How to get more energy
HYDRATE FOR HEALTH
It may sound glaringly obvious, but drinking more water will see your energy levels and overall health rocket, a large-scale American study has proved. A survey of 18,000 people, published by the National Center for Health Statistics, showed that intakes of sugar, salt and saturated fat drastically decreased when participants drank just one extra cup of water a day. So improve your health and vitality, and stay hydrated this summer.
SHARE THE LOAD
Nearly two thirds of fitness fanatics quizzed by Virgin Sport say that exercising with a partner means they are more likely to keep it up. Of millenials surveyed – those born from the early ’80s to early ’00s – 65% said they prefer to work out with company, claiming moral support is a key motivator. But don’t assume your spouse is your best bet as an encouraging running buddy – more than half of those asked would pick their best mate instead!
EAT FOR ENERGY
Dopamine is responsible for the energy-giving rush of endorphins to the brain that happens when you’re happy, like when you’re tearing down a rugged descent on a trail. Many people turn to junk food for a quick hit of dopamine, but that comes with a side order of unhealthy fats, salts and sugars. Instead, try this banana ice cream: chop up a few bananas, freeze for two hours, blend until smooth, then freeze again. Simple, delicious and energy-boosting.
Stairs are the new coffee for office-based runners looking for a natural boost at work, with just ten minutes of step-climbing enough to increase motivation and energy levels. In a University of Georgia study, participants either took 50 milligrams of caffeine or spent ten minutes walking stairs. The stair-climbers reported higher levels of energy than the pill-poppers. So, next time you’re out trail running, head for the hills!
SOAK UP THE SUN
Vitamin D – absorbed from sunlight and from certain foods, such as oily fish – can improve muscle function and affect bone and teeth health, among other key benefits. Now researchers at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine have suggested that exercise might boost vitamin D stores, which in turn aids heart health when the subject is fit and maintains those levels. Trail run followed by revitalising salmon on the veranda, anyone?