Stay Energized This Winter!
Between short days, cool weather, holidays and visiting family, it is easy to feel dragged down. Make yourself a top priority! Explore these ideas on how to keep your energy up and fuel your best health.
Work it out. Physical activity boosts your brain chemistry, helps you sleep and primes your appetite for healthy eating! This winter, find ways to keep your exercise goals alive. Get up a little earlier to slip in a run. Walk to work, or climb stairs or hills at lunchtime. Meet a friend at the gym. Maybe you can help an elderly neighbor by raking their yard! Choose a weekly goal—say, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise—and then track your time and reward your success.
Lap it up! If you are not well hydrated, one of the first signs is fatigue. Water makes up about 60% of your body weight and is the main component of blood. It’s essential for carrying nutrients to your cells and removing waste products. So, how much should you drink? Watch the color of your urine. It should be a light lemonade color. Dark yellow? Drink a little more. And to keep up energy when you work out, drink 8 ounces of water before you begin, and another glass when you finish.
Don’t run on empty! Did you know that a smaller lunch can help you keep your energy up? A heavy lunch is often followed by a pronounced afternoon slump. Another energizing trick is to eat small meals and snacks every few hours. This can reduce feelings of fatigue because your brain needs a steady supply of nutrients. So what to snack on? Try protein- and magnesium-packed nuts like cashews, almonds and hazelnuts. Eggs and edamame have protein plus vitamin B, which helps convert food into the energy you feel. Finally, eat fresh fruit for a healthy source of fiber, vitamins, sugar and fluids!
Recharge at night. When you get enough sleep, you should feel refreshed in the morning and energized throughout the day. Sleep pretty much affects everything in your life: your heart health, metabolism, ability to ward off sickness and more. Not getting enough good-quality sleep can affect short-term memory, decision making, attention levels, logical reasoning, judgement, mood, and energy levels. Three good tips for healthy sleep hygiene? Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Avoid all screens 90 minutes before you head to sleep. And slow your pace before bedtime: read a calm book, listen to quiet music or meditate.
Got a cold or the flu? Symptoms for both cold and flu include coughing, headaches and chest discomfort. When you have a cold, your nose and throat become inflamed, so you may experience a runny nose, sore throat, coughing and sneezing. Flu symptoms come on much more suddenly than with a cold, including a high fever, body aches, weakness and fatigue. Sleep, frequent hydration, daytime rest and good nutrition are important. Most over-the-counter medications can help temporarily relieve symptoms such as sore throat, congestion, cough and fever. If your symptoms persist or you have questions about which medications to take, consult your primary care provider.
PacMed Primary Care is a diverse team of providers! If you’re looking for a doctor to support your health goals, we invite you to learn more about our doctors.