Summer is a time to kick back, relax and indulge in life’s simple pleasures. Unfortunately, the summer Arizona heat can leave us feeling unproductive, lazy and sluggish. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, almost half of all Americans report feeling sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week, and this fatigue is only worsened by warmer temperatures, especially in hot climates like Arizona.
When the weather is colder, our metabolism speeds up, working extra hard to keep our body warm. But with hotter temperatures, our metabolic rate actually slows down to ensure our body doesn’t overheat. A slower metabolism can lead to a lack of energy, causing one to feel unusually drained.
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To avoid falling victim to summer sluggishness, below are seven simple ways to increase energy this summer.
Get more sleep. Getting a sufficient amount of uninterrupted, quality sleep each night allows your body and brain to recharge, while poor sleep can cause you to feel lethargic and unfocused the next day. As tempting as it may be, try to avoid midday naps and afternoon coffee. Limit your caffeine intake, and in the evening stick to a bedtime routine that consists of putting your phone away, cooling your room to the ideal temperature and taking a natural sleep aid if needed (like magnesium or melatonin supplements).
Eat nutrient dense foods. Food is fuel for your body, and the types of food you eat have a direct impact on your energy levels. Sugars and carbs can provide a quick energy boost, but it’s short-lived—once the sugar crash hits a few hours later, you’ll feel more tired and irritable. Eating nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, protein, legumes and grains, will help sustain your energy levels throughout the day.
Take a probiotic. Gut health plays an important role in many aspects of wellbeing, including mood and energy levels, so it is critical that the good and bad bacteria in the gut remains balanced. Taking a probiotic supplement can help restore gut health, which leads to improved sleep quality and better nutrient absorption, resulting in increased energy.
Supplement with enzymes. Enzymes can also help enhance energy levels. Our bodies expend a significant amount of energy turning cellular debris into fuel for the body, which occurs thanks to systemic enzymes. But as we age, their function decreases, causing our bodies to be less energy efficient. By utilizing an enzyme supplement, our body doesn’t have to work as hard on this digestive process, so we have more energy for daily activities.
Don’t forget the “sunshine vitamin.” As temperatures settle into the triple digits, many Arizonans may choose to avoid the sun entirely, opting for a summer spent exclusively in the air-conditioned indoors. Avoiding the sweltering heat can be a good idea, but it is important to supplement the missing vitamin D that we normally get from the sun. A vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 combo will work together to optimize immunity, improve heart health, reduce depression and regulate sleep, which is paramount to preserving energy and wakefulness during the day.
Exercise regularly. It may feel counterintuitive to hear that exercise is what you need when feeling lethargic, but regular physical activity can actually decrease tiredness dramatically. Even just a daily walk is enough to boost energy levels. If you’re exercising outdoors, make sure to do so in the morning or evening to avoid putting an unnecessary toll on your body with the extreme Arizona heat.
Stay hydrated. While it may be tempting to indulge in alcohol during summer activities, this can dehydrate your body, and as the weather gets warmer, the risk of dehydration escalates. Over half of the human body is made of water, so when our cells aren’t properly hydrated, it can have a major impact—causing exhaustion, headaches or even more serious symptoms. It is essential to replenish the fluid loss that occurs throughout the day with electrolytes; use electrolyte mixes or supplements that contain potassium and magnesium to restore these essential minerals.
As we continue to celebrate the warm weather of summer, don’t miss out due to sluggishness and fatigue. Make the most of your summer by increasing your energy levels with these tips.
Justin Marsh is the CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, a Scottsdale-based manufacturer of enzyme and probiotic based dietary supplements. Arthur Andrew Medical’s products are rooted in science with no processing agents or fillers. They are dedicated to conducting extensive research and clinical applications with dietary supplements for the advancement of natural health alternatives.