If you’ve ever looked at a toddler running circles around his parents and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I had that kind of energy,” you’re not alone. Kids have this seemingly endless well of energy … Scratch that, it’s scientifically proven that they have more energy than adults, with most healthy kids able to “out-go” endurance athletes.
While there is little chance that you will ever have as much energy as your three-year-old niece again, you can stop falling victim to the midday slump by making a few changes. These changes are au natural and require little effort on your part but can significantly impact your energy levels.
1. Rethink Your Sleep Patterns
Quality sleep is a vital component pf your overall health and well-being, so it makes sense then that everything from how well you sleep and for how long to how you wake up in the morning will affect your energy levels throughout the day. If you truly want to boost your energy levels, start by changing the way you approach this most basic of activities. Below are a few tips to guide you:
More is not always more. Deviating significantly from your normal sleep patterns — even if it’s to get more sleep — can increase daytime fatigue.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends, to avoid disrupting your body’s circadian rhythms.
Stop hitting snooze. Any sleep you get after your first alarm sounds will be low quality, and you will only wake up feeling groggy and irritable.
Wake up to natural light, if possible. Sunlight stimulates the brain and reminds your body that it’s morning, giving you a natural energy boost at the beginning of your day.
2. Consume Caffeine Wisely
Consume a cup or so early in the morning for that initial energy boost, but then switch to tea later in the day. Too much caffeine, especially later in the day, can cause a mid-day crash.
3. Get Your Eight Cups In
One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue. When you feel your energy levels start to dip, chug a couple of glasses of water. Better yet, drink water continuously throughout the day.
4. Take a Walk
Research shows that even moderate amounts of exercise throughout your day can significantly boost your energy levels. When the post-lunch slump starts to kick in, step away from your desk to take a walk around the office. Per one study, a brisk walk can increase your productivity enough to counteract any time you take away from your desk.
5. Get Outside
Take your walk to the next level by taking it outside. Research shows that spending just 20 minutes outside — preferably in green space — is enough to make you feel more alive.
6. Eat for Energy
Start your day off with a healthy breakfast that is rich in quality proteins, healthy carbs and fruits and veggies. Reenergize with a healthy lunch of lean meats, fish and other forms of protein, and snack smart throughout the day.
7. Relearn How To Manage Your Stress
Stress is probably the number one energy sucker adults experience that children don’t. If you haven’t already adopted healthy coping mechanisms for stress, develop some now. Talk with a friend, join a support group, take up yoga or tai chi, meditate or simply make time to stretch it out during the day. If possible, lighten your load at work and at home.
You may never have the energy of a kid again, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept daytime fatigue as a part of life, either. Use the seven tips above to make healthy, energy-boosting changes today.