How To Stay Energized Morning, Noon, & Night

For most of us, feeling fatigued, groggy and a bit sniffle-y, no matter what time of the year it is, has become a way of life. Overwhelmed with stress and responsibilities, we listlessly soldier on, fighting brain fog and exhaustion with caffeine and spoonfuls of sugar to prop ourselves up just long enough to make it through the day. Then, when it’s time for lights-out, we’re too jacked-up to sleep. Small wonder so many of us are physically, emotionally and mentally spent!

The good news is that you don’t have to live like this. Simply by living a little smarter and making a few health-supporting choices every day, you can banish fatigue from your life and live the way you were born to—with vibrancy and energy!

Here are 10 health-enhancing ways to fight fatigue and win, morning, noon and night:

CREATE THAT MORNING ENERGY BURST

1. Greet the day with a few gentle stretches. 

This will get the blood pumping, easing your body into the day. Still tense and achy from yesterday? Then try my 2-step release and stretch moves first thing in the morning to bust tension, open blocked energy pathways, reduce pain and energize you for the day. Start with the Neck and Shoulder Release with tennis balls. Follow this with the Wall Stretch. These simple moves will stretch your shoulders, legs and back, as you stimulate muscle tissue and blood flow throughout the body, waking it and energizing it without artificial stimulants.

2. Boost body and brain with the perfect breakfast.

In the morning, protein and fat are essential for energy, and a large, healthy breakfast of the right foods is exactly what your body needs. And what is the perfect breakfast? The morning smoothie, because it’s quick to prepare, easily digested, and can be packed with the healthy fats, proteins, nutrients and phytonutrients you need to fuel your day. My favorite ingredient for boosting energy naturally is whey protein. These two smoothies, the Green Mojito and the Blueberry Avocado are creamy, satisfying and delicious. If you don’t want to use whey, try these equally delicious pea protein-based smoothies, the Coconut Bliss and the Chocolate Love.

3. Got greens?

When you’re fatigued, what you’re eating makes a massive difference in how quickly your body will recover its strength. To super-charge your diet and energy reserves, you can’t beat green drinks. Why? Because they deliver nourishing, high-octane, drinkable doses of phytonutrients, antioxidants and digestive enzymes to every system in the body, quickly, easily and efficiently. The effects? Nothing short of wonderful: Concentrated green powdered drinks boost immunity, aid digestion, sustain energy, promote mental clarity and enhance overall well-being. Add powdered greens to smoothies or just add water and swig ‘em on the way to work – you’ll arrive energized, alert and naturally powered-up, instead of amped and jittery from caffeine.

4. Recharge your batteries with an adaptogen.

For centuries, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have used adaptogen botanicals as energizing herbal tonics to naturally support the body’s ability to cope with anxiety, fatigue and the aging process. They also rejuvenate and tone the adrenal system, which in turn promotes the healthy regulation of cortisol, the stress hormone. Armed with the unique ability to “adapt” their function to your body’s specific needs, Panax ginseng, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are my favorite adaptogens.

SUSTAIN DAYTIME ENERGY

5. Believe it or not, now is an excellent time to s-l-o-w i-t d-o-w-n. 

Combat the mayhem around you and re-energize naturally by tuning in to some relaxing music for a few minutes. Giving yourself a musical time-out will help calm your body and brain with gentle, soothing rhythms that will slow down your heart rate and breathing to healthier levels. The result? A feeling of well being in just minutes, plus a clearer mind and calmer body. My go-to, slow-it-down favorite tunes include anything by reggae genius Bob Marley or brain wave music master, Jonathan Goldman. No time or space for music, try some breathing exercises.

6. Have a good-size lunch.

Just make sure it’s a healthy lunch – and remember, skipping the meal or eating like a bird at 1pm will not adequately fuel you through the afternoon’s labors, so lunch large! The perfect, nourishing lunch will include wholesome, unprocessed ingredients, comprising protein, good fats and vegetables to help you maintain alertness. Another reason to lunch large? Because lunchtime is when your digestion peaks – and your body is burning calories most efficiently. And if you like a mid morning or mid afternoon snack, here are some healthy choices.

7. Open your chest. 

To avoid the afternoon slump, you have my full permission to close your office door, roll up a towel and lie in Reclining Open Chest Pose. This uplifting Restorative Yoga pose helps elevate your mood and energize you when you are tired. When we support the back in this way and open the chest, we tend to feel more emotionally buoyant and physically energized. Stuck in an office cube? Book a few minutes in the conference room, borrow an unused office or duck out to a nearby park if possible.

8. Connect with your co-workers. And the deli guy. And the dry cleaner.

In other words, practice “ubuntu.” Ubuntu is an African term that means what makes us human is the humanity we show each other. It’s a worldview that sees humanity as a web of family rather than a mass of individuals. When you start to relate to those around you in this way, you’ll feel more connected, energized and and you’ll have a sense of abundance. Another bonus? It will add a pleasant sense of community to even the simplest interactions. My advice? Get up from your office chair every now and then to reconnect with your officemates in person instead of via e-mail.

EASE INTO THE EVENING

9. Power down your body.

Restorative yoga is my favorite night-time cure for the high-stress day. As you’ll be supported in these poses, for instance, by a chair or a wall, you’ll enjoy the healing and calming effects of yoga without having to exert any energy. Better yet, restorative yoga poses are a particularly effective way to relax and power down your body before bed. One of my favorites is B.K.S Iyengar’s Reclining Belt Pose, which is the best “chill pill” I have experienced. Ten-to-fifteen minutes in this pose works wonders, gently preparing the body for sleep. Another simple power-down pose: Legs up the Wall which feels soooo good after a day on your feet. Lie on your back with your legs perpendicular against the wall, close your eyes and breathe for five-to-ten minutes.

10. Power down your home.

Create an electronic sundown to prepare your body and mind for sleep. At around 10 pm, turn off your computer, charge your cell in another room and turn off the TV. Scan your bedroom for blinking or glowing lights – the alarm clock, the charging indicator on your cell phone, the DVD clock and timer, etc. Turn these off or cover the lights. Every little bit of light can stop your melatonin levels from rising, which you need to fall sleep and to reach the deep restorative sleep your body requires. If you can’t darken your room all the way, wear a sleep mask or add blackout curtains to help darken the room.

For a specific Supplement program to counter fatigue, try my Fatigue Fighting Plan.

For many more tips on fighting fatigue, read my book, REVIVE, Stop Feeling Spent And Start Living Again.

Frank Lipman, M.D.

Pioneer in Functional Medicine
For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How to Be Well, The New Health Rules, Young and Slim for Life, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalitiesIn 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non-Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness. He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.”In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives. He is also the instructor of the mbg Video Course, 14-Day Detox.
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Frank Lipman, M.D.

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