Are you looking for a natural way to boost your energy levels? If lucky, you may already spring out of bed in the morning, ready to face the day.
However, our busy lives mean that feeling tired has become the norm. If you struggle to get through your day without needing a nap or a cup of coffee, this article is for you!
Here’s the good news: there are plenty of natural ways to boost energy levels, and they don’t involve caffeine or sugary snacks. Instead, these are healthy habits that fit right into your daily routine, addressing the root causes of fatigue so you can make a lasting improvement to your energy – yes please!
From healthy workplace habits to quick pick-me-ups, these ten tips are here to combat your daily slumps. They’re the life hacks you need to help restore balance, fight tiredness and give you more pep throughout the day.
Ready to jump-start your energy levels? Let’s dive right in!
10 Habits to Naturally Increase Your Energy Levels
Fatigue is a terrible feeling, but it can be drastically improved with some easy lifestyle changes. Healthy habits can help you function at your best, address physical and hormonal causes of low energy, and boost your enthusiasm for life.
Here are ten natural ways you can inject some spark back into your life:
1. Breathe With Intention
Our breathing greatly impacts our health and energy. We tend to take short, shallow breaths when stressed, distracted or fatigued. When you breathe like this, your body becomes mildly hypoxic (or low in oxygen).
Lack of oxygen can impair blood flow, hinder mood and cognition, exacerbate inflammation, interfere with immune function, and many more adverse effects.
Practices such as yoga and meditation teach techniques that help you become more aware of your breath. Numerous apps are also available for download – such as Breathing Zone – to help you establish healthy breathing habits.
There’s also a strong connection between breathing and mood. I use box breathing to calm and relax (especially before bed) and Breath of Fire Yoga to boost my energy.
2. Swap PM Exercise for AM Workouts.
Whether it’s physiological or psychological, exercising first thing in the morning gives you a pep-up for the day!
Morning exercise has plenty of benefits, and it’s my personal favourite time to work out. Training before breakfast is best for fat-burning, and it boosts your metabolism for up to 15 hours. Morning sun exposure also boosts metabolism, so train outdoors for extra perks.
If you’re a fitness beginner, you may feel tired after working out – but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilise this habit hack. Instead, reduce the intensity of your morning workouts so you’re not depleting your energy stores. Modifying your activity to a 6 out of 10 (rather than an 8 or 9) will leave you feeling energised.
3. Go to Bed 30 Minutes Earlier
On average, adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, but most of us are falling short. Your body needs sleep to recover and regenerate, and if you don’t get enough restful sleep, it’s a sure recipe for fatigue and low energy.
Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night this week – you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes! For many people, the night is only young at 10:30, but if you need to work regular hours tomorrow, it is imperative to get your sleeping patterns on track.
For the night owls out there, you may lay awake the first few times. If you’re struggling, try using some of these expert tips to help you fall asleep. My favourites include box breathing (see point 1) and Yoga Nidra. The secret to falling asleep faster is to wake up earlier – trust me, after a few 6am wake-ups in a row, a 9:30pm bedtime starts to feel achievable!
4. Add HIIT Workouts to Your Daily Routine
Running out of energy during the day? You’ll find that a quick workout – as short as 5 or 10 minutes – can provide an immediate boost (also a great way to avoid mindless snacking!).
Rapidly increasing your heart rate for a short period will get your heart pumping, improving blood oxygenation and flow to your muscles and major organs. Plus, the endorphin boost will give you an immediate lift!
Personally, I recommend adding one to three 7-minute HIIT workouts to your daily routine. You can even schedule them into your Google Calendar for motivation! Choose the times you regularly get an energy slump (like mid-afternoon if you’re prone to 3:30itis). If that feels like too much, turn some of your work meetings or phone calls into a walking meeting.
If you do this regularly, you’ll notice consistent energy improvements, as exercise encourages the release of energy-boosting hormones and enhances your metabolism.
5. Drink a Green Smoothie Daily
Green smoothies are a great way to supercharge your diet! With the benefits of green leafy vegetables, you can tick off a good percentage of your RDI.
When your energy’s flat, you’ll often find yourself craving simple sugars – an easy way for junk foods to creep into your diet! Adding smoothies to your routine helps avoid the temptation of processed foods.
If you’re new to green smoothies, start with a simple green smoothie recipe and work up from there – it doesn’t have to be complicated. If it’s hard to fit in, try a green smoothie bowl for breakfast, topped with your favourite granola.
