The Inertia Health Editor
Photo: Shutterstock.

Photo: Shutterstock.

The Inertia

There’s nothing like waking up on the right side of the bed. Waking up before your alarm, jumping out of bed, sneaking a surf in before work, and arriving at the office ready to take on the day…such a cheery picture. Unfortunately, it seems like these mornings are a bit of a rarity these days. Life can really wear you down, and if you’ve been finding yourself lacking for energy, these 10 habits might be the culprits. If you make a couple changes to cut out these behaviors, you might find yourself healthier, happier, and getting in the water more often.


You Skip Exercise If You’re Tired

We all know the feeling. You get off work at 5:30, and feel sluggish. You haven’t done anything physical all day, but your mind is exhausted. Instead of heading out for a surf or a run, you slink back to your couch and plop for a couple hours. This bad habit is making you even more tired! A University of Georgia study found that adults who exercise just 20 minutes 3 times per week had significantly more energy than those who remained sedentary.



You Skip Breakfast

It might not seem like it, but your body still uses plenty of energy while you sleep. You burn calories just keeping your heart pumping and lungs breathing (not to mention a host of other things). By the time you wake up in the morning, you really need to refuel to start your day. Otherwise, you’ll feel sluggish. Additionally, eating breakfast kickstarts the metabolism, and it helps you maximize the energy you get from the food you eat for the rest of the day.


You Aren’t Eating Enough Iron

If you don’t make an effort to eat enough iron, you could be experiencing symptoms of anemia without even knowing it. These symptoms include fatigue, irritability, and the decreased ability to focus. Iron is a mineral typically found in red meat, dark leafy vegetables, kidney beans, and breakfast cereals (among other foods). Iron helps facilitate the transport of oxygen to cells in the body, and without it, your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function normally.


You Don’t Drink Enough Water

Even slight dehydration can be a serious drain on energy levels. Without enough water in your system, your body does not function normally. Your blood becomes thicker, and the heart has to work harder to pump. This decreases the efficiency of the blood to get nutrients to the body, and it slows you down. Dehydration can also interrupt normal brain function, draining your energy supply even further. Instead, sip on water all day, and you’ll notice your energy levels surge.


You Check Your Emails Before Bed

The bright light of your phone or computer can throw off the rhythm of your body as it prepares for sleep. It can interfere with the production of melatonin, the natural hormone that helps you feel sleepy. To avoid these issues, avoid contact with all bright screens for an hour before bed. If you must jump on your phone, hold the screen at a greater distance to minimize the light’s effects on your body. This will help your body make the most of the time you have to rest, so you’ll wake up ready to start the day.


You Work Through Vacations

Vacation time is amazing for your long-term productivity. Taking time off work helps your mind relax, and it stimulates creativity. You’ll feel rejuvenated and reenergized when you get back at work. That is, unless you work through your vacation. Responding to a couple emails here and there isn’t bad, but getting caught up in work when you’re supposed to be getting some R & R can be counterproductive. This can cause burnout and fatigue. Instead, when you take time off, really use that time to rest (and hopefully get a few waves). You’ll be all the more energized when you get back to the office.


You Drink Wine Before Bed

Although this sounds like a great way to doze off, it can actually disrupt your sleep cycle. Alcohol does help calm the body down, and it initially induces a sleepy state. However, over the course of the night, the body metabolizes the sugars in the alcohol, and this stimulates the production of adrenaline. Unfortunately, this can cause you to wake up in the wee hours leaving you drowsy the next morning when you wake up for dawn patrol.


You Eat Like Crap

Imagine that your body runs like a car. Of course you have to take care of all the parts, but for the most part, day-to-day, you just need fuel in the tank to keep you moving. Now imagine that instead of pumping energy-rich gasoline into your car, you pumped Diet Coke into the gas tank. Your car can’t use that energy, and so your car doesn’t run how it should, or it doesn’t run at all. Similarly, our bodies are tailored to use natural foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and meat as fuel. These things are what give us the energy to get around each day. When you fuel with only processed foods, your body is going to run like crap. Start eating foods that serve as proper fuel, and you’ll notice a significant difference in your energy levels and your performance in the water.


Your Office Is A Mess

Your productivity is handicapped and your energy is taxed when you have to sort through clutter to get anything done. It disrupts your thought-process, and it makes it more difficult to form cohesive ideas. This can be a major drain on your energy and happiness levels. Instead, try to keep things tidy. You’ll regain your energy and your sanity.


You Use Caffeine to Stay Awake All Day

This is a vicious cycle. You are exhausted during the day, so you drink far too much caffeine just so you’re able to get through work. However, that caffeine builds up in your system, and that night you can’t get a decent night’s sleep. The same thing repeats over and over, and your body is worn down more and more over time. Break the cycle by ceasing caffeine consumption by mid-afternoon. It might be hard at first, but you’ll sleep better at night and have more energy in the day.

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