7 tips for boosting your morning energy levels.
Courtesy of 'you know what' many of us generally feel pretty tired and rundown. But developing morning habits that leave you feeling energised and ready to take on the day is possible - provided, of course, that you’re able to get sufficient restorative sleep. Alas, no amount of habit-rejigging can help if you’re not regularly getting enough ZZZs.
But if you are getting enough rest, and you’re still feeling kind of sluggish, here are seven simple steps that can help boost your morning energy levels:
Take 10 Breaths: Stress has many effects on the body, one of which is decreased energy. So experts recommend starting the day with an easy, evidence-backed intervention: taking a few deep breaths. “I try to take a few minutes of deep breathing and silence to centre myself before the work day begins,” said Gregory Katz, a cardiologist at Nuvance Health in Connecticut. He recommends a “brief period of focused deep breathing” to pretty much anyone.
Hydrate: Drinking water, even if you’re not thirsty, can be an energy booster, which is why so many nutritionists recommend downing a glass of water first thing in the morning. “Staying hydrated helps your energy level because water helps oxygen move through the body. The more efficiently you can deliver oxygen to your muscles and organs, the more energy you’ll have,” said Stephanie Nelson, a registered dietitian.
Get Moving: Physical exercise has all kinds of energy-boosting benefits, from pumping up your endorphins (which can make you feel both relaxed and excited) to improving concentration so you’re ready to tackle your morning to-do list. Research also suggests that people who move their bodies in the morning tend to be more active throughout the day. It doesn’t need to be an intense cardio session, either. Do whatever type of movement feels good to you; even just a stroll around the block can help.
Eat Enough: In general, it’s a good idea to “follow your body’s natural cadence” when it comes to food in order to boost energy in the morning, says Michele Smallidge, director of the B.S. Exercise Science Program at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. While intermittent fasting continues to be extremely trendy, for energy you really want to be “listening to your body, and its natural rise and fall in blood sugar,” Smallidge said. She recommends eating a breakfast that is “higher in protein and healthy fats,” which may help maintain energy levels throughout the morning.
People tend to get hungry every three to four hours. To keep up energy levels, it’s important to give your body plenty of fuel - so if you’re an early riser, you might eat a few times in the morning, not just once.
Sugar Intake: Sugar isn’t the enemy by any means, but it can have an effect on your energy levels. “When you eat a lot of sugar, your body produces high amounts of insulin to pull the sugar out of your blood and into your cells,” Nelson explains. “The overproduction of insulin leads to a sugar crash, making you feel tired, hungry and craving more sugar to bring your blood sugar levels back up.”
Consider ways in which you can cut down on added sugar in the morning - because breakfast does tend to be a pretty big culprit.
Ignore your Phone: When you reach for your phone first thing in the morning, you’re essentially letting someone - or something - else dictate the first thoughts and feelings you have. Try a calm start to the morning, away from scrolling through social media or responding to work emails.
Discover your Preferences: What works for one person in the morning won’t work for another, which is why all three experts interviewed for this piece (in Huffington Post) emphasised that some deliberate trial and error is a very good thing. Change up your routine a bit, starting with one habit at a time. Pick whatever one seems easiest to you. Then see what happens.
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