Five Ways to Boost Your Energy

Most of us, especially as we age, want to get or maintain a good energy level. Unfortunately, age tends to slow us down. Here, from the experts at Harvard Medical School, are some ways to get pumped up again:

Take it easy. The Harvard experts recommend that you space your tasks and activities among the morning, afternoon and evening hours so you aren’t exhausted by trying to do everything without stopping.

Walk or nap. A short walk can relax and renew you. So can a nap. But, the Harvard experts say, keep it to a 20- or 30-minute snooze, and do it only if you don’t have insomnia.

Don’t rely on supplements. There’s no evidence, the Harvard experts say, that energy-boosting or “anti-aging” supplements work. Specifically, the experts cite:

DHEA. There is no evidence that DHEA provides any benefit, the Harvard experts say. So there’s no point in buying it – and there’s especially no point, the experts say, in buying it from a company advertising in the back pages of a magazine: There’s absolutely no guarantee, according to the experts, of what’s in it.

Iron. The Harvard experts say that iron is beneficial only if you ‘re obviously deficient; your doctor can check that with a blood test. Otherwise, you don’t need to take it. In fact getting too much iron can be harmful.
B vitamins. While it’s true that B1, B2, B6 and B12 help convert food into energy that cells can burn, you can’t “supercharge” your cells by taking in an excess amount.

Eat the right stuff. According to the Harvard experts, your body “burns through” sugars and processed carbs more quickly than protein and complex carbs in whole grains. Avoid white break, white rice and bakery goods; instead, go for low-fat yogurt; a handful of nuts; and whole-grain products.

Have regular meals. It’s better to evenly space out your meals throughout the day, the Harvard experts say, so don’t skip meals. Otherwise, your energy will dip.

For additional advice on ways to stay energized throughout your day, buy Boosting Your Energy, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.