June 19, 2013
At the end of a long and particularly exhausting day, many dieters turn to snacks or caffeine as a quick pick-me-up.
While it’s certainly true that a sugar rush and a caffeine high can help you feel more alert and awake, they’re not the most diet-friendly forms revitalizing a tired body.
These natural energy boosters can help you pick yourself up and push through an intense workout, even when you thought you had no fuel left in the tank.
Soak Up Some Rays
Sitting in an office for 8 hours a day can wreak havoc on your waistline and the endless monotony of staring at a computer screen all-day is the fast-track to the doldrums. If you can sneak outside during your lunch break or find an excuse to take a quick jaunt to the mailbox, then a few extra minutes of sunlight will do wonders for your energy levels.
According to Dr. Lorraine Maita, author of Vibrance for Life, “sunlight energizes and elevates mood.” Additionally, your body uses sunlight to naturally produce vitamin D, which can help maintain a healthy body weight. (To find out how, you can read this article.)
Tip: make sure to bring the sunscreen because UV rays can damage your skin and increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
Stand Up to Slim Down
If you are like the millions of Americans across the nation who are stuck behind a desk day in and day out, then simply standing up every 20 minutes or so to stretch could be all you need to jumpstart your energy and give your brain a boost.
Gretchen Reynolds, author of The First 20 Minutes, says “ Sitting for long periods of time – when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all- tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles.”
Studies have shown that long periods of inactivity cause blood vessels to constrict, which can sap you of your energy even if you’re not tired. Reynolds adds, “You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat . . .in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight.”
Tip:Set a timer to stand up and stretch every 20 minutes during the day. If you can’t just stand up “for no reason” then make the excuse to take a trip to the water cooler, the restroom, or a neighboring coworker.
Take Time to Breathe
Meditation and deep breathing are time-tested energy boosters. Although you don’t have to chant mantras in the middle of filing an important report, taking time to breathe will not only improve blood flow but relax muscles and ease tension as well.
“Learning how to inhale completely and how to exhale completely is one of the best energizers,” Dr. Laurel Clark points out. Try sitting up straight and focusing all your attention on your breathing. Inhale for a count of 6, tense your muscles for a count of 3, then exhale for a count of 6 while relaxing the muscles. “After a while, you can cease tensing and relaxing the muscles and just focus on the rhythmic breath.”
With these 3 tips and tricks, you will be amazed at how quickly you can give your body a fast energy boost. The more you pay attention to what your body needs, the more energetic and lively you’ll feel.
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