Ask Dr. Lee – “How Do I Increase My Energy Levels?”

C. M. Lee, Jr. MD

One of the most common questions I get from patients is, “How do I increase my energy levels?” Many people find themselves in a state of feeling drained and without energy throughout the week. The first question I usually ask is, “How often do you work out?” You may be surprised by this question, but in more cases than not a lack of an exercise regimen leads to fatigue and low energy levels — energy comes from motion!

Our bodies will mirror what our brains tell it.

If you look at studies on muscle failure you will find that most fatigue is mental. That being said, in the studies the muscle was physically able to continue work, (ie. it had an energy source and wasn’t electrolyte depleted). It simply needed the voluntary signal from the brain, but the participant would fail to continue work – leaving the explanation to be willpower and not true muscle fatigue.

You can influence your energy levels by expending energy. It sounds counterintuitive at first, but it’s all about state and cycle. Here’s how it works.

Energetic State

If you want to move to a state of more energy you must envision yourself there first. With this visualization you now need to move as if you are energetic. This is where working out, running, riding your bike, and eating healthy come in. Treat yourself like the energetic, healthy person you want to be. It all starts with mimicking the state you wish to achieve.

Mood and Outlook

Studies have shown consistently that exercising has the ability to elevate mood in healthy patients as well has those with disease. Many of us can attest to the “high” we get after running. This is due to endorphins that are released during exercise that decrease our perception of pain.

Increased Blood Flow

By using energy to exercise you help to dilate vessels and increase blood flow to your brain, eyes, and muscles. This helps with function, removing toxins, and decreases your overall chance of disease.

Physical Exhaustion

When you tire yourself out with physical exertion you hit the bed exhausted. This results in better rest and deeper sleep. I recommend working out in the morning with a minimum of 20 minutes cardio to increase your heart rate. By waking up earlier you reset your bedtime and are able to fall asleep earlier and easier. Here’s a blog on the importance of rising early.

As we have just learning, using energy leads to more energy, better bodily function and mood, and deeper replenishing sleep. In short, if you want to be more of anything you must act in accordance with that vision. You want more energy? Will yourself to use energy.

Put yourself in an energetic state by Moving.

Written by C. M. Lee, Jr. MD

Profile photo of C. M. Lee, Jr. MD

Dr. Lee is an author, speaker, physician and the CEO/Founder of CMLEEJR Co. a personal empowerment brand dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through health education and the use of positive psychology. Dr. Lee's personal memoir "Well, My Mom Says..." is due for release in May 2014. As a USAF Flight Surgeon, Dr. Lee is responsible for the care of Air Force pilots and flyers. He has been featured in the Sacramento Business Journal, The Word Magazine, and others. For more information or to contact Dr. Lee please visit

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