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Stay Energized

Do you feel like you are constantly moving at marathon pace during the day? It’s no wonder you feel exhausted come 3:00 p.m. From the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning to the time you finally fall asleep, it is go, go, go.

Here are some easy and natural ways to stay energized throughout the day.

1. Don’t skip breakfast

While you may be rushed to get out the door and inclined to just grab a cup of coffee, it’s important to fuel your body in the morning so you have energy throughout the day. Even if you don’t have time to sit down at the breakfast table, make sure you pack something healthy, such as a granola bar or piece of fruit and a toasted whole wheat bagel to go. (See “Be a Breakfast Believer” to learn why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.)

2. Grab a few more zzzz

How many hours of sleep do you consistently get at night? If it’s less than 7 to 8, you may be draining your energy supply. Most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night in order to feel fully charged for the day.

3. Exercise

If you are tired, exercising may seem like the last thing you want to do. However, exercise — even for 20 minutes — can make a huge impact in your energy level. No, you don’t need to go to the gym. Just taking a brisk walk outside will be enough to get your blood pumping and your muscles oxygenated.

4. Step outside

Make sure to get out of the house or office and into the fresh air for a while every day. Sunlight is an instant mood booster and can pull you out of that midday slump.

5. Eat smaller meals more frequently

What your mom told you about eating three square meals a day might actually wreak havoc on your energy supply. Large, infrequent meals can cause your glucose level to spike and crash, leaving you feeling wiped out. By eating smaller portions of food more frequently throughout the day, you avoid this yo-yo effect.

6. Try aromatherapy

Boost your alertness with a little aromatherapy. Certain scents, such as peppermint and citrus, can help wake up your mind. So, light a natural soy or beeswax candle that’s been infused with one of these scents, or open a bottle of essential oil and allow the aroma to waft through the air.

7. Drop the candy bar and reach for the nuts

Yes, sugar does provide an instant energy boost, but it’s short-lived. Once your body digests the sugary food, your energy level bottoms out and you are left feeling worse than you did before you ate the candy bar. Instead, grab a handful of nuts.

8. Drink enough water

Water plays a very important role in the function of all of our systems, including facilitating digestion and flushing waste and toxins from our bodies. If you aren’t getting enough water, you’re likely feeling fatigued. Invest in a BPA-free water bottle and keep it at your desk or in your kitchen. It’s a great reminder to drink water more often.

9. Stick to whole grains

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain foods, take longer for the body to break down, which means you stay energized longer. (See “Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs” for more.”)

10. Laugh

Spending time talking with a friend or co-worker can really pull you out of a midday slump. Connecting with others is important for your emotional well-being and can give you the boost of energy that you need to accomplish a mundane task. Laughter just MAY be the best medicine.

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