To make it easier for yourself, pre-prepare your smoothie ingredients in advance. Most can even be frozen! It only takes minutes out of your day to blend up an energy-boosting snack (minus the crash that comes from sugary treats).
6. Drink 1.5L of Fluid Daily
It’s important to stay hydrated for optimal health and energy. When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t work as well as it should, and energy-sapping symptoms are common.
Side effects of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, irritability and hunger – all of which leave you feeling flat. However, dehydration can easily be avoided with some habit changes.
Sip on water or herbal tea regularly throughout the day, not just gulping a glass when you remember to. Aim for at least 1.5L in total – more on hot days, if you’ve been sick or if you’re exercising.
Other drinks like green tea have many benefits, but avoid relying on caffeinated beverages for your fluid intake. If you’re looking for a healthy way to replenish your electrolytes, choose coconut water over sports drinks.
Remember that fluid doesn’t just come from drinks. Many foods can also contribute to your hydration, including smoothies, soups, fresh fruit, and salads full of leafy greens.
7. Snack on Protein & Good Fats
When you’re tired and run down, it can be hard to prioritise your nutritional needs. However, your energy levels will only worsen if you don’t fill yourself up with good-quality fuel.
Eating something at regular intervals helps keep your energy levels up, and it also helps you to stay focused and alert. Getting enough protein helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and sustain energy, while healthy fats provide slow-burning fuel for your brain and body.
Avoid mid-afternoon temptation by having healthy options on hand. If possible, plan out your meals and snacks for the day. Energy-boosting snack ideas include veggie sticks with nut butter, a tub of natural yoghurt, chia seed pudding, a green smoothie, 1-2 boiled eggs, or a leafy salad with tuna or sardines.
For more inspiration, see my favourite healthy snack recipes.
8. Take a Break at Regular Intervals
Sometimes, we experience dips in energy because we’ve been sitting at a desk for too long! This is especially true if you work in an office or focus on one task for an extended time.
A short break of just 5 minutes can give you an immediate energy boost and leave you feeling refreshed. For an even greater benefit, try taking regular breaks during the day. Getting up and moving every hour will improve your energy, productivity and focus.
If possible, take breaks outdoors and put your phone aside – nature is a fantastic energy booster! Getting some sunlight and fresh air helps us feel invigorated. Exposure to the outdoors also reduces anxiety and stress, increases creativity and enhances our cognitive skills.
Making time to get outdoors and walk the dog or go for a quick jog can make all the difference to your day.
9. Journal for 10 Minutes Daily
Negative thoughts and worries are major ‘energy thieves’, so why not offload them on paper? Journaling is also a fantastic way to take mindful time out.
Write down anything causing you stress or anxiety – this will help clear your head and keep you from ruminating. Doing this also helps you understand and deal with emotions in a healthy way, supporting your mental health.
Gratitude journalling is a common practice to help nurture a more positive mindset. If you’re feeling low and it’s hard to be ‘grateful’, ask yourself one powerful question: what would I miss the most if it was gone tomorrow?
Goal-setting and visualisation is also a powerful tool for motivation and enhanced energy. Write down your goals and describe yourself achieving them in detail: what do you see? What does it feel like? How are people reacting? Feeling inspired is fantastic for your mindset. Here is a great 15 minute podcast on the science behind journaling from the BBC.
10. Tune In to Positive Influences
Your environment tremendously influences your energy levels. In fact, tuning into positivity is one of the things happy people do differently.
First, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, not bring you down. If you can mingle with positive-minded people rather than the naysayers, this can drastically affect your energy.
It’s also important to be conscious of what type of information you’re letting in – is it positive and inspiring? Or negative and discouraging? If you feel drained by social media or news, swap scrolling time for other activities.
To bring more positivity into your life, watch upbeat programs on TV, read positive publications, or listen to an energetic radio station or music. Having a cheeky dance to your favourite song is a great way to spark up a dull day!
Remember, small but consistent adjustments are the key! If you’re feeling run down, you may want to feel better immediately, but it takes time to build a habit.
Pick one or two habits from the list that suit your lifestyle – what can you add to your morning routine? Which are easiest to do at the office? Then, try to practise them consistently for five days.
Once these habits become second nature, you can revisit the list and see what else you can incorporate.
Take it one step at a time, and you’ll benefit from a whole new lease on life!
Not sure why you’re low on energy? Start by taking my quiz: Which of the 5 Energy Thieves is Holding You Back?