You’re not alone. Whether you work 9-5, go to school, or spend your day as a full-time parent, that mid-afternoon drag is bound to hit sooner or later. We bring you this week’s 5-step fitness tip to help you get your head off your desk and back into your day!
Five Ways to Boost Your Energy
Okay, I know you’re thinking, “thanks Michael. If I got enough sleep I wouldn’t be tired!” While that may be true, there’s a little more to it. First, strive to get about eight hours of sleep each night to give your body adequate time to recover and recharge.
If you’re already hitting your eight-hour mark, the next trick is to get those eight hours at the right time. When possible, try to sleep between 10 PM and 6 AM, as when you sleep is almost as important as the length of your zzz’s. The body responds naturally to light, so sleeping when the sun is down and waking when the sun rises allows your body to have a much deeper, more rejuvenating sleep.
2. Watch It…
Watch that diet. We’re not just talking about watching your weight here – what you eat and when you eat contribute significantly to your energy throughout the day. First off, make sure you eat a good breakfast. Good luck keeping sustained energy throughout the day if you don’t even give your body a good start!
Keep your meals at a moderate size, and eat healthy snacks in between. In all of your meals and snacks, make sure to get good amounts of whole grains, protein, and fiber. Those three together will give your body the sustainable energy it needs to keep you plowing forward. Additionally, keep those refined sugars, flours, and other simple carbohydrates in check – they’ll only bring you down.
Guzzle |’gəzəl|; verb; definition: to eat or drink (something) greedily.
This is what we want you to do with water. Where dehydration goes, fatigue follows. Greedily guzzling water throughout the day will keep your body fueled and on the right track. Dietician Ashley Koff from Health.com also points out that we need potassium – the mineral responsible for regulating fluid balance in the body. Shoot for one serving of a potassium-rich food or drink per day, such as a banana, coconut water, avocado, etc. The BlenderBottle is your friend here – energy drink mixes and shakes can help give a quick, nutrition-packed boost!
4. Get up. Now Move.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a little exercise can go a long way. Try jump-starting your day with a 20-30 minute jog in the morning. If your body gives you that 3 PM “shut down” command, take a quick walk around the block or do some pushups or jumping jacks in the office while no one’s looking. Don’t worry - if your co-workers happen to catch you jumping up and down in the office, I’m sure they’ll thank you for waking them up as well. Think of it as a two-birds-with-one-stone type of thing. You’ll be surprised how a little extra blood flow will wake you up.
Now I have your attention, don’t I? It’s worth pointing out that sugar isn’t completely outlawed when you’re trying to get your energy back – you just want to be careful. Dark chocolate is actually surprisingly healthy - packing nearly as many antioxidants as blueberries. Dark chocolate also contains a stimulant called theobromine which boosts your energy without the jitters brought about by caffeine.
For a crash-proof treat, Koff recommends chocolate with at least 60 percent cacao and eating it with a little protein. A bit of organic nut butter with 1 ounce (3 squares) of chocolate would do the trick.
So there you have it – a few tips to keep you going throughout the day. I’ve used a few of them just while writing this article. (Thankfully, no one else was in my office at the time so my push-ups went unnoticed.) If you have any other suggestions or tricks that help you keep on your game, post a comment and share the wealth!