Fun fact: I hold the Guinness World Record for having starred in the most fitness videos.
Not so fun fact: Many, maybe even most of them were filmed after subjecting my body to energy depleting conditions.
The night before I couldn’t sleep. All night my mind is running through the hours or workouts I was set to film over the course of the next five days.
With less than 4 hours of sleep, dehydrated to appear leaner, and in a perpetual state of hunger I would need to find the energy to spend the next 10 hours filming a high-impact cardio workout.
Now, I certainly would never engage in those practices today… But I will say they taught me how to find energy even under the most extreme conditions…
The techniques I used then to maintain energy for 10 hours of plyometric, kickboxing, and high-impact air jacks on a concrete floor are the same techniques I use today.
Now, today I know the toll that took on my body, and I would never push myself to the same extremes.
But there are plenty of days when I feel absolutely drained and kicking back and staying in a state of low energy doesn’t serve me.
This is especially true while Bret and I are traveling. Being away from home and out of a routine can seriously throw me off course.
Luckily, the places we’re staying have a positive impact.
There are so many things about this environment that make me feel energetic.
However, there have been plenty of times when I didn’t like my environment and it negatively affected my energy.
There are several reasons we end up feeling low on energy.
Figuring out what’s causing your low energy levels is super important so you can tackle it head-on.
Common Causes of Low Energy
- Sleep: When you don’t get the restorative sleep your body needs, it doesn’t get the chance to recharge and recover properly.
- Nutrition: Eating a nutrient-deficient diet and overloading on processed foods, sugar, or caffeine can zap your energy levels and lead to crashes.
- Lifestyle: When you lead a sedentary lifestyle and don’t get enough exercise, it’s like your body forgets how to pump up the energy.
- Stress: Constant pressure on your mind and emotions can leave you feeling wiped out and totally unmotivated.
- Hydration: When your body isn’t properly hydrated, it messes with your blood flow and how efficiently your body converts food into energy.
- Sunlight: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) kicks in when sunlight becomes scarce, messing with your body’s internal clock.
- Hormones: During menopause or if your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it’s like your body’s whole internal balance is thrown off.
- Medications: Antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure meds often cause fatigue
- Conditions: Chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, thyroid disorders, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and sleep apnea should be discussed with your doctor.
If you find yourself constantly dragging, it’s a good idea to chat with a healthcare professional. They can help you get a proper evaluation and give you the guidance you need to bounce back with more energy.
Personally, the traditional energy hacks aren’t enough.
I need to feel boundless.
I want to feel young; I want to feel vibrant.
And I want to help you age in a way that’s healthy and happy.
So here are some ninja hacks that I use to find energy when I feel like I have none.
What You Can Do
Recognize when you need positive energy
- Positive energy isn’t just a feeling; it’s a state of mind
- Our brain’s neurotransmitters, like dopamine, have a direct link to our mental well-being and physical energy levels
- Knowing when it’s time to create some positive energy is crucial in bouncing back
Know what recharges you
- Think about what activities recharge your batteries and leave you feeling energized
- Prioritize self-care and setting boundaries to protect your energy
- Trying a new hobby, exploring a different destination, or taking on a fresh challenge can be revitalizing
Have something to look forward to
- Having significant events or goals to look forward to can provide a sense of purpose and excitement in life
- Even just treating yourself to a delicious meal can bring a sense of anticipation and lift your spirits
- The process of organizing and planning things keeps your mind active, and stimulates creativity
Always be moving
- Once you start moving, your heart rate goes up, pumping oxygen to every single blood cell and mitochondria
- Think of mitochondria as the real-life Power Rangers of your body – they’re responsible for giving you that much-needed energy boost
- Through any form of physical activity, your body starts producing endorphins – the body’s natural mood boosters
My personal favorite…
Listen to music
- Music has a remarkable influence on our energy, as numerous studies have shown
- Our brains store and activate music in a specific area where all the neurochemicals (dopamine) kick in
- If you don’t have a go-to empowering playlist, just revisit the music that was popular during your high school years – you’ll be transported
And again, changing up your environment can make a huge difference if you need a boost of energy.
There are plenty of small tweaks you can make to reset your energy.
What to Avoid
- Mindlessly scrolling through social media is like falling into a bottomless pit of content that never ends, and before you know it, you’re mentally wiped out
- Binge-watching can make you feel sluggish – it’s like all that inertia sucks the life out of you
- Trying to handle several things all at once or cramming more than two brain-intensive tasks in a day often backfires
- Jumping back and forth between tasks can drain your energy and actually lower your overall productivity
- Obsessing over past events, freaking out about the future, or getting caught in an endless loop of thoughts is a major energy sucker
- Engage in hobbies, listen to uplifting music, or watch a funny movie to shift your focus away from rumination and help uplift your mood
- People who take their sweet time walking, speak at a snail’s pace, and don’t seem too keen on doing much can bring you down
- Surround yourself with people who are upbeat and enthusiastic, because positive vibes tend to be contagious
- These are people who feed off your positive vibes, leaving you physically drained in the process
- Politely decline their invitation to hang out – let them know you need to take a rain check because you’re not up for dealing with their storm today
Each person’s experience is unique, and finding what works for you may require some trial and error.
You don’t have to settle for a life of constant exhaustion.
Get outside, play some music, and get moving!
On episode #1002 of The Chalene Show, I dive even deeper into how I reclaimed my vitality and am able to live my life with boundless energy.