Jump Start Your January Boost your energy levels
If your get-up-and-go seems to have got up and gone, try these simple steps to get you firing on all cylinders!
Sleep With Your Curtains Open p
Natural da ylight slows down the productionp of the sleep hormoneh melatonin and bumps up adrenaline e, signalling to the brain t o wake up. When the alarma goes off, awake you’ll be inst al lreadyhalftead of being left with th hat groggy, lethargic fe eeling that can last for hou urs. If you need to get up beforeb the sun comes up investi in a dawn simu ulator wake-up light (from m £59.95, WWW.LUMIE.CO OM).
Check Emails When You Start Work And At Lunchtime
… so says internet psychologist Graham Jones ( www.grahamjones.co.uk). “Two million emails are sent every minute in the UK and we spend up to half of our working lives trawling through our inbox, which leaves us tired, frustrated and unproductive,” Graham explains. “Move the emails you need to deal with to a separate Action folder and set a time to deal with them – then get ruthless and simply delete the rest.” Bold advice indeed!
Have An Egg For Breakfast
It’s a great source of energy-boosting protein and, studies show, is far better at keeping hunger pangs at bay than a carb-rich breakfast containing the same number of calories. Need warming up? Have porridge instead. Use jumbo oats (not instant) with coconut or almond milk (easier to digest than dairy) and add berries and sultanas for natural sweetness. This high-fibre, low-glycaemic index, nutrient-rich brekkie will kick-start your metabolism and balance blood sugar levels for maximum energy.
… not energy drinnks. Just a 2% drop in the body’s water content can leave you sluggishh. While sugary energy drinks boost energy short-term, scientists at the SleepS Research Centre at Loughborough University foundd that, an hour later, testers had slower reactions and lapsses in concentration. If your eyelids are drooping, putting a ccold flannel over your face and neck in the ladies will temmporarily activate your body’s fight-or-flight reaction!
Aim For A 2:1 Protein/Carb Ratio At Lunchtime
Too many midday carbs cause blood sugar levels to dip around two hours later, warns nutritionist Anita Bean ( HTTPS://ANITABEAN.CO.UK). And get outside! University of Rochester scientists found that 20 minutes outdoors boosts physical and mental energy, while even a brisk 10-minute walk can boost energy levels for up to two hours. The body chemicals adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine, released during exercise, give a natural energy boost.
Forget The Evening Glass Of Vino
Even one can make you feel slightly lethargic the next day, warns sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley. And your liver could probably do with a rest after Christmas! Have a few days off and see if you notice a difference. Have a hot, milky drink instead. This will aid restful slumber – giving you a head start on the energy front for the next day.
Strike A Pose
Correcting your posture can help you get more oxygen into your body,” explains personal trainer Anna Ferguson. “Sit tall in your chair as if you have a string coming from the top of your head down to your tailbone, with your stomach muscles pulled in and ribcage lifted. Breathe down into your ribcage to allow for a full intake of oxygen, and keep your legs uncrossed for good circulation.”
Don’t Lie In Bed Worrying
Change the things you can control and let the rest go, say experts. To help, practise the 4-7-8 technique, suggests life coach Stephanie Varda ( www.svardalifecoach.com): “Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 then release the breath through your mouth for 8.”
Open A Window!
Carbon dioxide from other people’s breath can build up in an office by mid-afternoon, and studies show, that this triggers fatigue. And keep a plant on your desk, say researchers at Washington State University. In trials, workers who did so felt 10% more attentive in just one day. Finally, choose decaf coffee in the afternoon. While caffeine can act as a stimulant, if you overindulge you’ll feel drained.
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