Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to feel more Energetic throughout the day?

  1. Jun 7, 2008 #1
    So, I am a twenty eight year old male. I feel like very recently I crossed some invisible line. Only two years ago, I could easily get by during the school year with 3-6 hours of sleep a night and moreover, I could make it until bedtime the next night without napping or experiencing a debilitating crash.

    Now I know that that was not the ideal conditions to subject my body to, nor do I expect to be able to do that forever. Time catches up to all of us...oi...

    But, it seem like now, even with plenty of sleep, I can only make 13 or fourteen hours at most before I crash. I know this is not normal.

    I do not exercise. I would like to start, but I don't want to get all jacked up either.
    I am healthy enough to start exercising. I am 6'2" and 165 lb.... so I am not totally out of shape. I just want to make some healthy improvements to my lifestyle. I quit smoking (after 10 years) two years ago and no alcohol in three or four years, so I would expect to feel awesome. But then again I don't eat that well....

    What do you guys do (if anything) to build up your daily stamina? Should run? If so, how far should I start out with? 1 mile? Or as far as I can go?

    Man, I would love to start swimming..... but as silly as it seems, I am quite frightened by underwater life:rofl: I'll go in the ocean, but I don't do much romping about....

    Anyway.... any ideas? Thanks!

    Sorry, I realize that this thread is a little all over the place!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I do weight training, with moderate and heavy weights. Light weights 10-15 lbs are good for staying trim. Some people use them during cardio workouts.

    Rather than running, one can simply walk. During lunch time, I walk anywhere from 2 to 5 miles depending on time constraints, with an office mate and a guy from an office down the hall. In the evenings, I take my wife out walking.

    I may start riding a bike to work regular because the gasoline prices are to the point where I could pay for a bike in a few months.

    Certainly eating a good diet would also help - fresh fruits and vegetables (dark green and cruciferous), and whole grains, rather than processed foods.
  4. Jun 7, 2008 #3
    28?---you're just getting old-----worn out---on the downhill slide-----

    -"any ideas?" --start drinking more coffee
  5. Jun 7, 2008 #4
    You bahhstard!

    And I work at Starbucks. I think I need to STOP drinking coffee!
  6. Jun 7, 2008 #5
    Alright, I went to Target and bought some sneakers! I am going jogging/walking!
  7. Jun 7, 2008 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Me too, and I tried quitting coffee once, but I'm not a quitter.
  8. Jun 7, 2008 #7
    To get more energy you definitely need a proper diet. That means an intake of roughly 400 calories every 3 hours (for someone your size) - and I mean whole foods with complex carbs! Simple carbs equals a short boost of energy, and then you're pooped and really tired. So stop with the sweet stuff.

    Definitely exercise. You're 6'2" and only weigh 165 lbs? Put some muscles on yourself you freakin' twig (to gain muscle you should only be lifting weights you can do 8 reps or less with, and I don't mean 'oh this is starting to make me tired', I mean literally your arm can not pick the weight back up)! Even if you don't want to lift weights, you should at least do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise.

    Don't drink more than 3 cups of coffee throughout the day.

    Make sure you sleep in a factor of 1.5 hours. The body sleeps in 90 minute cycles, if you wake yourself up after, say, 8 hours of sleep instead of 9 or 7.5, you disturb your sleep cycle. This is why some days you wake up groggy and some days wake up full of energy.

    Sleep on a good schedule. Get your body in the habit of going to sleep at the same time, and waking up at the same time (for instance, I go to bed at 11:00 p.m., and wake up at 8:00 a.m.).

    After I started doing all of the above, my alertness improved very, very dramatically, and I never got tired; in fact, it improved every area of my life. Treat yourself right! And if by some chance you're still tired...

    Take a nap! A short 20-30 minute 'power nap' has been shown to increase alertness (among other things). Though if you do the stuff I said above, you'll never have trouble staying awake. Hope this information helps you as much as it helped me.
  9. Jun 7, 2008 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Start out walking, and then maybe add some running.

    One way would be to go to a standard track with a quarter mile loop, and see how long it takes to do 8 laps (2 miles). One can add a few 100 yard sprints, or run a quarter mile at a comfortable speed. At lunch, we usually pick a different route just to see different parts of town. Occassionally we'll walk across a nearby highway bridge over the river just for something different. Next year, a pedestrian bridge is supposed to be completed so that we'll have a 5-mile loop to do.

