We all grind to a halt at times energy-wise and for some it can be a daily problem in mid-afternoon when the list of things to do is as long as ever. Getting an energy boost does not necessarily mean a candy bar or a double espresso. Nature has some great remedies for boosting energy, you just need to have the know-how. Learn how to increase energy levels with these 5 energy boosting strategies.
Eat a High-Energy Breakfast
You may think you can get away with skipping breakfast but it is an essential kick start, waking up your body’s metabolism. Breakfast does not take long and literally does break the body’s sleep-imposed fast. The energy created lasts way past lunch time if you choose slow-burning carbohydrates and foods which are high in fiber. Studies show that a high-fiber breakfast produces the highest levels of concentration and energy right through to lunchtime and beyond. Try a high-fiber cereal with low-fat milk (14g fiber per half cup) or whole-wheat toast (up to 6g fiber per slice and aim for 25-30g fiber per day.
Take a Break
Taking a short break for a few minutes can actually increase energy and productivity overall, helping you get more done in less time. Studies at Louisiana State University set trials for three different work-rest schedules for computer workers. Those who took four 30-second breaks per hour followed by a 14 minute break after two hours achieved a higher performance level and were more accurate than their colleagues who took longer breaks less frequently. Little and often is the key to increase energy naturally.
Energize Through Walking
Walking is an energy booster; in fact a ten minute walk is more energizing than a sugar infusion. Studies at California State University compared people who either ate a candy bar or walked briskly for ten minutes. The sugar snack gave an instant energy boost, but after an hour the lethargy was back with a vengeance while those who walked found they had a natural energy booster which lasted for two hours.
Meditate and Take Control
Rushing around in a panic can often accomplish little. If you find yourself under pressure, calm yourself down with a three-minute meditation. This enables you to control your energy and put it to maximum use. A trip to the bathroom is a good time to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and consciously relax the body, replacing stressful thoughts with positive images of a sunset or a quiet beach.
Snacks Between Meals
If you still feel you need some food-based energy, choose a snack which is high in protein and complex carbohydrates such as a whole-wheat cracker with cheese or peanut butter. The combination will increase blood glucose levels and sustain them as the protein and carbs are slowly digested, giving you a second wind. If you must have chocolate, try an unsweetened cocoa drink with an artificial sweetener and low fat milk.