What lifestyle changes can help me have more energy?

This was a top question on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare community recently, and one that I think we could all try to incorporate into our daily lives, so I decided to share my answer with you.

Exercise is one of the absolute best ways you can improve your energy levels, as well as helping you out in pretty much every other aspect of your health. Even moderate levels of exercise can have a profound effect on your energy levels. Over time, continued exercise increases your lung capacity, allowing for more oxygen to be delivered to your brain and blood stream, making you feel more awake and alert. Exercise also facilitates circulation, bringing more oxygen to your muscles and allowing for increased functioning throughout your body and heightened energy production.

Another great lifestyle change you can make to have more energy is eating the right kinds of foods, at the right times. They’re not kidding when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a nutritious breakfast within an hour of waking up helps kick-start your metabolism and will keep you going several hours into the day. It’s good to incorporate protein and healthy fats into your breakfast, which will keep you full and focused for longer. Eating five small meals a day is also a good way to keep yourself going, rather than three larger ones. Choosing natural, nutritious foods rather than overly processed junk foods will also help improve energy. Feeding your body right, at the right times, is essential to maintaining healthy energy levels.

Of course, getting enough sleep is perhaps the best way to have more energy. Aside from the obvious side effect of exhaustion, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, cognitive deficits, and a whole host of other health complications that you definitely do not want. The average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, so make getting adequate sleep as high a priority (if not higher) than whatever you’re staying up late to do, and get some rest!