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8 ways to re-energise your body

By Dr Bisi Abiola

8 ways to reenergise your body provide you with strategies that will help you wake up refreshed and reenergised, remain alert throughout the day, and wind down just in time for a good night sleep.

What time of the day are you at your low point? That is the moment when you feel your spirits and energy flagging? Don’t tell us. We know. We sifted through the very latest research on sleep, metabolism, and stress to identify the times when you are most vulnerable to fatigue. And with the help of the experts, we provide you with 8 ways to reenergise your body.

Sparkle Your Morning

In order to sparkle your morning, try to get up at the same time, and bathe yourself in the light. This enables you to stay in sync with the 24-hour day. So to avoid the feeling of jet-lagged, head to the light immediately you wake up. Even during the weekend when you have decided to sleep in.

What to do: You need 30 minutes of exposure to the light first thing. As such, a simple way to do this is to go for a half-hour walk outdoors while sipping your coffee. Or eat your breakfast beside a sunny window. Similarly, if your program requires you to rise when it’s dark outside, you may want to increase the intensity of the indoor lights.

Add Extra Protein To Your Diet

Although carbohydrates can provide a burst of quick burn fuel, carbohydrates are energy drainer if you consume too much. For instance, women who reduced the amount of carbohydrates in their diets, while adding extra protein to their diet, reported feeling more energetic according to a research.

What to do: Keep your daily intake of healthy carbs below 150 g. This you can apportion as follows: five servings of vegetables, two servings of fruit, and three or four servings of whole-grain carbohydrates. You might start your day with a breakfast of one slice of bread or one-half of a burger roll, one egg, a slice each of ham and cheese, and a glass of milk. Lunch could be an open sandwich of one slice of bread, 2 to 3 ounces of meat, and 1 ounce of cheese, two servings of vegetables, and an apple. Dinner may consist of 6 ounces of lean meat, three servings of vegetables, one serving of fruit, and one or two servings of starchy carbs.

Delay Your Caffeine

Delay your coffee to when you really need it. Caffeine keeps you operating at a high level by blocking the effects of a sleep-inducing brain chemical that builds up as the day wears on. By the time of buildup, you’re already feeling sleepy late in the afternoon when the effects of your morning caffeine would have worn off.

What to do: Take 1/2 to 1 cup of coffee or its caffeine equivalent during the late afternoon, when the pressure to sleep is high. This will keep you energised. If you are highly sensitive to caffeine’s effects, you should push your coffee back to early afternoon so you don’t have difficulty falling asleep at night.

Time Your Meals

8 ways to reenergise your body

Eat your meals at the same time every day. Your body’s caloric needs are closely tied to its other daily rhythms. This includes when you get up and go to bed, as well as when you expend the most energy during exercise for example. However, what will drain your energy is if your body expects a 7am breakfast and a 12 noon lunch, but you skip one of those meals.

What to do: Prepare your breakfast the night before to ensure you start the day with a boost even if you are running late. Pack a lunch to take to work in case you can’t get away from your desk midday. Make several meals at the weekend that you can quickly heat up so that you and your family eat dinner at the same time every night. That way, you will all have enough energy for an after-dinner fitness walk.

Meditate In Short Bursts

Even in the span of 4 minutes, meditation can decrease the stress hormones that tense your muscles and constrict your blood vessels. Meditation increases endorphins, too. A few quick meditation times throughout your workday are easier to fit into a busy schedule than a longer one at the end.

What to do: Find a quiet place where you wouldn’t be interrupted. Sit down and close your eyes. Listen to your breathing as you slowly inhale and exhale. And whenever thoughts intrude, imagine that they are like clouds floating by in the sky. Then picture something, or someone, that makes you happy. It could be someplace you have been on vacation, someone you love, or something you love doing.

Take A Step Outdoor

happy runners

Rather than take an afternoon nap, try stepping outdoors to avoid late-afternoon tiredness. Just as it does in the early morning, light later in the day may diminish an afternoon energy dip. Most people feel tired 17 to 18 hours after they went to bed the previous night.

What to do: Step outside into energising sunlight for a short walk.  Change your routine by taking a different path every day. Or just do a short errand or meet up with a friend around the next block. If you can’t get outside, sit next to a window, open the shades wide, and look out.

Begin Your Exercise With Music

Put a spring in your step with music instead of a light snack. Exercise is a prime energy booster. But what if you are too tired for an antifatigue exercise? The trick is to put on your earphones while you lace up your walking shoes. Music will help you forget you are slugged. Research volunteers who exercised for 30 minutes while listening to music didn’t feel exertion as much as when they exercised without music.

What to do: Load your iPhone with your favorite up-tempo tunes. Otherwise, if you are the literary type, an audio book can also help distract you from feelings of fatigue.

Turn Down The Lights

woman watching tv

The last of the 8 ways to reenergise your body is to turn down the lights. Watching TV is okay, but looking at your computer will disturb your sleep rhythm. Studies show that very bright light will increase brain activity.  Some scientists believe that the light emitted by a computer late at night can do just that. The light confuses your body’s sleep-wake cycle, particularly when combined with the stimulation of an intense video game. Hence, it is healthier to wind down watching television. Better still, read a book or magazine. Just make sure the light you use does not exceed 60 watts.

What to do: Switch off at least an hour before you go to bed.

Bottom Line

8 ways to reenergise your body are just some of several ways to bring your energy back. Nonetheless what works for me may not necessarily work for you. But most importantly, whatever you choose to do to reenergise you must be healthy and safe.

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