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Secrets for all day energy

If you're tired of feeling tired, try these simple tips to have more energy all day long.

Mind-body techniques for more energy

  • Listen to music. A study published in the journal Psychology of Music found that workers who listened to music were more productive and creative than those who didn't. The research indicated the music boosted participants' moods, which may have increased their energy levels.
  • Breathe deeply. Deep breathing exercises can relieve energy-draining anxiety and stress, and boost oxygen flow to your body.
  • De-clutter your home or office. Excess clutter can put your senses in overdrive, which can sap energy. Even tackling a small space, such as your desk or bathroom counter can give you a sense of calm and accomplishment.
  • Get a good night's rest. If you aren't getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, even superfoods and exercise won't help you function at peak performance. For best results, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. This practice helps maintain your body's natural circadian rhythm, which can leave you feeling more rested and energized.

What to eat and drink for more energy

  • Eat breakfast. "Food is fuel. If we don’t fuel our bodies, we will lack energy," says Sally Brozek, MS, RD, LD, CDE, a registered dietitian at Piedmont. "'Break the fast' with a healthy breakfast that includes carbohydrates for energy and lean protein for its satiating value."
  • Stock up on healthy snacks. Be prepared by bringing healthy snacks from home so you aren't tempted to hit the vending machine during your 2 p.m. slump.
  • Find the right meal schedule. Keeping a food journal can help you identify patterns of hunger and dips in energy. "Some people need fuel every two to three hours and find ‘grazing' works best," says Brozek. "Others can stay energized throughout the day with a light snack of a piece of fruit or a carton of Greek yogurt to carry them between meals."
  • Embrace carbohydrates. "A carbohydrate is the macro nutrient that serves as our body’s preferred energy source. There is a lot of confusion about carbohydrates and many people think carbs are the enemy," she says. "However, carbs can be a great source of energy and provide tremendous nutrient value." Just avoid empty carbohydrates, like desserts and white pasta or bread. They may provide a quick jolt of energy, but leave you in a slump shortly thereafter.
  • Drink up! Dehydration can decrease your mental and physical performance. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. 

Best exercises for more energy

  • Work up a sweat. "Exercise increases our overall energy by increasing endorphin levels," says Tiffani Cooper, ACSM EP-C, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center. "Endorphins are natural hormones in the body that spring into action when you are performing activities that require energy. Therefore, by exercising on a daily basis, you can have more stamina, a healthier mindset and most importantly, a healthier cardiovascular system.
  • Become a cardio enthusiast. Research indicates cardiovascular exercise may have the biggest energy-boosting effect. "To get the most from your routine, do moderate intensity exercises at least three to five days a week, for a total of 150 minutes a week (30 to 60 minutes a day)," says Cooper. "If your workout consists of vigorous exercise routines, then the recommendation is at least 75 minutes a week (20 to 30 minutes a day), two to three days a week." If you're feeling especially tired, try a brisk walk to boost your energy.

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