Fitness Together - St. Louis owner, Tim Chudy, posted these great tips on his blog today on how to have more energy and who couldn't use that? Enjoy!
"Everywhere you go people are looking for 'energy'. You’ve heard and seen all the ‘Hi Energy’ stuff out there. But where should you go for your energy fix? And is it really a fix at all? Or just a remedy that leads to an inevitable crash and burn?
In reality, the "energy" we're chasing is simply mental alertness. And it's no secret that coffee, energy drinks and cigarettes contain drugs that stimulate your brain, giving you the mental alertness we often mistakenly call 'energy'.
If you are searching for a better way of living, a life that doesn't depend on chemicals - literally, drugs! - to keep you awake and motivated, if you are tired of being tired, then being jacked up, and then being tired again, then set the coffee cup down, step away from the supersized Diet Cokes, and turn to a more natural solution. There are better, healthier ways to achieve higher levels of physical and mental energy.
Here are 3 ways to gain more energy, naturally:
It doesn't matter what time you exercise, just be consistent with your efforts. Just pick a time that fits with your schedule and personality. If you have to do it first thing when you wake up, just do it. Don't even let yourself think about it. Just get started. A lot of people think too much about their plan. They want to have everything perfect before they begin working out.
Focus on intense strength training for 30-40 minutes followed by a brief cardio interval training session to boost your metabolism all day long. Exercise is like a drug. Like caffeine and nicotine, exercise causes the release of many 'good for you' chemicals into your blood stream, resulting in mental stimulation and an improved sense of overall well- being. Exercise just makes you feel awesome.
2) Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Skip the cycle of starving and overeating characterized by no breakfast, a high-carbohydrate lunch, and a huge dinner. Instead, eat a supportive breakfast and then continue to eat supportively every 3 hours for the rest of the day. Research shows that a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast helps control appetite and increases mental alertness all day, and improves your ability to process information.
Don't skip breakfast and rely on a coffee to get you through the day. Got no time? C'mon! You're an adult, you can get up 10 minutes earlier to have a protein shake, some almonds, and an apple. You're not in high school anymore. No excuses!
3) Eat only whole, natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, raw nuts, Green Tea, water
Trying to survive on processed foods is a recipe for an energetic disaster. Stick to whole, natural foods during the day, snacking rather than eating huge meals and you'll never feel like dozing off again. If a food is from a bag or a box, it doesn't deserve a place in a supportive nutrition plan. Try to avoid all added sugars.
Take 2-minute breaks during the day to perform some light stretching or deep breathing.
Sitting at a computer all day zap our 'energy'. From poor posture, to eye-strain from computer screens, your office, cubicle, and car seat definitely sucks the life out of you. Daily exercise breaks are essential to not only boost energy, but mobility. Each day, as your slump over your computer, your upper body becomes rounded forward and tense. You need to reverse that movement by incorporating some light shoulder and chest stretches. In addition, get outside into natural light whenever possible."