Sure, the holidays have come to a close, but a new year brings new challenges. After all, we have those resolutions to get through! And a new year means a whole list of things to do, which can zap the energy we already didn’t have. Most of us think of caffeine for an energy boost, but there are a number of healthier alternatives that will help you zoom through your days with your head held high!
Increase Your H2O Intake
If you’re feeling sluggish and out of sorts, it could be that you’re dehydrated. When you reach for that cup of Joe, it actually does just the opposite of what you need since coffee is a diuretic. Instead, reach for a natural beverage: good old water.
Even if you’re not thirsty, your body may be. Make drinking water part of your daily routine: one cup at each meal as well as during snack times (with or without food). In fact, drinking enough water can help you feel full and avoid eating when you’re not really hungry. Did you know that when your body tells you it’s hungry, it might just be thirsty instead? Start with water and see if you still feel hungry in 10 minutes.
Research shows that chewing gum can improve concentration and memory—both of which start to fade when your energy lags. There’s a reason smoking cessation drugs come in gum form: it gives the mouth (and brain) something to do.
Choose a sugar-free option to avoid unwanted calories. Peppermint gum is a great choice because that minty freshness bumps up your alertness and focus. Be courteous of others when chewing since gum isn’t always office friendly.
Move Your Muscles
It may sound counterintuitive that exercise can provide an energy boost when you’re already tired, but it works. Whether you head to the gym, go for a brisk walk, or do a couple minutes of jumping jacks by your desk, the activity improves your oxygen flow and actually creates energy for your body to burn.
Plus, exercise releases feel-good chemicals in your body, such as endorphins and epinephrine, give you a mood boost along with the energy boost—two for one! Let’s not forget about your need for Z’s. Exercise helps you sleep better. And a good night’s sleep will give your energy levels a head start tomorrow.
Eat Healthy Food
Those cookies, muffins, and candy bars may give you a temporary jolt, but the accompanying sugar rush isn’t going to help you maintain your energy. Eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins will keep fuel in your tank to give your body the consistent energy it needs.
When you’re busy, aim to eat for energy—which means eating small meals and healthy snacks regularly throughout the day. This supplies your brain and body with nutrients to keep it going strong all day long.
Living in the desert gives us ample access to plenty of energy-giving sunlight. In addition to the quick mental boost that getting outside provides, the shot of Vitamin D is a big plus. Getting a good dose of light in the morning will actually help perk you up faster , and we could all use an energy boost to get a good start on our day!
Clear Your Mind for an Energy Boost
Stress is a given during this time of year, and you probably have more than your share. So if it’s stress that’s bringing you down and making you feel sluggish, try getting it in check with meditation. Meditation isn’t a fad; it’s clinically proven to reduce stress and enhance energy and well-being. Invest 5 or 10 minutes to switch off your brain every day, and you’ll reap the benefits with the energy boost you’re looking for.