pottery Hobby

Just doing something you love can increase your energy immensely.

If you're having trouble with this one, remember these great words from Bruce Lee, " ... the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind."

Then There's the Obvious

If you know you have lifestyle habits (other than diet and exercise) that are making you feel drained, change them! If you:

  • Stay up late watching the late show, then the late late show, then are late, late, late for work in the morning, turn off the TV and go to sleep.

  • Try to cram two-week's worth of activities into one 24-hour day, ease up on your expectations.

  • Take on so many obligations with family and friends that they're no longer enjoyable, learn to say no.

  • Still feel tried after make all these changes, consider getting help.

"It's very easy for someone to say, 'I'm just feeling tired because I'm run-down and have too much going on,'" says Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD. "But the bottom line is that fatigue could be a sign of a medical condition that can be treated ... If you have made the changes that make sense, and you're still feeling the symptoms of fatigue, then you need professional help."

Recommended Reading

Spending Your Money on Doing Things vs. Owning Things Will Make You Happier

Aging Gracefully: Enjoy a Vital, Fulfilling Life Regardless of Age


Build a Storehouse of Energy and Resiliency

Tired All the Time?

Shape Magazine: Too Tired to Exercise?

Prevention: Tired All the Time?

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