Feeling tired? Rundown? You are not alone! In a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation in 2020, half of all Americans polled reported feeling “sleepy” 3-7 days a week. This affects everything from their mood, to focus, and even being able to go out and socialize!1. Below are some changes that you can make (small and big) that will help you gain more energy throughout the day.
Go for a walk in the morning
Waking up and moving your body has many proven health benefits. Starting your body with physical activity not only helps to loosen any stiff joints but can wake up your brain, too! It has even been proven to have an overall healthy effect on your body as well, like lowering cholesterol 2. Just a half-hour walk is about 150 calories burned at a moderate pace, so it gives you a head start on the rest of the day for exercise, too 3. Throw on a good podcast or your favorite artist and get to walking!
Swap out that caffeine for water
About 85% of Americans have at least 1 cup of coffee a day 4. However, excessive caffeine intake can have unwanted side effects such as irritability, nervousness, dehydration, insomnia, and an upset stomach; that’s why the recommended use of caffeine is no more than 4 cups of coffee a day 5. Starting your day with a cup of coffee is fine but try swapping out the rest with a glass of water (or start small and just do one cup). You will feel much better throughout the day!
Turn that phone off the night before (& don’t check it first thing in the morning!).
Phones emit something called “blue light”, which prevents our body from producing melatonin, a natural hormone that helps you to fall asleep 6. The National Sleep Foundation recommends turning your phone off (or not looking at it) 30 min before you go to bed 7. Getting a good nights’ sleep is key to feeling better the next day.
Start your day with a great breakfast
Starting your day with breakfast has many benefits. Your body needs fuel in the morning and needs food to regulate its systems. An example of this is increased alertness. When you eat carbohydrates, you are giving your brain its primary source of fuel and will be more focused throughout the day! 8. Eating in the morning also helps to level our blood glucose throughout the day, too. Some examples of great (and quick) breakfast ideas? Throw some peanut butter in your oatmeal, egg whites with some sauteed peppers and onions, or Greek yogurt with blueberries.
Meditate, or give yourself 10 quiet minutes
Meditation, or taking 10 minutes to center yourself in the morning has some fantastic proven benefits. Meditation will allow you to focus on finding a quiet corner, putting everything on silent, and trying to push all your thoughts out before your busy day. You can find some guided meditation ideas here. Refocusing yourself and your thoughts for the day will give you more energy to handle anything that comes your way.
As you can see, there are many ways to give yourself energy throughout the day. Hopefully, some of these tips will allow you to stay away from that snooze button & avoid that afternoon “slump”. Of course, if you need more ideas, you can always contact a Registered Dietitian to set up a personalized diet and exercise plan to help you increase your energy throughout the day as well!