Improve your energy levels with these three must-try tips. Incorporate them into your daily routine to avoid feeling sluggish:
1. Make your own energy drink
It’s no secret that vitamin-enhanced waters are loaded with calories, sugar and chemicals — which provide a short energy burst that only makes you crash harder later. Make a real energy drink at home for a fraction of the price. The fruit, herbs and veggies deliver a refreshing mix of vitamins and antioxidants that are proven to give you vital fuel.
Homemade Vitamin Water
10 cups water
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, shredded
1/3 cup mint leaves, shredded
Stir all ingredients in a pitcher. Place in fridge overnight and serve.
Recipe by Mary Roslyn Jolley, My Green Diet.
2. Eat at the same time every day
Planning meals and snacks at fixed times throughout the day is one of the best-kept secrets of vitality and longevity, says Dr. David B. Agus, in his bestselling book, The End of Illness. If we delay lunchtime due to unexpected circumstances, not only will our stomachs beg for food, but the stress hormone cortisol will shoot up, putting the body into survival mode. Your brain then tells your body to slow down metabolism and store fat, because it doesn’t know when the next meal is coming. The body also hates the unexpected, says the cancer researcher. He suggests adopting an unchanging schedule for eating, getting up, going to sleep, working out and even taking medication, because this allows the hormones that regulate the body to better play their role and improve your overall sense of well-being and energy levels.
3. Climb the stairs, walk the block or lift some weights
Get moving! It may be the last thing you want to do, but getting your blood flowing is a great way to amp up energy levels. “Exercise gives us a positive endorphin release,” says Dr. Joey Shulman, a nutritionist in Toronto and author of The Metabolism Boosting Diet. Even better, lean muscle mass improves metabolism, which is linked to energy. “Lift weights and not those five pound ones either,” says Shulman. Instead use heavier weights and do as many reps as it takes to reach muscle fatigue. If you find the idea of hauling your exhausted self to an hour-long class daunting, take note: “There are three elements of a workout: duration, frequency and intensity,” says Jim Karas, a Chicago-based personal trainer. “People seem to focus only on the first two, when it’s intensity that’s the only really important one. You want to work hard to the point of muscle fatigue. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day, you’ll see a huge increase in your energy levels.”