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10 ways to have more energy

Mind and Body 18/03/2015

© Rex Has your get-up-and-go got up and gone? Don't crawl back under the covers. Here are 10 proven ways to get it back...

1. Take a deep breath...
...and have a good stretch. In fact, you probably find yourself doing this without even thinking about it. 'We stretch and yawn naturally when we wake up - but the trick is to take it one step further,' says homeopath Primrose Matheson. 'Breathe deeply into the bottom of your chest through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Do this around 20 times while stretching. This increases oxygen flow to your brain and body, giving you the energy boost you need to get up and face the world.'

2. Have eggs for breakfast
Repeat after us: carbs and caffeine are not the answer. The reason? You'll experience a temporary boost, followed by an almighty great slump. So choose eggs instead. 'Egg yolks are naturally rich in B-vitamins, which are vital for energy production,' says nutritionist Christine Bailey. 'They're also one of the best sources of protein and essential amino acids to support muscle mass and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. And they contain choline, which is needed for brain function and memory.' So what are you waiting for? Get scrambling. Or poaching. Or boiling...

3. Learn to meditate
Meditation can take a little practise at first - but once you've mastered the art, it can prove to be the perfect instant energy-booster. Educational psychologist Richard Harris explains: 'Meditation strengthens the mind's ability to quieten noise and resist distraction, meaning you have more energy to focus elsewhere. It's also a great way to generate the awareness needed for panic-free work. To begin with, just try five minutes in the morning. When you feel a little more confident, aim for two sets of 20 minutes each day.'

4. Treat yourself to a massage
No, we're not suggesting you head to the spa every time you start to flag. Even a five-minute DIY massage can give you a natural energy boost. The reason? 'It increases circulation and gets blood moving around your body more efficiently,' explains Daphne Metland, founder of the Good Spa Guide. 'A good massage helps release toxins and waste from your muscles and allows your body to heal itself, preventing you from feeling tired, lethargic and run-down. Uplifting scents and essential oils that can increase your energy levels during a massage include natural antidepressant lemon, orange to elevate your mood, and invigorating rosemary.'

5. Go for a walk
Now, don't pull that face! 'Exercise may be the last thing on your mind at the moment, but regular physical activity can gradually improve your energy levels,' says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at NutriCentre . 'That doesn't mean you have to head out on an eight-mile run. Just a brisk 10-minute walk is enough to make a noticeable difference. In fact, the energy-boosting effects of a brief stroll can last for up to two hours.' And remember, outdoor exercise will provide more of a pick-me-up than an indoor workout because the body releases energising hormones in response to natural light.

6. Trick your brain
Feeling drained? It's time to make your mind think otherwise. Life coach Sloan Sheridan-Williams suggests: 'For a more energised life, you need to change two things: your psychology and your physiology. You can change your psychology quickly and effectively by flooding your brain with positive thoughts about what you're grateful for and what you're looking forward to in the day ahead. This will help you appreciate the things you take for granted and pull you towards opportunities that improve your quality of life. And changing your physiology is one of the easiest energy-boosters to try during the day. Simply do a few jumping jacks or have a 30-second dance party to high-energy music.'

7. Boost your iron intake
You don't need us to tell you that eating the right foods at the right time can make a huge difference to your energy levels, do you? But sometimes that's not so easy. 'One reason why you may be experiencing an energy crash and feeling fatigued is that you're low on iron,' says nutritionist Emma Wight-Boycott. 'Getting enough iron from our diets presents as a real challenge as it's one of the most difficult minerals for our bodies to absorb. So for some of us, dietary sources may not always be enough.' The solution? Try a natural iron supplement, such as Spatone; £10.55 for 28 sachets, from Boots. Good dietary sources include red meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit and kale.

8. Try a quick fix
For a super-fast pick-me-up, ake your pick from various specially formulated energy-boosters. A few examples? BodyMe Super Energy drink contains guarana for its natural caffeine boost and energising maca root; £6.99 for 50g, from independent health stores. 6VitaminShot is a sugar-free, low-calorie energy shot packed full of vitamins and the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee (some energy drinks contain the equivalent of five); £2.50 per shot, from . And 'America's favourite energy bar', CLIF Bar, has just launched in the UK. It contains rolled oats, organic dates and 11 different vitamins; £1.60 per bar, from supermarkets and health food stores nationwide.

9. Drink some water
Ah, if only it were that simple, we hear you cry. Actually, it could be. 'Hydration is the key to feeling energised,' insists Primrose Matheson. 'When our cells are hydrated, they can work efficiently and remove the toxins that have built up. Think of water as the thing that helps create a healthy flow in our bodies. If we eat when we're dehydrated, we become constipated and our energy levels start to dip. The optimum water intake is usually 1.5 litres per day. But if you learn to listen to your body, it will tell you when you need more.'

10. Give acupuncture a try
Tired all the time? 'Lack of energy is a common complaint - but it's often at its worst just after winter,' says acupuncturist Deb Connor. 'Seasonal acupuncture treatment can be just the boost needed. If the body's energy - known as "Qi" - gets out of balance due to overwork or stress, tiredness can really kick in. And this low energy may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as poor sleep and digestive problems. During acupuncture, ultra-fine needles are placed on the body to boost and regulate the natural energy flow, thus putting a spring back in your step.' To find a qualified practitioner near you, contact the British Acupuncture Council.

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