Every day is the same: You struggle to get up in the morning, drag yourself through your workday and then go home to wearily cook dinner for the family. Sounds like your batteries need a little recharging. Re-energize by:
1. Sleeping tight. Most adults need seven to eight hours a night to help the body feel rested and energized in the morning.
Tip: Get those zzzs. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Exercise can help you get more restful sleep, but try to workout at least five or six hours before bed. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, alcoholic drinks and large meals right before turning in. If you must nap earlier in the day, don’t go longer than 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Eating your breakfast. Skipping this meal is like driving your car on no gas: Breakfast gives your brain fuel.
Tip: Open up. No time, you say? Start your day 10 minutes earlier and nosh on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain muffins or cereals and protein-rich nonfat milk, low-fat yogurt or a hardboiled egg.
3. Taking a walk. Exercise can boost energy levels. If you have a pre-existing health problem, consult your doctor first.
Tip: Move it. Walk at least three times a week, adding two or three minutes onto your time each week until you’re walking for at least a half-hour.
4. Putting stress to rest. Being stressed forces your body to work overtime, leaving you feeling fatigued and subject to sleep problems.
Tip: Unwind. If you’re having conflicts at work, talk with the people involved to see whether you can find a resolution. Try your hand at meditation techniques like yoga or tai chi.
5. Drinking up! Even mild dehydration can sap your energy. Water needs vary from person to person, but if you rarely feel thirsty and are producing colorless or slightly yellow urine every day, you’re probably doing OK.
Tip: Quench thirst. You may already be dehydrated if you have a dry mouth and increased thirst. Drink a glass of water or more until the feeling of thirst subsides. Then, remember to drink water before, during and after exercise, with each meal and in between.
6. Not fearing snacks. Nibbling on healthy fare between meals can curb cravings and give you extra energy and nutrients.
Tip: Just eat it. Select high-fiber snacks such as whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese and yogurt, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Just remember, a snack isn’t a meal. So, trim down the portion size.
7. Making it magnesium. Not getting enough of the mineral magnesium makes your body work harder and tire more quickly.
Tip: Get enough. The recommended daily magnesium intake for men over age 30 is 420 mg, and for women, 320 mg. You can find magnesium in halibut, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and vitamin supplements. (Talk with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.)