Let’s face it, in today’s rush-rush world we are always trying to cram as much as possible into our 24-hour day. Sadly, many people are turning to energy drinks and pills to help get them through their long days, when in actuality there are plenty of natural energy boosters that you could rely on to help you stay energized.
Just try these simple strategies to make sure that you wake up feeling refreshed, stay motivated throughout the day and be able to wind down and get a relaxed night of sleep.
Consistent wake-up time- Many people would think that sleeping in would actually give them all-day energy, but it is more harmful than it is helpful. Instead, opt for the same wake-up time everyday and get yourself into some light, whether you get your sunlight by actually going outdoors or just by opening up the blinds.
Reduce your carbs and add in more protein- While carbohydrates will give you that quick burst of energy, eating too many carbohydrates will actually drain you. Opt for getting a healthy mix of carbs and protein to feel more energetic throughout the day.
Make sure you’re getting your share of iron and magnesium- According to ABC News rather than walking into a health-food store to get a boost, look for food that gives you energy and the vitamins, minerals and chemicals that work together to give you the energy you need. Magnesium and iron will help to re-energize. Iron food sources include Total cereal, lentils, oatmeal, tofu, beef, whole wheat spaghetti and beet greens. Magnesium is another powerhouse mineral used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium food sources include artichokes, halibut, black beans, almonds and spinach.
Skip your morning cup of joe- Instead of downing your coffee first thing in the morning opt for having an afternoon cup of coffee when tiredness typically sets in. This caffeine burst at an appropriate time will also help to keep your energy flowing throughout your afternoon.
Avoid grazing and eat your meals at consistent times- Believe it or not, your body runs on the food schedule that YOU set. When you skip meals your body suffers by going into shut down mode, like it does when it is time to sleep. Keep your meals consistent and at consistent times to avoid the daily drain. Grazing should be avoided, too, as it leads to overeating and over hunger.
Relieve stress through meditation- Because it may be hard to carve out set times to simply relax and meditate, try to do it when you have a few free minutes throughout your day. Even simply three minutes of mediation can reduce stress hormones that create body tension and constricted blood vessels. Find a quiet spot, practice your breathing techniques and take a few minutes to rejuvenate through relaxation.
Power walk instead of power nap- While it may seem like a short little cat nap will help you through that afternoon slump, a short little power walk will be more beneficial. Get out for a brisk walk if you are able to and your body will thank you for it. If you can’t get outdoors, sit by a window and bask in the daylight for some quick light energy.
Exercise to music- Exercise may be the most obvious way to increase your energy levels throughout the day, yet many people still avoid it. If you are having trouble getting the motivation to work out, try listening to music before exercising. Studies show that people who listen to music prior to and while working out, feel like they have exerted themselves less than those who don’t listen to music while working out.
Wind down before bed- It’s important to take the time to wind down before catching those zzz’s. According to MSNBC.com artificial light from computer and television screens tell the brain that it’s not time to wind down. Therefore, it’s a good idea to shut off the TV and to not use phone or computers at least an hour before bed. To help wind down before bed you also may want to dim the lights, take a warm shower, write in a journal or read a book.