Top 10 Physical Energy Zappers



A weary traveler
A weary traveler
Susanne Walstrom/Johner Images/Getty Images

The previous two spots on our list pointed out  how much work you were doing in the office and the home, so you've planned the perfect vacation to get away from it all. You'll be going in winter, when you can escape the energy-zapping claws of short, dark days and Seasonal Affective Disorder. A week away from your mundane life sounds like the perfect refresher, right?­

Unfortunately, a vacation isn't always as restorative as we may hope. Travel comes with its own share of stressors, as anyone who's hauled a toddler through an airport or spent 16 hours in a minivan with a surly teenager can attest. Even a solo eight-hour drive can leave a person feeling weary and overworked.

Travel zaps your energy in several ways. First off, if you're changing time zones, you're messing with the biological clock that regulates your sleep cycle. Just as you reset your wristwatch upon landing in a different place, the biological clock also needs to be reset. The process can take several days, a period of time often referred to as jet lag. You're wide awake during the wee hours of the morning and then trying not to fall asleep in your bowl of soup by lunch.

Vacations also lead us to abandon our normally good behavior; for example, if we forego our normal spending habits and splurge on souvenirs, we may have financial stress waiting for us when we return home. You're also likely skipping your morning sit-up routine to sightsee and scarfing down creamy pastas every night, which stresses the body and eliminates the energy the trip was supposed to provide. Read more about how food choices can zap our energy on the next page.