By: Dr. Albert Huang, DC
Got the winter blues? Have a long day ahead of you? Are you feeling a little fatigued? If this sounds familiar, try giving your body a quick energy boost with these 6 uplifting tips.
1) Start your day with a balanced breakfast - A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition showed that, 'a high-fiber, high-carbohydrate meal was associated with the highest level of alertness between breakfast and lunch.' The combination of fiber and carbohydrates provides energy in both the short and long-term.
For breakfast try having some complex carbohydrates in the form of whole wheat toast or high-fiber cereal with seeds or nuts. Add some yogurt with berries to get your protein, vitamins, and probiotics. A well-balanced, nutrient-dense breakfast is essential for your day's success!
2) Go for a walk - Sitting for prolonged periods causes blood circulation to decrease. A reduction in blood flow reduces gas and nutrient exchange causing fatigue. Recharge your system with a quick 5-10 minute walk. A brisk walk ramps up blood circulation and stimulates your nervous system. Changing up your static work environment or scenery with a walk can be invigorating for the senses.
3) Breathing Techniques and Meditation - The constant bombardment of environmental stimuli, stress, and busy lifestyle never provides a chance for our minds to relax. We often get in the habit of overworking and over-thinking which leads to over-exertion. This can negatively lead to a burn out or mental and physical exhaustion.
Take a few minutes out from your day to restore your energy and calm the mind. Practice some simple breath work or meditation by concentrating on the body's life force, known as prana. Sit on the floor in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Sense the present moment and become aware of your physical body. Breathe in deeply through your nose and visualize your whole body filling with radiance and energy. Exhale; let go of any thoughts, tensions, or stress.
4) Power up with a Smoothie - Blending your favourite fruits and vegetables together with some protein powder, yogurt, and flax will provide you the right nutrition to get you through your day. The combination of protein, fiber, and mixed carbohydrates will increase your blood glucose in a sustained way to provide lasting energy. The vitamins and minerals will help keep you balanced and energized. Get a cup with a lid so you can refrigerate the smoothie and have it for a mid-day snack.
5) Music is the Answer - Make a play-list of your favourite uplifting songs and hit play whenever you start feeling low on energy. A good song can instantly boost your psyche and put you in a better state of mind. Neuroscientist have found that music has a positive effect on your immune system and stress levels. Music reduces stress by lowering cortisol levels; the stress hormone. A little two-step could give you the energy surge you need!
6) Find some Sun - Long winters and a lack of sun make for a bad combination leading to SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms of SAD include tiredness, depression, difficulty concentrating, lowered sex drive to name a few.
Sunlight boosts our serotonin levels which enhances our happiness. Sunlight also increases the body's natural production of vitamin D which helps strengthen bones, the immune system, and controls hormonal function.
Try stepping outside for 5-10 minutes when the sun is shining to bask in its rays. Alternatively, this is the perfect excuse to take a vacation somewhere down south where the sun is glowing.
Posts inspired by the team at Platinum Health & Wellness.