|Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:10 PM|
Instant energy boosters… Running low on energy? One or more of the following may help to boost those low dips in daily energy.
#1 Do you normally hit the snooze button? Instead try getting up right away and let the light revive your energy. Exposure to light signals your biological clock to make the switch from resting to being awake. Your brain stops producing sleep-inducing melatonin and releases stimulating hormones like cortisol and mood-boosting serotonin instead. Your body temperature also rises slightly, helping you feel more awake.
#2 Set aside a few minutes for morning physical activity. Exercise brings oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your muscles and brain, increasing alertness and response time, and spurs growth in the parts of your brain that control memory, multitasking and planning. One study showed that after one year 75 percent of morning exercisers were still sticking to their workouts as opposed to only 25 percent of evening exercisers.
#3 Get your vitamin D to improve more than bone health. Vitamin D deficiency impairs the production and secretion of insulin, the hormone that helps regulate our blood sugar levels. This is the fuel for muscles. In fact, new research shows that vitamin D deficiency is thought to contribute to both type 1 and type-2 diabetes.
#4 Take some deep breathes. For many the main cause of mental and physical exhaustion is stress. Stress impairs concentration, disrupts sleep and makes us more likely to get sick. Fortunately, we can quiet stress with simple, focused breathing. Close your eyes and concentrate on the sensation of your breath coming in and out of your body. Continue this mindful breathing for one to two minutes. MRI scans have shown that deep breathing also quiets the white noise in the brain, improving your concentration.
#5 The yoga breathing technique known as “the breath of fire” is a series of rapid, forceful exhalations that stimulates your sympathetic nervous system for an instant charge. Start in a seated position with your hands just above and below your bellybutton. Quickly contract your abs in and up, pushing your diaphragm toward the lungs and forcefully exhaling through your nose. Then let your stomach relax and inhale through your nose. Repeat 10 times, working up to three breaths per second for 60 seconds.
#6 Take a 10 minute cat nap! In a 2006 Australian study, participants who caught just 10 minutes of shut-eye reported immediate improved energy and thinking and reduced fatigue. These perks last for more than two and a half hours. Longer naps left participants feeling groggy for up to 30 minutes after waking, though eventually they had similar energy levels.
#7 A 2006 study from Japan showed that shinrin-yoku, or forest walking, a relaxation technique practiced in Japan for almost 30 years, significantly improves energy, friendliness and well-being, and decreases hostility and depression. These effects were felt immediately upon entering the woods, and the longer the study participants spent in the forest, the more energy and less hostility and depression they experienced.