The colder, shorter days of winter can leave you feeling like you have less get-up-and-go than usual – even if you’re doing all the right things. You’re clocking eight hours of sleep, eating right, and drinking lots of water to keep you well-hydrated.
Getting an extra energy boost is easier than you think. These four tips may surprise you, but they’re easy to fit into your routine. By becoming more aware of small changes you can make to your daily habits, you’ll feel more energized and get the most out of your day.
Wake up the senses with mint
Brushing your teeth is important on its own for dental care and overall good health, but did you ever consider that the scent and flavor of the paste may be equally as important? When it comes to boosting energy naturally, start your day off with a minty toothpaste.
The strong smell of peppermint works instantly to stimulate our senses. A study by the Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences at the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili in Iran found that peppermint was an effective means to enhance the performance of athletes because it helped with focus and concentration.
With your brain clear and ready for the day, you’ll feel more energized as you can complete tasks without hesitation.
The great thing about peppermint is that it comes in many forms making it easily accessible to give yourself an energy kick. Whether it’s a minty candy, stick of gum, tea or essential oil, a quick whiff of mint will wake up your brain to keep you going.
If you’re brushing your teeth at night with minty toothpaste, though, you might find you’re having a hard time falling asleep. If this is the case, switch to a milder flavor paste, something not as bold as mint. With more sleep comes more energy for the next day!
Take a moment to laugh
If you’ve ever been told that laughter is the best medicine, that person was telling you the truth. The Mayo Clinic recommends laughter for many health concerns because it doesn’t just give you a mental lift, it induces physical changes in your body. It can stimulate circulation, for example, which helps with muscle relaxation, pain relief and stress. It increases your intake of oxygen, which helps to stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles to function at their best.
But most of all, it’s an easy way to boost your energy.
A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) collected 45 volunteers, both male and female, who watched film clips intended to be funny and some not to be funny. They monitored the participants’ laughter as well as heart rate to determine energy levels. A specialized computer recorded the laughter duration, rate and type alongside the heart rates.
What they found was genuine laughter not only increased heart rate but increased energy by 10 to 20 percent.
So that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter a day can really impact your energy level. Whether it’s a short video clip online, a joke you’ve heard, or a picture which gives you the chuckles, when you’re feeling sluggish reach for the comedy to give you an instant energy boost.
Listen to music and sing along
We all have our favorite song that we know every word to and we all know how happy we feel after listening to that song. Music has many benefits when it comes to our mood and emotions, whether it’s to cope with an issue or celebrate an event. It can be comforting, inspiring – and energizing!
Medical News Today reported on a study which examined the benefits of music on the human body. The findings, which were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, showed that music was an effective method for treating depression and bringing us pleasure equal to that experienced during a good meal or sex. It also helped reduce stress and anxiety. With all these notable benefits, it’s should come as no surprise that music can be a means to boost your energy.
Depending on the tempo, a high-energy song can relay the same feelings to your body. Researchers in London found that listening to music increases energy and relieves tension as much as a cardio workout. This is great news if you can’t partake in vigorous exercise. More so, the effects of music on your energy are amplified if you sing along. Karaoke night, anyone?
Pick music that’s engaging and uplifting, so the theme from Rocky would be better than a tear-jerking ballad by Loretta Lynn.
Listening to some tunes is an easy and quick trick to promote energy that anyone, anywhere can do. Put that iPod on your Christmas gift list so you can have music wherever you go!
Get some rays
Although soaking up the sun can be dangerous when not done with the appropriate protection – sunscreen and clothing are great UV blockers – natural light can improve your energy. If you’re cooped up indoors all day, especially during the colder months, natural light can give you that extra kick you need to get your day going.
Naturally occurring light from the sun can boost our serotonin levels – the “feel good” hormone in the brain. When this happens, we are flooded with feelings of happiness, reduced stress and energy. The sun also provides us with essential vitamin D, which is key to strengthen your bones and boost your immune system. Even allowing yourself just five minutes can immediately give you mood-enhancing effects.
From the moment you wake up, pull back the shutters or curtains right away. This will get your day off to the right start. If you can’t always get outside, having as much natural light as possible in your home is still highly beneficial. Electric lights, on the other hand, can just wear you down and make you feel tired.
These easy tips will surely help you stay focused, productive and energized, so give them a try. Who knows what you’ll be able to accomplish now with all that energy!
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