Find yourself dive-bombing the couch by mid-afternoon? Feeling more sluggish than a hung-over sloth? Believe it or not, a few easy changes to your daily routine can make the seemingly permanent imprint of your backside on the La-Z-Boy rise up and vanish, along with your inertia.
A low-energy lifestyle leaves you with low energy. A high-energy lifestyle leaves you with lots of energy. For most people, it’s that simple. Work some of these strategies into your day and you’ll be ready to get up and get at ’em.
Curb Your Caffeine Consumption
If you need a quadruple shot of espresso just to bring your eyelids to half-mast in the morning, you may be driving yourself deeper and deeper into a low-energy rut. According to researchers, frequent low doses of caffeine are more effective at keeping people alert than few larger doses. Instead of gulping down a double-double en route to your morning rendez-vous, grab your favourite travel mug and sip your coffee throughout the day.
Fuel Up On Water
For instant energy drink two glasses of icy water. Fatigue is often one of the first symptoms of dehydration, and if all you’ve sipped all day is coffee and soft drinks, it’s quite likely you’re dehydrated. Plus, the refreshing coldness will serve as a virtual slap in the face.
Pump Yourself With Iron
Constantly dragging yourself around? You could have iron-deficiency anemia, a common cause of fatigue. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body’s cells, where it’s used to produce energy. Good food sources of iron are red meat, iron-fortified cereal, green leafy vegetables, and dried beans.
Play Hard to Get
When someone asks you to do something, say, “Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you.” This gives you time to think about the request and decide if it’s something you really want to do, or simply an energy-sucking waste of your time.
Soak Up the Winter Sun
Have all the energy of a hibernating bear in the winter? Make a point of getting outside for thirty minutes to an hour during the day. The natural light can improve your energy level and help fight the winter blahs.
Work That Jaw
Can you sleep and chew at the same time? Munching on pretzels, carrots, and other crunchy foods makes your jaw work hard, which wakes up your facial muscles, helping you feel more alert. Chewing a piece of peppermint or spearmint gum packs a burst invigorating flavor and scent. Besides, it really is hard to chew if you’re asleep.
Get Your Fix Every Four Hours
It’s much better to continually refuel your body before it hits empty than to wait until you’re in the danger zone, and then overdo it. Every four hours have a mini-meal or snack. A mini-meal might be a handful of roasted peanuts, a hard-boiled egg or slice of lean luncheon meat, and a sliced apple. Nonfat yogurt sprinkled with flaxseeds makes a great snack.
You wouldn’t think stillness would lead to energy, but often, that’s just what you need to catch your second wind. Simply sit in a comfortable chair and stare out the window for ten minutes. Let your mind drift wherever it wants to go.
Stand up, get on your toes, and lift your fingertips as close as you can to the ceiling. Keep the stretch expanding for several seconds, feeling it in your calves, your abdomen, your shoulders, your arms, your fingers. After a few seconds, relax, take a few deep breaths, and do it again. By doing this, you activate almost every muscle you have, sending oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.
Eat a Bowl of All-Bran
Did you know that a bowl of all-bran cereal contains 792 milligrams of phosphorous? That’s an important mineral the body needs to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and turn them into energy. Also, filling up on fiber will do you a lot more good than greasy chips from the vending machine!