The next time you find yourself reaching for another cup of coffee or an energy drink, consider trying a more natural way to boost your energy
Take a Walk
Moving around is good for your circulation, helping your body’s cells transport oxygen to your brain. You don’t need to run a 5K to feel more energized. Taking just a 10-minute walk can help boost your energy and mood.
Not only can laughter reduce stress and improve your immune system, but it can also make you feel more energized. Share some funny stories with your coworkers or find something amusing to watch on YouTube.
Getting more oxygen into your body can improve your mental focus, mood and energy. Get more oxygen by practicing deep breathing regularly. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven and exhale through your mouth while counting for eight. Repeat several times a day, especially if you’re feeling stressed.
Turn on the Lights
Exposure to light signals your body to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. If your office or house is dark, try switching on a few lights. Or, if possible, step outside and soak up a few minutes of sunshine
Take Short Breaks
Working on a big project? Give yourself five minutes away from the computer screen every 30 to 60 minutes to give your eyes a break. Stand up and stretch, do a few laps around the office to recharge. Try these ideas for increasing your energy for the long term.
Find yourself feeling sluggish by 3pm? Consider eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of the traditional three large meals. Eating a small meal or snack every few hours helps stave off fatigue by giving your brain a steady supply of nutrients. Try to eat a diet with an emphasis on whole grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.
Feeling tired is one of the first symptoms of dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking up all day long. Most of us need at least 64 ounces of water or other fluids each day. If you find drinking plain water boring, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Exercise a Few Days a Week
Many of us don’t exercise because we feel too tired, but studies have found that exercise gives you more energy, not less. And you don’t need to hit the gym for hours to reap the benefits. Exercising for 30 minutes in your low to moderate heart rate range a few days a week will suffice. Try lifting weights, attending a yoga class or doing laps in the pool.
Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule
Get in the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on the weekend). Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps your body get into a natural rhythm and after a few weeks of sticking to it, you’ll like find yourself falling asleep and waking up more naturally.
Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is an essential mineral that’s needed to break down glucose into energy. To get more magnesium, try adding some almonds or cashews to your diet, and eat plenty of fish.
Manage Your Stress
We all know how tired we feel after a stressful day. Stress activates your natural fight or flight response. This causes your heart rate and blood pressure rise, making your body work harder to function throughout the day. To reduce your stress levels, start a meditation routine, take a yoga class or, where possible, delegate some of your work projects.
We all have those days (and weeks) when we feel tired and have low energy levels. These natural ways to boost energy will help you immediately, and as you start to incorporate more of these energy-boosting habits into your routine, you may even be able to ditch the naps and caffeine for good!
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.