5 Foolproof Ways to Energize Yourself

Feeling blah? The top three reasons we lack energy and seem to drag are due to stress, poor sleep, and a hectic schedule--all of which can leave you feeling fatigued.

The Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers five feel-good fixes to re-energize and get the zip and zing back in your life.

1. Manage your stress
Learn a new word: NO. Say it out loud just to get in practice. Say no to anything that will strain your schedule. Set your priorities, pace yourself, and take time each day just for you. Time to relax is time to rejuvenate.

2. Get moving
The dichotomy of exercise is that pushing your body by exercising your muscles gives you a boost of energy. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day for a mental and physical boost you can't beat.

3. Eat better
Treat yourself to home-cooked meals that are low in fat and high in fiber. Make sure you always eat breakfast. Restrict how much fat and sugar you eat because both will make you feel sluggish later.

4. Avoid alcohol
You may think a glass of wine or beer will make you happy, but in fact alcohol depresses the central nervous system and acts as a sedative. Even small amounts can make you sleepy for hours.

5. Seek good sleep
Sleep is not a luxury. When demands of work and home put the pressure on us, something has to give--and more often than not, it's quality time spent in bed. Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it. To help you fall asleep quickly and easily, don't eat, read, or watch television in bed. Do keep the room cool, dark and quiet. Set the alarm for the same time every day, including weekends. Routine--both in the times you go to sleep and wake up--helps create a regular sleep schedule. It's OK to take a nap during the day, but do make it a short one so it doesn't interfere with your ability to nod off at night.

The Mayo Clinic Health Letter does offer this word of caution: Dramatic or prolonged fatigue may signal an underlying medical problem. If lifestyle changes don't help, do see your doctor. Fatigue can be a symptom of anemia, cancer, depression or other mood disorders, diabetes, infections, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, thyroid problems, and even heart attack.

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