Feeling sluggish? Read on for easy (and non-caffeinated) ways to really revitalise your day — there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for improved energy, but these tips are a great place start.
1. Start the day with a wake-up stretch
When done right, a good morning stretch can be just as energising than a strong cup of coffee, says Sara Gottfried, MD, a physician and yoga instructor. Steal her simple three-step move here.
2. Try this shower trick
For a quick ‘n’ easy boost of energy, use this tried-and-tested shower trick: After you’ve washed up and right before you step out, blast yourself with cold water for 30 seconds, then hot water for 30 seconds, and then cold water again for 30 more seconds. It sounds kind of terrible, but we promise — it works.
3. Rise and shine
It’s time to start taking this old adage literally — creator of “The Model Health Show” podcast Shawn Stevenson says that letting the light in shortly after we wake up in the morning can help keep our internal clocks on track and make falling asleep at night easier.
4. Make sure you’re getting the right amount of calories
Eat too many calories per day, and you’ll gain weight and feel super-sluggish. Eat too few calories in a day, and you won’t get the nutrients you need, which will also leave you feeling extra slow ‘n’ sleepy. Follow these guidelines to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calories based on your metabolic rate and physical activity level.
5. Energy-boosting oat bars
Filled with yummy ingredients including nuts, fruit, honey, and chocolate, this tasty energy bar was imagined exclusively for The Good Life by Camilla Saulsbury, PhD, author of the energy bar cookbook, Power Hungry. Snack on one when you hit your mid-afternoon slump. Grab the recipe here.
6. Cut back on coffee
As contradictory as it might sound, Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says that her patients with the most extreme coffee habits are often the most fatigued. (And for those of us who’ve experienced the post-coffee crash, it totally makes sense.) Instead of loading up on coffee, Dr. Albers suggests reaching for a slightly less caffeinated cup of tea.
7. Get your groove on
Studies have shown that dancing can keep our minds sharp, our weight down, and our lives happy. It’s also what 108-year-old Virginia McLaurin, who famously got her groove on with the Obamas when she met them at the White House last year, swears has kept her feeling alive and energetic as she’s aged.
8. Take a sniff of something lemon-y
The zing of a citrusy scent like lemon might boost our moods and keep us alert, a small April 2008 study suggests. To reap the scent’s energising benefits, try using an essential oil diffuser in your home office or washing your hair with a citrus-scented shampoo in the early a.m.
9. Snack on filling energy balls
Combine the complex carbs in oats with the healthy fats in pistachios and cashews and the natural sugar in dates, and you’ve got a recipe for energy-boosting success. The best part: These energy balls taste like no-bake cookies, but they’re only 120 calories a pop. Grab the recipe here.
10. Try out a little active meditation
Active meditation is just what it sounds like: a form of exercise that allows you to connect with your mind while still breaking a sweat. Another benefit? It’s sure to re-energise your body and mind. Get started with these four moves from celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska and integrative wellness expert Jim Nicolai, MD.
Related article: Why Exercise Might Be More Beneficial On An Empty Stomach
11. Spend a few minutes on the stairs
Meet the easiest way to tackle your afternoon slump: According to an April 2017 study from the University of Georgia, walking up and down the stairs at a low-intensity pace can take you from sluggish to super-energised in 10 minutes flat. (Seriously — the researchers say the stair exercise was even more effective for participants than caffeine.)
12. Say goodbye to sugar
With every sugar high comes a sugar low — aka that moment when, after you’ve enjoyed the rush that comes with eating a sweet snack, your energy levels plummet and you feel ready to take a nap. The best way to combat those crummy crashes? Cut back on sugar. Here’s what a perfect day of the sweet stuff looks like.
13. Just breathe
The secret to a good, energising breath? A long, strong exhale, says Emily Kilberd, DC, a chiropractor and founder of the Urban Wellness Clinic in New York. Try breathing in through your nose to a count of four and exhaling out of your mouth to a count of four. Ahhhh.
14. Drink your energy
The best smoothies will satisfy your sweet tooth (the healthy way!) and give you a major boost of energy when you need it most. This Afternoon Energy Smoothie, which is chock-full of tasty superfoods including almonds, mangoes, and blueberries, is one of ’em. Grab the recipe here.
15. Enjoy the great outdoors
No matter what the weather, it’s super important to spend time outside: According to a series of studies from June 2010, immersing ourselves in nature might be just what we need to boost our energy levels and feel more “alive.”
Related article: How To Get The Best Beauty Sleep Ever
16. Keep a consistent sleep schedule
As tempting as it might be to sleep in on the weekends, research shows it can actually leave you feeling even more sleep-deprived: A November 2015 study found that inconsistent sleep schedules (in which a person’s sleep doesn’t align with their body’s circadian rhythms) are linked to the development of chronic conditions caused by sleep deprivation.
17. Eat a healthy breakfast for all-day energy
Bonus points if your morning meal is rich in fiber, full of complex carbs, and rounded out with nutritious fruits and veggies. We’ve got a few energising breakfast ideas for you here.
18. Stay hydrated
Did you know water was the original energy drink? A small February 2012 study found that even mild dehydration affected mood and concentration levels in young women, which is further proof that it’s a good idea to drink up. Not sure how much H2O you should be drinking in a day? This four-step equation will give you an answer.
19. Go for a walk
Aside from the fact that it’s the easiest exercise ever, there are so many healthy reasons to love walking — including its energy-boosting benefits. The best part: As few as 10 minutes can boost your mood and wake you up, says Panteleimon Ekkekakis, PhD, an associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.
20. Take a personal day
Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a “sick day” — even if you’re not sick. Taking a day for yourself (and spending it getting some sun, going for a walk, and doing the things you love) could be just what you need to refresh your mind and body and replenish your energy, says Brandon Smith, the career expert behind The Workplace Therapist.
21. Find what works for you
In the end, what really gets you going might not work for other people, and vice versa. Experiment with the different tips and tricks listed here (and other ones, too!) to find what revs you up — and once you find it, keep it up.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK
- Energy Boost