One of our greatest resources is energy but with increasingly busy and stressful lives, many people regularly find themselves feeling too drained to perform at their best throughout the day. If you can relate, these natural strategies to increase vitality can help kick lifestyle-related sluggishness to the curb.
The body needs a steady supply of nutrients to function optimally without losing its oomph. Kick-start each day with a healthy breakfast, thereafter replenishing fuel with small nutritious snacks and meals at regular intervals throughout the day. Aim for a balanced approach with a variety of unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, fats and emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils.
The human body is roughly 60% water that consistently depletes due to bodily functions such as sweating and urinating. Water is essential to keeping your body functioning well so when it loses more than it receives, fatigue can creep in as it tries to function without sufficient fluids. Avoid this by hydrating yourself proactively throughout the day and remember that when you feel thirsty, it means you are already dehydrated.
Ask yourself this: when was the last time you took a deep breath? For many of us, our day-to-day breaths are fairly shallow (‘chest breathing’) which prevents the body from getting as much oxygen as it could. Make it a daily habit to find moments to practice deeper breathing (‘belly breathing’) to force more oxygen into your cells and improve bodily functions for increased stamina and energy.
Physical activity is a natural energy booster because it causes oxygen-rich blood to surge through your body to your heart, muscles and brain. Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing —something as simple as a stroll around the perimeter of your office every hour can make a significant difference to your energy.
Nature is powerful and environmental cues such as sunlight, fresh air and scenic views can play a huge role in mental alertness. If you feel an energy slump coming on, go and sit or stroll outside for a quick pick-me-up. While inside, try to let as much of the outdoors in by opening the blinds or doors, or taking the window seat at meetings.
If you need to recharge, set your alarm for a quick daytime doze. One study, published in the Journal of Sleep, found that a mere 10-minute nap resulted in immediate increased alertness and a boost in cognitive performance that could last for more than three hours!
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