You’ve probably noticed that your energy level ebbs and flows throughout the day. At some points, you feel like superwoman, at others you’re super tired! Thankfully, experts say there are several proven fatigue-fighting tricks that can help restore the pep in your step — even when you’re dragging. Read on for their energizing tips.
Pulling back your shoulders could increase your energy and brain power by 33 percent! Slouching compresses the arteries that send oxygen-rich blood to your heart and brain.
Tired in the Morning? Stretch Out in the Sun
You need a release of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands which helps to regulate your metabolism) when you rise to loosen your joints and energize your brain. To boost its production, step outside and gently reach for the sky for two minutes while you breathe in the morning air. UCLA researchers say combining fresh air and muscle motion prompts sleepy adrenal glands to release a burst of cortisol, cutting tiredness in half for up to four hours.
Tired Mid-Day? Amp Up the Volume
When you’d love a to take a nap in the middle of the day, but aren’t able to lie down, turn on something noisy, like the dishwasher or the radio, to stimulate your brain’s focus-enhancing frontal lobe. By doing so, you can chase away tiredness in just five minutes.
Tired After Lunch? Snack on a Few Nuts
One in three of us fight heavy eyelids after our midday meal, and for good reason: As it turns out, early afternoon is when your pancreas is most likely to let your blood sugar levels — and energy! — drop. To boost your afternoon pep by up to 65 percent, add ⅓ cup of nuts to your lunch. As neurologist Daniel Amen, M.D., explains, the healthy fats found in nuts can help your brain cells’ ability to take in sugars and power up all afternoon.
Tired at Dinner? Bring in Plants
Ozone levels are low in the morning and rise throughout the day, peaking around 6 pm This air pollutant can kick-start lung irritation, hindering oxygen uptake and triggering dinnertime fatigue. To keep your evening exposure low, decorate your home with Boston ferns ($25.45, Amazon) or English ivy ($19.99, Amazon). NASA scientists say these natural air purifiers mop up fatigue-triggering pollutants.
Tired by Evening? Try This Herb
Your thyroid determines how long your metabolism stays high, so if this gland gets sluggish, you fade at night, says Richard Shames, M.D., author of Thyroid Mind Power ($6.99, Amazon). Try adding 600 milligrams of ashwagandha ($29.99, Amazon) to your vitamin regimen daily. Studies suggest this thyroid-energizing herb can help you feel 55 percent more upbeat at night and improve sleep quality by 67 percent! Note: Check with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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