Parenthood, college papers, long work weeks, annoying bosses… we all have something draining our energy daily. Try putting a few of these tips and tricks into your regimen and get back to doing what you love!
1. Run For Your Life!
Let’s start simple. Health experts say exercise is the single best thing (aside from smoking) you can do to immediately improve your health. Running combines flexibility, cardiovascular and muscular training. Bonus tip: run on the asphalt or beach to prevent shin splints.
2. Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to
Stick with me here, I know it sounds gross. But many of us have magnesium and potassium deficiencies, which locks up our muscles. This is especially useful if you have a job that requires you to sit for most of the day. I’m not going to lie, potato water is… not that good. But it’s easy to chug and the health benefits are worth the bitter taste.
Yoga, Pilats, Aerobics are all great for you. If you already do those, keep it up. Not your thing? Just add a few simple dynamic movements to your day to loosen up the muscles and get some fresh blood to your extremities.
4. Citrus, the panacea
Panacea is a fancy word for “cure-all.” Citrus will give you an immediate boost to your immune system, helping to fight off common illnesses keeping you down. It also helps with digestion and it’s a better alternative than those sugary “energy drinks” at the convenient store.
5. Cayenne Pepper
I mean, Beyoncé swears by it. And Queen Bey is never wrong. It’s an easy way to spice up any meal and it tastes amazing in any type of citrus water! Just add some to your taste preference and soak up all the benefits. Cayenne pepper gives you energy, helps your digestive system, and is believed to help prevent common illnesses.
6. No More Snoozing!
We’re all guilty of hitting that snooze button, I know I hit it at least 3 times before I convince myself to wake up. But studies show that once you’re awake, it’s best to get up immediately. Those extra few minutes might feel like they’re benefiting you, but they’re actually making you more groggy for longer. So next time that alarm clock goes off, just force yourself out of bed. It gets easier.
7. Find Your Happy Place
Stress is a motivator for some people. But for all of us, extreme stress can lead to serious health problems. Elevated cortisol levels can affect major biological functions. So create a stress-free environment for yourself and escape to it daily. It can be your favorite hike, your man-cave, the beach or anything else. Make it your own!
It seems like common sense, but when the day gets stressful it’s easy to forget to take a moment for yourself. A deep breath helps your brain reset, clears some of the cobwebs and gets you that instant mid-day boost. The new Apple Watches have a fancy reminder built into them, but if you don’t have one, try setting a daily reminder in your phone until it becomes a habit.
9. Move it, Don’t Lose it.
In our health and body obsessed world, it’s easy to lose sight of your health goals and become focused on the scale. Forget about it. Being overweight does cause quite a few health problems, but you should be focused on exercising and eating right and not how much you weigh. In fact, most studies show that constantly checking your weight is more discouraging than it is productive. So just get moving, your body knows what to do.
10. Keep It Simple
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of these fad diets. There’s something new every day and it’s exhausting! Think about all the mental energy you’re wasting trying to remember how many calories and sugars you’re consuming. The best diet? No diet at all. Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce, fill up the majority of your diet with fruits and veggies, opt for leaner cuts of meat and cut out soda. And also, don’t feel too guilty for eating something delicious every now and then.
More specifically, Resveratrol. There aren’t many foods that contain this compound, but it’s really good for you. It helps fight heart problems and keeps your blood cells healthy. It’s been an excuse to drink red wine for the past few years, but swapping the booze for grapes is a sure way to keep your energy levels up.
12. Bounce Around
It’s not just a hipster office alternative. Swapping your regular chair for a Swedish ball has all kinds of potential health benefits. Here are a few.
1. Forces your spine into proper alignment
2. Constantly strengthens your core while you work
3. Improves circulation in your blood stream
4. Gives you more energy by making you move around constantly
Ginseng is a root that delivers amazing energy almost immediately. You can find it at your grocery store in its raw form, or take it as a pill, but it’s already in most of the things you probably consume daily. I get my daily source from green tea.
14. Nettle Leaf
Speaking of tea, Nettle Leaf is another beneficial compound that you can brew into your morning cup. This leaf can help with urinary tract issues, promote hair growth and fight fatigue caused by anemia.
