Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. The weather is getting warmer and the flowers are blooming. My family and I enjoy being outdoors to enjoy the sunny weather and to do lots of fun activities together. If this is something you would like to do more of but find it a struggle to muster up the energy please follow these simple tips so that you and your family can be more active this spring.
The food we choose to eat directly impacts our energy level. Choose foods rich in proteins (salmon, turkey, grilled chicken), fruits and vegetables. It’s important not to skip breakfast as it provides the energy your body needs to begin the day and jump start your metabolism. Also, eating three meals/day with snacks in-between is a good plan.
Small snacks between meals gives the body a boost of energy and helps keep sugar levels stable between meals. Some healthy snack ideas are carrots, apples, bananas, nuts and oatmeal.
As we all like those yummy more unhealthier snacks from time to time, try to avoid the high sugar snacks like candies, pastries, cakes and cookies. These types of foods increase sugar levels quickly and then you will experience a crash and lose all of your energy.
Drink lots of water each day, 8 glasses/day is a good guide. To help me stay on track with my water I always keep water near me whether I’m in my office, at home or in my car. One of the top causes of fatigue is not drinking the proper amount of water.
Besides eating the right foods at the right time and drinking the proper amount of water, regular exercise and movement can increase energy levels as well. Plan to exercise 3-5 times/week for 30-60 minutes.
Pick activities that are fun for you. Walking for 30 minutes can rev up your energy and last for a few hours after. I understand how a busy schedule can sidetrack you from your workouts at times. Don’t stress, just start fresh the next day as consistency in the long run is what counts most.
It is essential to allow your body to rest and reenergize each night with proper sleep. So go to bed at the same time each night to create a consistent sleeping schedule and try to get 7-9 hours of sleep at best.
One other area to focus on that can improve energy levels and reduce stress is quieting your mind and being conscious of your breathing. I try to practice this ritual on a daily basis to help clear my stress and allow my body to reenergize.
TRY FOR YOURSELF:
1. Find a quiet spot where you will not be interrupted and can sit comfortably. Keep your back straight to allow for deep breathing.
2. Close your eyes and relax your body. Start at your feet and focus on relaxing each area of your body until you get to your head. Ex. Feet, calves, thighs, stomach, arms, shoulders, neck and jaw. Be sure to inhale and exhale slowly.
3. Once you are fully relaxed, focus on your breath and begin to quiet your mind. If a thought arises, acknowledge it and then let it go. It is normal for thoughts to pop in, just refocus on your breathing and continue. The longer you practice the better you will become at clearing your mind. After a few weeks you will find it much easier and you will notice energy levels have improved.
4. Now that you have lots of energy, put on your sneakers and get outdoors for some fun.
Note: Please Consult With Your Doctor Before Starting Any New Exercise, Nutrition Or Health Program.