Ahhh, life! While some of you might feel like you live the “Life is Good” motto, others may feel more like “The Struggle is Real”. We can definitely have bouts of both, but let’s talk about ways to get you on the high road. Fatigue catches up to you, whether you have an overpacked schedule of back-to-back meetings, running the kids everywhere, hosting parties or events, or (fill in the blank). Think of energy as if it’s a bank account… we make energy withdrawals and deposits daily. When we use more than we put in, we’re in the negatives.
Here are 6 super simple ways to take back control of your energy…
1. Take a 10-20 Minute Power Nap
Sleeping for this length of time will help boost your energy and alertness. This nap will limit you to the lighter stages of sleep (non-rapid eye movement), which will help you easily wake up feeling refreshed. If you nap any longer, such as 30+ minutes, you’ll run the risk of waking up groggy, and being potentially even more sleepy than before.
2. Time Out. Go for a 10-minute Power-Walk Outside
Fast walking (aka power walking) is an effective way to simultaneously work your muscles using intense exaggerated movements of both the arms and legs/feet. It helps to increase blood flow, therefore wakening the body and it also helps in reducing stress. Also, being outside helps your mental health, since you can breathe in the fresh air versus the re-circulated office building air. You become more creative and calm, as your mind can take a breather, too.
3. Perform 1 Minute of Squats
Feeling sluggish at your desk? Get out of your chair. This everyday functional bodyweight exercise will help you to get up and pump blood into some of the largest muscle groups of the body. These simple squats will get you to move from sitting for too long, and developing lower back pains. It won’t take much to get your muscle fibers fired up, and your nerve endings excited and awake, too – zing!
4. Drink Ice Cold Water
If you notice you have a headache on the verge, maybe you haven’t consumed much or any water by now. At the time you feel thirsty… you are technically already slightly dehydrated. Your body is made up of 70% water, and all of your bodily systems and cells need to have that fresh water to reinforce the working flow for your entire body (and brain). Throw in a slice or 2 of fresh lemon and you will feel incredibly refreshed and may help to curb your ‘hangry’ or bored appetite, too.
5. Eat Protein-Packed Meals and Snacks
Most people wonder why they are so hungry or feel lethargic, and it’s not even lunch time yet! Or it’s after lunch in the 2-3pm window and you feel a dragging lull. In my 15+ years of hands-on experience, asking clients what they eat throughout the day and watching their food logs, I can tell you that most people are not eating enough protein in their meals, and the snacks are empty calories, either loaded with sugar and/or sodium. AND, so many people are still skipping breakfast- gasp! If you don’t start your day with a healthy balanced breakfast, you can expect to be hungry throughout the day and both your energy and cognitive performance will suffer. And what about snacks? Fresh, crunchy vegetables are an easy go to, but one of my favorite protein-packed snacks are roasted chickpeas (my recipe in The Fit Body Way Cookbook) – loaded with fiber to help you feel full, protein to give you energy, and potassium.. which helps you to avoid fatigue, weakness and constipation.
6. Stretch Yourself
The longer you sit, the more likely you are to slump. The more you slump, of course the worse your posture, but also, you restrict your lung capacity, so your breathing becomes more shallow. Shallow breathing causes stagnation, and muscles start to stiffen. Tight, sore muscles can leave you feeling beaten up even before the day begins. Here are 2 super simple stretches to wake up your muscles and and feel re-energized.
- Overhead Reaches – breathe in on your reach up over the head with fingers wide and as high as possible.. then breathe out while arms are pressing outward on the way down. Repeat this 5 times and you will feel invigorated within seconds!
- Lean Back Chest Stretch – place your hands in a clasp behind your head (you can stay in your chair, but it’s even better to stand up). Point your elbows out to the sides and press your head into your hands as you breathe in and prepare to widen and lean back on the exhale, which will help you to get a deeper stretch (aka open lung space). Repeat for 5 slow, deep breaths and get ready to take on the world!
Of course, there are soooo many more ways to get your mojo back, and I would love to help you in any way. One of them being.. if you haven’t yet adopted a solid strength training routine, be sure to check out my new online workout programs!! And if you are in the local Jacksonville FL area, send me a message and let’s link up for customized personal training.
PS – Looking for A Structured Workout Plan to Follow?