4 weeks to more energy

Want more pep in your step? Try our week-by-week plan

Do you sometimes feel like a 25-watt bulb in your 150-watt life? If so, maybe it’s time to shed some light on your personal energy crisis — and create a plan for recharging.

Here are some simple — but powerful — ideas that may help give you a boost. Try adding 1 or 2 strategies a week to your routine to help keep your energy building.

Week 1: Food — the juice that runs you

Make sure you’re getting premium fuel. This week, take steps toward eating for more energy — and better health.

Plan ahead. Map out a week of healthy meals and snacks. See some healthy tips from Choose My Plate

Break for breakfast. After hours without food, your brain and body need fuel. This 3-part formula may help provide the energy and nutrients you need: 1 whole grain + 1 fruit + 1 source of lean protein — for example, oatmeal with berries and peanut butter.

Week 2: Sleep — your renewable energy source

When you don’t snooze, you lose. So this week, focus on getting the rest you need.

Stick to bedtime. Slip between the sheets at the same time each night. Most adults should aim for at least 7 hours of slumber a night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool may help you drift into dreamland.

Squeeze in a power nap — if you find it helps. But it’s best to do this in the early afternoon — not too close to bedtime.

Week 3: Exercise — the pep in your step

A brisk walk can be a great go-to energy booster. And over time, getting more fit may mean more energy. This week, begin to move more.

Put it on your calendar — as a firm appointment. Pressed for time? You don’t have to do it all at once. Start with 10-minute sessions worked into your day — and build from there.

Recruit a buddy. Maybe you could give salsa lessons a whirl or stretch your limits in a yoga class. When you do an activity you truly enjoy — with company you enjoy — you might be more apt to keep doing it.

For safety’s sake, talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.

Week 4: Energy drains — your vitality drags

This week, make some positive changes to help keep your zip from getting zapped.

Unwind daily. Take a few minutes each day to de-stress. Whether you journal, do crosswords, putter in the garden or just enjoy a quiet moment, it may be revitalizing.

Say “No more.” Snuff out bad habits that are dragging you down. For example, if you smoke, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about the options available to help you quit.

Finally, as you make these changes, remember to be patient if you have setbacks. It may take time for new habits to click.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


For safety’s sake, talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.