10 ways to boost your energy throughout the day
You Snooze, You Lose
Whether you work in a MNC or startup, there’re bound to be moments where you feel overworked or tired. Maybe it’s the grey nature of the task or simply because you celebrated T.G.I.F on a Wednesday, the struggle to get through the midday slump is real.
The next time you need a pick-me-up, give these quick and easy energy boosters a try instead of chugging down a can of Red Bull.
1. Start Your Day Right
For chronic breakfast skippers who don’t see the need for that morning nosh, look at it this way: until lunch time, you haven’t had food in your system for at least 12 hours. More than just another meal, breakfast helps to restore glucose levels, which is needed for your brain to function at a better capacity.
Apart from evading pre-lunch hunger, breakfasts aid with cognitive functions too. According to a 2013 Harvard University study, skipping breakfast may be detrimental to one’s health. The study found that men who frequently missed their breakfast had a 27 per cent increased risk of having a heart attack, or dying from coronary heart disease, than those who ate breakfast.i But if you simply don’t have it in you to cook up a storm early in the morning, these overnight breakfast recipes should do the trick.
Eating right directly improves your body constitution, but it’s also important to have your meals regularly. Check out this article on the other things to look out for when eating for a better health.
If sleep is the human equivalent of plugging your phone in for a charge, then meditation is as good as charging with airplane mode on. Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t just concentrating on thinking about nothing. Rather, it’s focusing on your breathing and letting your mind declutter itself.
The pros of meditating starts with increasing stress-management and increased focus, and scientifically, it’s been proven that meditation helps reduce activity in areas of the brain related to stress. And the best part? You can meditate anywhere, anytime. But don’t take our word for it, Huffington Post asked a Tibetan Master and he totally concurs. (p.s Steve Jobs swear by meditation too!)
3. Get a Dose of Laughter
Offering the same effects as caffeine and chemical-flooded energy drinks, a good laugh raises blood pressure and boosts heart rate the au naturale way. With blood circulating at a faster pace, adrenaline rushes through your body increasing energy and brain functions.
This endorphin-producing reaction relieves muscle tension and mental stress as well. So go ahead, log on to Youtube and watch a video of a hamster dancing without fear; if your boss sees it, tell em it’s all in the name of productivity.
4. Master the Craft of Power Napping
Sleep is for the week…...ends. The hustle to achieve work-life balance is totally possible, but in exchange you’d have to sacrifice a few hours of sleep. The lucky ones who get seats have a momentary respite on the commute to work, but by 2pm when the food coma sets in, it’s game over. Instead of fighting to stay awake, master the craft of power napping.
Head back to the office 10 - 15 minutes before the end of lunch and find a dark and comfortable space you can lay your head on, set an alarm inclusive of the time needed to fall asleep voila. A short power nap is provenii to boost alertness and energy without sending you too far off into a deep sleep where you’ll feel groggy afterwards.
5. Move and Stretch
It’s really hard to keep spirits up when your desk-bound job requires you to slump over a computer and type away. According to California Pacific Medical Center’s Chief of Department Dr Moshe Lewis, “vessels have a natural tendency to constrict during periods of inactivity, sapping you of energy and making you feel tired—even if you are not sleep deprived.” But here’s an ingenious way to solve the problem: get up and go!
Walking around and loosening your limbs can help with improving blood circulation, and a change of peripheral vision relaxes your eyes after staring at the screen for so long. If all else fails, just sprint to the toilet, splash some water on your face and do some jumping jacks before returning to your workspace.
6. Drink Up
Our bodies are made up of at least 60% water and we’re constantly losing it via sweat, toilet visits and even breathing. You may not know this, but a slight dehydration is enough to kill your vibes. Mild dehydration has been linked with cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular problems.iii It can cause the blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to your cells and organs resulting in fatigue.
For good measure, throw in slices of citrus and a sprig of mint to create your own fruit-infused water. Not only does it taste so much better, it boosts your water with nutrients and essential vitamins needed to build a stronger immune system.
7. Get Social, Both On and Offline
Going through a mental block or just swarmed with mundane tasks? Give yourself a quick break by getting social. If you can, turn over to a desk buddy and have a quick chat about anything aside from work. And if that’s not permitted, a quick scroll through your social media feed gives you real time update on what’s going on around the world and useless trivia that can blow your mind for hours. Case-in-point, did you know that we can’t see certain stars because their light has yet to reach Earth?
Either way, getting some time away from the glaring screen can help wake the brain up and give you that extra jolt you need.
8. Shoot Some Hoops, on your desk
Wouldn’t it be the dream to just leave the office whenever you want, throw on a jersey and hit the gym or field? It’s going to be a while before midday sports break become a thing, but getting a mini basketball set to entertain yourself is perfectly acceptable. Assemble one by your desk and have go at it.
9. Limit Processed Foods
It’s a no brainer that food is the best way to energise ourselves, but not all food are made equal. We know good and well processed food like burgers, fries and tidbits do little for us other than prevent hunger, but we often forget that inoffensive things like pasta, white bread and some of our favourite breakfast cereals are also processed and refined.
By replacing these processed foods with healthier options like whole-grains, organic produce and unprocessed meat, you alleviate your kidneys and liver the stress of having to break down the high amounts of sodium and sugars and convert them to energy. Trust us, your body will thank you for that dietary change.
Don’t know where to start, here’re a few ways you can start spring cleaning your diet.
10. Get Some Vitamins
As careful as we try to be with our diet, you can’t possibly go calorie-counting everything you put in your mouth. While we try to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables and forgo snacks, there are likely to be nutritional gaps we still miss that inadvertently contribute to the lack of energy during the day. Don’t take our word for it, nutritionist Leena Quah and Chef Eric Teo both agree that a lack of discern for what we put in our mouths can do far more damage than we expect.
All hope is not lost, though. Multi-vitamins fill those nutritional gaps and provide you with the energy you need. There are quite a few products on the market, so getting the right product will require some research. Fortunately, this simple test will help you out!
iNProspective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals; July 22, 2013; 128:337-343
iiTo Nap or Not to Nap: That is the Question; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA