10 Tips for Boosting Your Energy

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boost energy

You might make it look easy, but having a baby in the house can be pretty exhausting! Here are 10 pick-me-up tips to gain more energy, that do not involve coffee or chocolate:

1. Wake up breathing Instead of jumping out of bed when your alarm goes off in the morning, clear your mind and cultivate energy with this simple exercise: Keep your eyes closed and place your tongue behind your teeth. Take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of four, hold it for a count of four and then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Do this six times.

2. When you do get up, splash your face right away with cold water; it literally wakes up your brain by switching it from the parasympathetic nervous system (sleep mode) to the sympathetic nervous system (awake mode). [1]

3. Do a quick stretch, if you can manage it before your baby wakes up; tight muscles can leave you feeling fatigued before the day even begins. Try this easy stretch from New York City based integrative doctor, Frank Lipman, MD: Lie on your back with your knees bent, hip-width apart, and a tennis ball under each shoulder blade. Straighten your arms and lift them up toward the ceiling, then move them down slowly toward your knees, then back over your head. [2]

4. Have a healthful breakfast that includes whole grains, lean proteins and small amounts of healthy fats, like two eggs scrambled with ½ cup chopped veggies, a slice of whole-wheat toast and a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea. Skip the coffee and donuts, which might give you a quick burst of energy but are energy robbers eventually.

5. Drink water throughout the day; dehydration makes you feel tired. You also can drink mint tea; peppermint especially has been shown to perk you up, and help you focus and feel alert. [3]

6. Meditate while you feed your baby; whether you’re nursing or not, just close your eyes and pay attention to your breath for a few minutes. Notice the feel of each inhalation and exhalation, in and out of your nostrils, and try this simple relaxation breath: Inhale while counting to six, hold your breath for a count of five, then exhale slowly for a count of seven.

7. Get outside! Put your baby in a front carrier, backpack or stroller, and take a brisk walk. Incorporate some hills if you can, and do this easy walking lunge: as you push the stroller, hold the side with your right hand and with your right foot, take a big lunging step to the left of the stroller. Straighten, then do the same with your left foot. Continue until you’ve done 10 lunges on each side.

8. Take an afternoon yoga break. Instead of a late afternoon snack or coffee, do a Sun Salutation, a simple Downward Facing Dog, or try this instant energy re-boot: Get down on all fours on the floor, then beat the tops of your feet on the floor – vigorously — for a minute. It works!

9. Connect Call your mom or your best friend. Visit your neighbor or make a loop of the ‘hood, dropping into shops along the way. Do not feel guilty about feeling bored; it’s good to have some adult conversation in your day – but don’t forget to talk to your baby constantly, either.

10. Healing helpers Make sure you’re getting enough B-vitamins; research shows that B vitamins, like vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, thiamine, niacin are important for energy metabolism. And take a supplement if you aren’t getting enough from food. [5] If you’re nursing, it’s not wise to take herbs, but if not, try the Ayurvedic adaptogen Ashwagandha [4], which helps the body heal and preserves its energy. Ginger also boosts energy: a tea will also aid digestion. [6]

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[1] Jacob Teitelbaum, MD; endfatigue@aol.com
[2] Frank Lipman, MD: frank@franklipman.com
[3] PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18041606
[4] http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/health/5-herbs-immunity-energy-and-stress-relief/page/2
[5] www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/energy-boosters-can-supplements-and-vitamins-help?page=3
[6] Pub Med http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22538118