It’s safe to say, most people could use some extra energy throughout the day. Fueling yourself with coffee and tea may work for a while, but you’re sure to hit that midday slump as a result. Working longer and harder means you need to refill your energy supply regularly. Here are the top 7 ways to have more energy, from sun up to sundown.
1. Choose A Better Breakfast
Your body has been in starvation mode all night. On the flip side, your hormones in charge of energy, like cortisol, are at their highest. Take advantage of this time by fueling your body with some quality protein.
Eating a bunch of carbs gives you a quick boost but will end in a sharp crash. Instead, choose lean protein with a healthy fat. For instance, oatmeal with nuts or scrambled eggs and whole-grain toast. They’ll take longer to digest, which gives you more staying power.
2. Let Light In
Light jump-starts the body’s wake-up process. Whether it’s natural or artificial, it’s important to get that exposure early in your day. Even if it’s dark outside. Choose bulbs labeled “cool white” or “daylight” to mimic outdoor light.
They even make light alarm clocks that gradually get brighter as it gets closer to the alarm time). This also prevents your body’s desire to fall back asleep. That snooze button may be tempting, but it can actually interrupt your sleep cycle and make you feel even more tired as a result.
3. Ease Into Your Day
Jumping out of bed in a panic to get everyone ready and out the door isn’t doing your body any favors. Basically, you’re exhausted before your day even really starts.
Get up 20 minutes before your family so you can shower and get dressed. Don’t even bother checking your email until your mind and body are ready. Give yourself a fighting chance before tackling the draining to-do list.
4. Get Moving
If you’re not a morning person, exercising bright and early probably sounds dreadful. Rethink your idea of what a morning workout looks like. Taking a leisurely walk 3 times a week can really reduce your fatigue.
In fact, studies show that low-intensity aerobic activity works better than higher intensity workouts. Even more so if you’re someone who tends to feel drained when you first wake up.
5. Work In Blocks
Your body is meant to move. So staying stuck in your computer chair all day takes a toll on your body, both physically and mentally. Make it a point to get up and move once every hour for about 10-15 minutes.
Most people are only able to stay focused on a task for about 90 minutes. Block off some time to stretch and get fresh air. In addition, try standing while you take your phone calls. Or even get up and talk to your coworkers instead of sending out a company-wide email. Check out some other ways to stay healthy while working at your desk all day.
6. Avoid Heavy Lunches
Daydreaming about burgers and fries is one thing. But that sudden crash after you’ve devoured an entire pizza is another. Fatty meals can shift the oxygen in your blood and actually make you feel hazy.
On top of that, your hormone levels from the morning are leveling off around lunchtime. The combination of the two can cause quite a midday slump. Being strategic with your food and adding in some movement will keep you energized throughout your workday.
7. Outsmart The Snack Attack
This isn’t permission to have a Snickers and Coke when the clock hits 2:00 PM. You need some calories for long-lasting energy. Preferably from a balanced snack, however. Combining protein and fiber will help keep your blood sugar levels steady for a longer period of time.
Make your own trail mix with nuts, sunflower seeds, high-fiber cereal, and a few dark chocolate chips. You don’t want to avoid carbs altogether or you won’t have any quick energy. Add a few healthy carbs to really keep you feeling refueled.