I just want to touch base with a couple of quick energy hacks you probably already know but may want to review and re-visit.
3 things to give you quick energy on a daily basis:
- Hot and cold water treatments. This can mean 1) a hot shower with hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold at the end. I promise the cold will get easier if you do this regularly. AND it will make you breathe deeply and make your skin prickle a little as the circulation rushes to it. 2) A sauna, regular or infra-red. Drink extra water! Follow with a cold plunge or a cold shower! And if you can, do this more than one time! 3) A cold plunge into a bath-tub or a pond – I can only do this after a sauna, though I do swim outside late into the season.
- Movement! A nice long walk, run, ski, or workout is great, but you can get a lot of benefit by several short ones, too. Each time you spend 5-10 minutes with a nice burst of activity, it boosts your metabolism and your energy level and helps you to think better if you have to sit a lot otherwise. You can do 5 minutes each hour, alternating between something aerobic, (jumping jacks, running in place, trampoline, put on some music and dance, run up and down stairs) and some resistance (pushups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, a few weights, sun salutes, etc. At the end of an 8 hour workday, you will have done 40 minutes of movement – not bad! OR 3 15-20 minute exercise bursts are also a great way.
- Lengthen your non-eating window. We all should be fasting at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, but 14 or 16 hours will give your body a bit more rest, recovery, and time to heal. It takes a lot of energy to digest food and our bodies need a good break from insulin and digestion. Play with this to see how you feel- start at 12 hours if you do not already do it, then play with adding an hour or two with just non-calorie liquids!
3 things that take energy away from you:
- Caffeine: This gives most people quick energy and then a crash and a need to come back for more or for some carbs or food, something to break the crash. Experiment with this and really pay attention to how and what this often beloved beverage makes you feel and crave.
- Sleep: We often undervalue sleep. Try prioritizing it and see if you have a more productive and/or happier day the following day.
- Sugar: Sugar, like caffeine, and for some people, even worse, will also cause you to have a burst of energy and then a crash. It also will greatly affect your microbiome, causing your bacteria to mutate into bad sweet craving bacteria, leaving you wondering how you might have so little control of yourself and your cravings. If you find yourself in this position, you may even have to mark off a month’s worth of days on your calendar and refuse to eat any sweets (or even quickly digesting carbs like flour products) until your bacteria have rebalanced and your good bacteria are in charge again.
3 ways to check how you are doing:
- Sleep: are you waking up refreshed in the morning? Is your energy strong throughout your day? Do you sleep through the night, or if you wake up, do you go back to sleep easily?
- Poop: Do not be surprised! Herbalists and health coaches always address and talk about poop! You should be observing yours as it will give you a lot of information on a daily basis. Are you pooping every day? Are you pooping after each or most meals? What is the form, consistency, and color of your poop, and is it easy to pass?
- Blood sugar: Is your energy even throughout your day? How often do you feel like you need to eat? Do you get ultra-hungry or light-headed? Do you need something in your mouth every couple of hours? Do you have cravings regularly, particularly for sweet or carb-y foods? Or can you work through the day with a lot of energy and concentration?
Please feel free to share with me or to ask me any questions you have concerning these issues!