Do you feel that juggling kids, work and other daily activities drain your energies and you find it challenging to get up in the morning, stay energetic throughout the day, let alone to keep up with your fitness routine? At the end of the day you feel miserable and are prone to reach for convenience food.
Breaking out of the vicious cycle isn’t impossible, but requires a little planning and practicing habits that will charge your batteries during the day. Here are 15 tips for a better energy balance so you can be more efficient, achieve more and take care of your health and fitness.
1. Start your day on a high
Get out of bed immediately after you wake up. Use light as an energy boost and get active. This can mean a morning jog or walk outside in the sun, maybe doing yoga. Winter time, if you get up whilst it’s still dark, switch the main lights on to trigger your body’s automatic reaction of alertness to light.
Have you got kids? Get up 15 minutes earlier, shower and dress up so you’re ready to rock by the time you wake them up to avoid the morning stress of trying to take care of them and yourself at the same time.
2. Fuel for the day
Eat nutrient-rich breakfast including protein, healthy fats and some carbs. These will provide your body with plenty of energy to get started. Try to keep your meal times about the same, so your body can manage energy balance throughout the day.
3. Use music as motivation
May that be in the morning while preparing for the day or before hitting the gym, have your favourite up-beat music playlist ready at hand.
4. Be around energetic people
It’s well known that our surroundings will affect our mood. Seek the company of people who smile a lot, seem fresh and are energetic. You’ll notice the difference. Once you become one of those people you will see how that affects others around you too.
5. Keep fluid intake high
Good old H2O is the easiest to access and is the best source to keep your body hydrated. Symptoms of dehydration are drowsiness, lack of motivation, for some it even can cause headaches. Make sure you have a glass of water about every two hours.
6. Work in chunks
Spending 8 hours straight sitting in front of a computer will guarantee you will be less active and motivated for the evening. Stand up, take a walk every hour, stretch your legs and upper body regularly to keep the blood flowing. Even doing ankle circles under the desk can go a long way.
7. Get something done
Sense of achievement works a treat when you’d like to boost your motivation. Have you got something on your list you’ve been putting off for days but only takes 5 minutes to sort? Do it now. Small successes will keep you motivated to pursue bigger goals.
8. Have your coffee later in the day
An early afternoon caffeine boost when energy levels about to drop can help you keep going for the rest of the day. If you’re not a coffee fan, have a green tea instead.
9. Spend time outdoors
Especially in the summer an afternoon walk can help you tackle the usual energy drop that occurs between 2-4 pm for most people. When you feel you are about to nod off, put your walking shoes on and head out, schedule a gardening chore or anything that gets you out of the house.
10. Include relax time into your daily schedule
Busy people may not have 20-30 minutes in one go to meditate, but you can always get away for a few minutes to reflect on how you feel. You don’t even have to call it meditation. Find a quiet place, listen to your breathing for a short time or just or listen to your favourite song.
11. Have a work-to-home ritual
When work is hectic, it’s hard to turn it off and we are not able to spend quality time with our loved ones. Create an after-work playlist to listen on your way home, have a workout session, whatever makes you leave your working hat behind so you can enjoy the evening with your family and friends.
When you’re busy, exercise is the easiest to forget about. The best approach is to use what you have. If that means doing 10 minutes at-home workouts in the mornings and 30 minutes high intensity blast sessions 3-4 times a week, that’s still more than nothing.
13. Get enough sleep
It can’t be stressed enough how important sleep is for our body to heal, recover and refresh. Make sure you have the recommended 7-8 hours each day, for some people a power nap in the afternoon works well too.
14. Unwind before bed
Turn off the laptop and other electrics, put your phone face down on the bedside table an hour before bed, stay away from strong light. Read a book, listen to a podcast or have a bath. Make sure you allow your body to slowly get ready to sleep.
15. Beat late-night cravings
These cravings usually mean you’re sleepy. Often they occur at the same time. Prevent it by eating slightly more at dinner or have a light snack before the craving is due to kick-off. Then brush your teeth and go to bed.