The number one request made to personal trainers is no longer weight loss – the balance has shifted. And in these days of death-by-technology and crazy long work hours, everyone is begging for more energy!
In fact, our recent Your Health Your Life national survey, found that more than half of the women surveyed wanted to boost their energy levels.
Here, Libby Babet shares a few changes you can make to your nutrition and daily habits to feel better immediately. Plus, plans out some mini energy boosting workouts that will lift your mood and make you feel great!
1. Reduce caffeine intake
Yes I know, that little energy boost you get from your morning coffee feels so good, right? But unfortunately it’s usually a case of “reward now, crash later” and if you’re constantly feeling exhausted, my guess is you’re probably a little stressed out and the extra cortisol (stress hormone) released when you sip on your fave cup of black magic just won’t help in the long run! You don’t have to give up forever, just cut out caffeine for 10 days to give your system a little rest. The upside? Too much cortisol released ends up encouraging weight gain around your middle, so cutting down might actually help you lose weight too!
2. Choose snacks wisely
There’s a big difference between reaching for a quality source of protein or some fruit/vegetables that are packed with metabolism boosting ingredients and fibre, or snacking on high carbohydrate foods, or packaged snacks. Carbs can make you sleepy, so if you need a little energy boost, save them for late afternoon or early evening. Packaged snacks often contain chemicals or preservatives that can strip your body of nutrients and leave you struggling for energy. Reach for wholefood snacks instead and if you do need a handy option, do your research on quality snacks low in chemicals and high in quality protein. I created Chief Bar specifically for those moments (try it at eatlikeachief.com)!
3. Eat hydrating foods
From a glass of water, to vegetables and fruit, or long-soaked grains and chia seeds, foods that are hydrating to your body provide lasting energy – particularly if they’re also vitamin-packed!
1. Exercise in the morning
This wakes you up and gives you a really great, energetic feeling for the rest of the day. Night time exercise can also wake you up just when you need to be winding down, so when a boost to overall energy levels is your goal, exercising early makes sure you’re not impacting on your sleep patterns.
2. Shut off your screens early to score better sleep
Most of us are texting, on social media, or checking emails from dawn to dusk these days but this keeps your brain so stimulated that proper rest is almost impossible! Try shutting down all your screens (yes, even that phone!) at least an hour before bedtime – but ideally two hours, for max energy the next day! Feeling edgy without something in your hands? Try reading a book instead ;)
3. Eat smaller portions
Most people eat too much in one go and large portions equal sleepy hormones! Try reducing your portions by half, or simply splitting them into multiple small meals throughout the day. This means your digestion doesn’t have to work too hard all in one go and your energy levels remain high throughout the day.
Try adding these mini mood and energy boosting workouts to your day, whenever you need a little pick up!
1. 10 Reps to Happy (5 mins+)
• Complete 10 walking lunges, 8 squats, 6 sit-ups, 4 push-ups, 2 burpees
• Rest for a slow count of 10 seconds
• Repeat as many times as it takes to lift your mood! I recommend at least 3 rounds.
2. Interval Bliss (12 mins)
• First, take a 3-minute walk or slow jog to warm-up
• For the next 3 minutes, run at about 50% of your top pace for 30 seconds, then rest/walk for 30 seconds
• For the next 3 minutes, run at 75% of your top pace for 30 seconds, then rest/walk for the following 30 seconds
• In your final round, do the same thing for 3 minutes, this time with your run at top pace!
3. Lucky 7 (7 mins)
For those people who want an on-the-spot coach, head to 7-min.com and do the famous 7-minute, all bodyweight circtui workout that’s scientifically proven to boost fat burning and increase energy levels. Better yet – put it on in your office and get a crew of friends to join in!
See all of the results from our Your Health Your Life national survey here!