    Do some mild stretching exercises as well.
  10. Jun 7, 2008 #9
    You work at Starbucks? Or need to stop drinking coffee?
  11. Jun 7, 2008 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I agree with Daniel that the first step is eating better so you have enough fuel to do everything else. Don't forget to eat your veggies! Now that summer is approaching rapidly, plenty of fresh veggies will be available in the markets, so enjoy them. Then you'll be ready to become more active.

    And, if you're fatigued a lot during the day, not just that you quickly crash near the end of the day, consider getting a check-up at the doctor's. Especially in an ex-smoker and someone of your height, cardiovascular problems could be underlying your fatigue, and better to treat those sooner than later.
  12. Jun 7, 2008 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    One thing people don't often consider is monotony. Vary your activities throughout the day whenever you can and try not to do one thing, especially reading or starting at a screen, for more than a few hours at a time. Constantly varying stimuli and movement alone make a huge difference. It's why politicians can have no trouble getting four hours of sleep a night, but truck drivers would probably be killing people.
  13. Mar 31, 2010 #12
    I know this may sound kinda silly, but to be honest the best way to improve your energy if you don't have time or the motivation to start exercising or acting more healthy, is simply to act more energetic. By thinking positive and acting more energetic you can literally become more energetic, don't know if this sounds lame or helps, but hope it does :).
  14. Mar 31, 2010 #13
    How do you define "plenty of sleep?"

    If you used to get 3-6 hours, and now you're getting 6-7 hours and call it "plenty of sleep," you're wrong. Make sure you're getting 8 hours of sleep at night, and make sure it's high quality sleep. If you're tossing and turning and waking up a lot during the night, that doesn't count as "good sleep."
  15. Mar 31, 2010 #14


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I just looked at the date of the original poster in 08, I know, I must be tired...
    Let this thread fade into obscurity... sorry for the bump...


    I am a little less than double your age, and have exercised all my life, although I did take a break during child raising years and paid for it.

    When active, as I am now, I exercise 3 to 4 times a week, cardio, medium weights, a little kick boxing now and then, and now eat properly as Astronuc suggests.
    No caffeine, light on sweets and can walk away from every meal after it is less than 1/2 eaten with no urges. I may walk in nice weather usually 2 to 4 miles to break things up at times.

    On weekends if the weather is good, 25 mile bike rides, last year climbed a mountain on a mountain bike that I only hiked as a kid. I won't lie, it was a killer, but this year now knowing what to expect, I am going to do it again, twice in one day, two access roads, one from the south, one from the west up the same mountain. I have adjusted training to be able to build the necessary stamina and mental toughness needed for it. It is fun to set little goals, train for and then achieve them, it takes away some of the monotony of exercising simply for its own sake.

    The reason I keep exercising, and I have discussed this point ad-nauseum with friends is simple, brain chemistry. If you have never experienced, and some people can't, the rush of endorphins and other "feel good" brain chemicals during vigorous exercise, I would not be still doing it. The "rush" as I call it is never a sure thing, your mood, amount of fuel in your system and other factors contribute to it.

    However, when it happens, say 12 miles into a 25 mile bike ride at a decent pace, the next 13 miles is effortless, or at least seems that way. Hiking up mountains it is pretty much the same as well, the first hour is hard and uncomfortable, but when you get in a groove and those chemicals start to flood your system, you can push and without the discomfort you experienced when you started.

    Pick what suits you best, start slow and build up time/distance and intensity as you go and you should do fine.

    I hope you experience "the rush" as I call it. It will keep you coming back for it time and again, just like an old friend.

    Good Luck...

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  16. Apr 1, 2010 #15
    Shut off impatience-carrying that water jug from the hall to the kitchen needn't be done with all that haste; try breathing deeply. I am practising them both and positive results are inevitable.
  17. Apr 1, 2010 #16
    I lift weights and do calisthenics, but not regularly. I eat cereal for breakfast, a sandwich or salad for both of my mid-day meals, and cereal again for dinner. I feel just fine, and I'm in decent shape, but that might be a genetic thing...
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook