by ADMIN on OCTOBER 3, 2011
Six tips to better health and increased energy.
Here’s the scenario:
You wake up, rush to get ready, grab a cup of coffee, and skip breakfast. Work is crazy and suddenly it’s lunch time; with nothing on hand you grab a quick lunch out or skip eating all together.
Then the afternoon ‘slump’ hits and you’re feeling tired, unproductive and your cravings sky rocket. So you snack on something salty or sweet. But that burst of energy quickly fades and you end up feeling zapped for the rest of the day.
At home you’re ravenous, so you snack your way to dinner then end up eating a huge meal. You rationalize the amount you ate by saying it was to make up for not eating much during the day and because you’re stressed.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. This ‘typical’ day is very common in our society, and I see it time and again with my clients. Food has become an after thought; a grab-and-go item to check off our To Do List.
And yet food plays a vital role in our health. In fact, you predict your own health by what you put in your mouth. While genes do play a role, what you eat is a main factor in whether you’re going to develop Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Yet you can reverse your risk of these diseases by eating healthfully and being physically active.
When and what you eat can not only determine our health, but also how much energy we have, how productive we are, what our mood is, and how well we concentrate.
In addition to diet, getting your blood flowing during the day – even from a simple stretch or a short walk – can revitalize and refocus your energy.
Here are six positive habits you can put into place to boost you body and mind’s power.
Eat Breakfast. Starting your day without this morning meal is like rolling up to the Indy 500 without gas in the tank. You’ll be running on fumes before you know it. By eating first thing in the morning you’re jump-starting your metabolism so that you’ll be burning more calories throughout the day and be more focused in the morning. Even if you just start with a piece of fruit, you can train your body to want and expect fuel in the morning.
Bring Two Snacks to Work. This means eating 5 to 6 small meals and snacks per day. Prevent the mid-afternoon slump by being prepared! By fueling your body with the right nutrients you’ll be able to finish your day strong. Eating frequently (every 3 hours) will help keep your blood sugar stable, helping to keep you energized and mood-swing free!
Eat Balanced. Despite conflicting nutritional research, overwhelming evidence suggests that eating a combination of protein, whole grains, and healthy fats is extremely beneficial. Including protein with all your meals and snacks will help you stay focused and satisfied for longer. Including fruits and veggies will boost your vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake; while also boosting energy and brain power.
Drink Water. Aim for 4-5 12-ounce glasses per day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. As much as half the population walks around with mild chronic dehydration. Lack of fluids can make you feel tired and hungry.
Get Physically Active. Getting 20-30 minute workouts in – including some short bursts of intensity – will get you body into physical shape so it can support you through your rigorous days. It’s also a great way to relieve stress.
Seek Recovery Every 90 to 120 Minutes. Scientists have found that the body’s hormone, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels drop every 90 minutes or so. By failing to recover during these times, your overall capacity to be productive and have energy will be compromised. To help recover, take a short walk around the building, drink a glass of water, stretch, or have a snack. This brief rest is important to help get you refocused when you return to your task – and will ultimately increase your productivity.
We all with there was a magic pill that would make our lives easier and healthier, but unfortunately there isn’t. You hold the power to control your health and energy.
Making these changes may not be easy, but if you accomplish one change at a time you’ll be setting yourself up for long term success. Focus on one goal and find a way to fit it into your lifestyle. Continue the goal until it becomes a positive habit. Then focus on the next goal.
By taking small steps, you can achieve more energy and better health!