I know what you are thinking: she is about to tell me to get more sleep and eat my veggies. I can picture you right now, probably slumped over your computer feeling tired and rolling your eyes at me. It’s okay. I can take it.
It would be silly of me to promise you that you can have more energy if you aren’t sleeping, so I hope that you are making good-quality sleep a priority in your life. However, I also know that plenty of people that get their full eight hours of sleep still wake up exhausted and rely on caffeine and sugar to get them through their day. Do you fall into this category?
The good news is that you have the power to change it. These three simple tips can help you to increase your energy as well as improve your mood, productivity, and even help you to lose weight. So what are you waiting for?
1. Start With a Good Breakfast
We all know that eating breakfast is important, but how many times have you skipped it? Or, maybe grabbed something like a sugary pastry because you were “on-the-go?” If you want to have energy later in the day, then you need to make breakfast a priority. Period.
You are probably now wondering: what should I eat for breakfast? Well, that depends on what works best for your body. Generally speaking, aim for a breakfast that includes some protein, healthy fats, and colorful fruits and vegetables. Everyone’s body is different, so while oatmeal with nuts and fruit may be ideal for one person, someone else might find they feel more satiated and energized after a green smoothie. Experiment with different foods, and see which ones work best for you.
2. Drink Water Throughout the Day
Staying hydrated is the key to having sustained energy. If you aren’t drinking water throughout your day, now is the time to start. The rule of thumb is to have eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day. But, depending on your activity level, caffeine intake, the climate and the foods you eat, your body may need more. One easy way to tell if you are getting enough water is by the color of your urine; if it is any darker than the color of lemonade, then you need more water!
Drink water first thing when you wake up and before any caffeinated beverages. Make sure to consistently drink water throughout your day by carrying a water bottle with you. Always keep water within arm’s reach. If you are sitting at a desk for long periods of time, try keeping a pitcher of water handy so you can easily refill your bottle without even thinking about it. And, if you feel a 2 pm slump coming on, reach for a glass of water instead of that afternoon coffee. By simply keeping yourself hydrated, you will find that you don’t need that extra caffeine to get through the day.
3. Move More
The word “exercise” intimidates a lot of people. Many of us tend to think of exercise as hard work, exhausting, boring, and - if we don’t do it - guilt-inducing. I want you to change your vocabulary right now. Instead of telling yourself to “get more exercise,” encourage yourself to simply “move more.” Getting more movement into your day will not only increase your energy level, but it will decrease stress, give you mood-boosting endorphins, and help you to sleep better at night.
Our bodies are meant to move, so find ways to get more movement into each day, whether it is gentle stretching, a walk with the dog, taking the stairs at work, dancing while cooking, or playing in the park with your kids. The key here is to find simple things that you actually enjoy. If you don’t like going to the gym, then don’t. Incorporating movement that you enjoy into your daily schedule is more important (and more energizing!) than dreading a weekly trip to the gym. I encourage you to free yourself from this guilt-trap. Instead, focus on what feels right for your body and your life.
How are you going to incorporate breakfast, water and movement into your daily routine?