7 STEPS TO INSTANT ENERGY
Tempted to ditch your evening run? Our expert energy and motivation tips promise to deliver a second wind
Do… yoga ‘A simplified sun salutation increases blood flow to the brain,’ says yoga teacher Annie May Rice (anniemayrice. com). Inhale deeply, lift your arms out and up to the sky. Exhale and fold down, bending your knees and hanging your head. Repeat 3-5 times.
Hear… a pulsing tune The ‘priming’ effect of music can increase motivation, says Dr Costas Karageorghis, author of Applying Music in Exercise and Sport (Human Kinetics). ‘Generally, fast, loud music stimulates, so it can be used in a psyche-up routine.’
Drink… coffee It’ll rouse you from the late-afternoon fug and make your run home feel easier. A recent study1 found that as little as 60mg of caffeine (equivalent to a single espresso) boosted alertness.
Watch… sporting success Inspirational running clips (try Mo Farah’s Rio 5000m) activate ‘mirror’ neurons in the brain, driving you to emulate what you see – running with passion and focus.
Eat… chocolate Dark chocolate contains the flavanol epicatechin, which boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain and protects against oxidative stress, and the compound theobromine lifts the mood and acts as a mild stimulant.
See… the light One study2 found that 30 minutes of indoor exposure to natural bright light at lunchtime reduced afternoon sleepiness. Or try the tablet-sized, deskfriendly TL30 Brightlight (£60, johnlewis.com).
Wear… red kit What we wear affects our mental state, says the theory of ‘enclothed cognition’. Studies show that putting on something red has an ‘activating’ effect, increasing the heart rate and adrenaline levels.