In a 2008 Stress in America Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), 53 percent of people reported feeling fatigue. Several factors can be to blame, including some medical conditions, a lifestyle issue such as chronic stress, being overwhelmed with work, or bad nighttime habits such as eating late or sleeping in a lumpy bed.

Fatigue doesn’t have to become a permanent state. There are dozens of energy boosters at your disposal. Here are some of the best ways to get energized:

Size up Stress
Start by understanding your stress triggers, recommends the APA. These include finances, family or health problem, or a work situation. Once you pinpoint what sets off your stress find healthy ways to manage them. For instance, if you’re suffering from nagging pain, see your doctor to assess and treat the problem. If you’re in debt, work with a credit counselor to get your finances back on track.

Eat Healthier
A poor diet affects liver function, and one of the main symptoms of poor liver function is fatigue. A study conducted at the University of Southern California suggested that lipids from abdominal fat drain directly into the liver, where they may accumulate as triglycerides and interfere with important metabolic processes. Tweak your diet with these energy-boosting foods:

  • Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, grains, cereals, and whole grain breads and pasta.
  • Bananas, which contain magnesium, a mineral that changes glucose into energy.
  • Lean protein foods like beans, turkey or chicken breast, fish, whey protein powder, wheat germ, nuts, and egg whites.
  • Iron-rich foods such as liver, lean red meat, dried beans, dried fruits, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, poultry, salmon, and whole grains.


Sleep More Soundly
About 30 percent of Americans suffer from insomnia, which can cause a variety of daytime problems such as moodiness, anxiety and fatigue, explains the American Association of Sleep Medicine. They recommend these techniques for better sleep:


  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleeping. It should be comfortable (with a good mattress and no light, for instance), have little noise and no extreme temperatures.
  • Go to bed only when you’re sleepy.
  • Keep the same bedtime every day of the week.
  • Don’t nap for more than hour or after 3 p.m.
  • Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol, or smoke late in the day.
  • Try to purge your worries from your mind before bedtime.
  • Only use sleeping pills when supervised by a doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist for more advice.

Be More Active
A study by researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) found substantial evidence that regular exercise is significant in boosting energy levels and reducing fatigue. Professor Patrick O’Connor, co-director of the UGA exercise psychology laboratory says that if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.

O’Connor and his colleagues analyzed 70 randomized, controlled trials that involved 6,807 subjects. “More than 90 percent of the studies showed the same thing: Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise.”

To get moving try these easy-does-it activities:


  • Take a walk around the block or a stroll through the park.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators.
  • Do housework such as gardening, vacuuming, or shoveling the snow.
  • Go for a swim at the beach or pool.
  • Play a game of Twister, or go bowling.
  • Go biking for five or 10 minutes each day.

Get Tested
Several medical conditions can zap your energy such as chronic fatigue syndrome, which affects between 1 and 4 million Americans, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other conditions that can cause fatigue include anemia, liver failure, cancer, depression, thyroid problems, or diabetes.

If you’ve tried everything to boost your energy with no success, schedule a checkup with your doctor, especially if you experience chest pain, irregular or fast heartbeat, faintness, breathlessness, or unexplained weight loss or weight gain.