10 Ways to Get Instant Energy

Fired Up Fast Ideas 7-10

7. Snack Smart
Noshing on a healthy mix of carbohydrates and protein can provide a prolonged boost to your blood-sugar level, giving you energy for hours. Here, Connie Diekman, R.D., director of nutrition at Washington University, in St. Louis, suggests snacks to pep you up.
1. Half a bagel with peanut butter
2. One cup of whole-grain cereal with skim milk and fresh fruit
3. Half a cup of trail mix containing nuts and dried fruit

8. Turn on the Tunes
One of the easiest ways to bust out of a slump is to listen to music you like. The beat and rhythm of the song stimulates your brain, making you feel more alert. Suzanne Hanser, Ed.D., chair of the music-therapy department at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, suggests picking tunes that start off slow and gradually build in tempo. A bonus: Bouncing to the beat -- even if it's just tapping your toes -- revs up your circulation.

9. Stand Tall
For an energy boost that takes no time at all, make your posture perfect. "When you slouch over, your ribs compress, making it harder for your lungs to expand and reducing the amount of oxygen flowing to your brain," explains Patrice Winter, a physical therapist in Fairfax, Virginia. "This lack of air can actually cause you to move more slowly."

10. Strike a Pose
A yoga pose, that is. Judy Fuhrer, a yoga instructor at Dance Emotions Studio, in Chappaqua, New York, suggests two simple positions that'll improve your circulation and relieve tension.

  • Eagle Arms. While you're sitting or standing, cross your arms in front of you so that your left elbow is resting in the crook of your right elbow. As you bend your elbows, your hands should be back-to-back and resting in front of your face. Now rotate your hands so that your palms are facing each other. Hold for two or three deep breaths and release. Repeat with your right arm above your left.
  • Leg Stretch. Lie flat on your back with your butt and legs straight up against a wall. Take several deep breaths. Now create a diamond with your legs by turning your ankles and knees out and sliding your feet halfway down the wall. Making sure the soles of your feet are touching, take several more breaths.

Beware of These Energy Zappers!

SUGAR Sweets give an immediate surge in blood sugar -- and a temporary burst of energy. But soon after, blood-sugar levels plummet, leaving you tired and cranky.

OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDS Certain drugs can make you feel as if you're asleep standing up. If one product in particular seems to wear you out, talk with your pharmacist about a drowse-free alternative.

ALCOHOL Not only does booze act as a sedative, it also dehydrates you and makes it harder to fall -- and stay -- asleep.

BEING INSIDE It's true! Staying indoors can sap your energy and your spirit. Half an hour of exposure to natural sunlight each day charges your brain's production of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin.

Copyright © Ruth Hannon. Reprinted with permission of Parents magazine.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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