15. Ditch the Coffee
While we’re on the tea subject, try swapping tea for coffee entirely. The abundance of caffeine in your bloodstream can cause your cortisol levels to rise, that’s why you get the coffee jitters. That hormone induces stress, which leads to the infamous mid-day coffee crash.
16. Power Down
Researchers suggest to stop looking at screens one hour before bed. The bright LEDs are overstimulating for your brain and prevent you from entering REM sleep, which means you’ll be more tired when you wake up.
Having a hard time powering down? There’s a pretty simple explanation as to why. The bright colors on our phone give us instant dopamine hits when we look at them, that’s why we’ve become so addicted to them. Turn on greyscale when you’re trying to stay away from your phone; next time you look at it you’ll be less likely to keep returning to it and more likely to put it down for good.
18. Go Solar
Soak up those rays! The sun provides natural vitamin D, which counteracts depression and fatigue. If you’ve spent any time outside of a sun-soaked state you’ve probably experienced those winter blues. Vitamin D can also help you maintain healthy bones and teeth, and is even believed to help prevent diabetes.
19. Sleep Like a Baby
It’s sad, but most of us really don’t get the sleep we need. Here are a few things to avoid to ensure a good rest: try a white noise maker, don’t eat red meat before bed, (it has a chemical that increases brain activity) set a bed time and stick to it. A recent study has linked lack of sleep to Alzheimer’s, so make sure you get those Z’s.
20. Coffee Naps
I’ve only recently discovered these and I wonder how I got through the rest of my life without them. I don’t recommend you depend on these, you should always try to have a good sleep schedule. But when the week is just dragging and you find yourself constantly tired during the day, this is the single best energy boost technique I’ve ever used. Drink something with caffeine and immediately take a 20 minute nap. The caffeine takes 20 minutes to really hit you, so when you wake up, it’s like a quadruple energy shot.
21. Meal Prep
A lot of the reason we don’t want to get up in the mornings is because we are bogged down by all the things we need to get done in order to get out the door. Take something off your morning to-do list by prepping a week of meals ahead of time. Think about all the brain power you save when your meals are automatic. Plus, if you prep healthy stuff, there’s bound to be some bonus antioxidants in there.
22. Eat Consistently
Try not to multi task while you eat. When you’re not paying attention to your food, you don’t feel as full when you’re finished. When you spread your meals out consistently you’re helping your digestive system stay regular. You’re also preventing yourself from that post-meal grogginess you get after a very satisfying meal. Eat at the same times every day for optimal energy and digestion.
23. Go Holistic
Try to use holistic approaches for common things like headaches and minor pains as much as possible, the side effect of many non-prescription drugs is fatigue.
24. No. More. Coke.
Coca-Cola has been found to have knowingly distributed carcinogens in their soft drinks. On top of that, the artificial sweeteners soda brands use in their regular and diet products will give you sugar rushes lasting no longer than an hour, followed by drastic changes in your energy level. The more I know about soda, the more I like water.
25. Valerian Root
Can’t sleep? The experts say to stay away from the sleeping pills, and melatonin is known to make you drowsy in the mornings. Valerian is an all natural alternative, and it’s very mild. A small dose might ease your thoughts so you can sleep better. You can find it in capsule form pretty much anywhere vitamins are sold.
26. Apple Cider Vinegar
This stuff is incredibly rich in potassium and magnesium, which you might remember helps promote muscle activity, circulation and digestion. On top of that it has a bunch of probiotics and enzymes that promote weight loss and help out with acid reflux. Drink a shot with some water and lemon to chase it, you’ll feel it right away.
27. Work & Work Out!
Nothing boosts your energy like a sudden rush of endorphins. You can achieve that by doing as little as three minutes of exercise. Tiny little workouts might not get those bulging biceps, but they’ll replace coffee and clear those cobwebs better than anything else mid-afternoon! It can be something as simple as taking the stairs or doing lunges around your office.
28. Get Freaky
That’s right, just in case you needed another reason… regular sex helps ease depression, lower your blood pressure, and if you do it in the morning…. I mean think about it, is there a better energy boost?
Spirulina is classified as a “superfood.” It has 2900 times the amount of iron as spinach, it’s rich in phytonutrients, carotenoids and manganese. Nutritionists say it’s one of the best things you can add to your diet for energy and overall health benefits. Add some to your next smoothie.
30. Get Away!