Natural ways to stay energised all day
You’ve exercised every day, you’ve been getting your seven hours of sleep, you’ve been eating well and you’ve made it to work on time everyday. You’re #killingit so why does 2pm hit and you feel absolutely exhausted? Staying perky throughout the day isn’t just about getting enough shuteye and venturing out for a mid-arvo cappuccino. We spoke to Kinesiologist, Yolande Herring about some natural, vitality-boosting tweaks you can make to your every day to keep you focused and energised.
Drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day.
“Water is a fuel for the body and is essential for good brain function, muscle and joint health, digestion and elimination, which all contribute to energy, vitality and focus,” Herring says.
As strange as it sounds most adults don’t know how to breathe properly. “By breathing slowly and deeply into your belly you oxygenate more cells, including those in your brain, increasing focus and energy. Proper breathing also slows the nervous system that utilises less nutrients and energy,” explains Herring. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the lungs help distribute Qi (vital energy) around the body, do make sure you’re using them properly.
Get fresh air and natural light.
Get out of the office or work environment at least once during the course of the day. “Electromagnetic pollution from things like computers, printers, and UV lighting can be very draining on energy levels. Fresh air and sunlight is a combo that’s great for energy,” Herring reminds us. Getting a little sunlight in our eyes reminds our hormonal system that it’s daytime and boosts our vitamin D levels, which is essential for good health and vitality.
Connect to nature.
This goes hand in hand with the step above. “Get your feet on the grass, swim in the ocean, and pay attention to the natural beauty around you. Nature is very energising!” Getting an ocean swim in during the working day isn’t an option for most of us but taking a walk outside, sitting in a park or walking to public transport all counts too.
Move more often.
Get up out of your chair and move and stretch ideally every hour. “A lack of movement creates stagnation within the body, which is the exact opposite of feeling energetic. Movement increases blood flow and nutrients to your cells, improves detoxification and elimination,” explains Herring. Whenever your glass of water is empty, stand and stretch before going for a refill.
We’re all guilty of skipping breakfast, eating lunch late or going hours and hours without refueling on a particularly busy day, which can be a problem for our energy levels. Eating regular balanced meals that include protein will help keep your blood sugar level steady. Herring recommends the following, “Avoid snacking on anything that is processed, especially things like biscuits, chocolate bars and soft drinks, as they are high in sugar. Although it might feel like we get an energy boost from these kinds of snacks the nasty blood sugar level crash that follows negatively affects our vitality and can cause a headache.” Eek!
Paying attention to what you are eating will let your body know it’s being nourished and energised. That means no sad desk lunches. Eat in a quiet place (preferably outdoors) and leave technology alone for 30 minutes.
Sleep is often the first thing we compromise in our busy lifestyles but it’s absolutely essential for vitality. It’s not just about the duration of sleep but also, the quality. Allowing ourselves to unwind and decompress for a few hours before bedtime can improve our rest and ensure we wake up feeling ready for the day rather than exhausted.
Not only do children need to play, but adults too. Unwinding and having fun can help reduce physical and emotional stress, refresh the mind and increase energy. “Even 5 minutes a day will be hugely beneficial for stress reduction, energy levels and brain function and cognition.” says Herring.