The season of spring is when things awaken, come alive again and start to bloom. This is a good time for us to think about creating that feeling in our bodies too. Every season, we want to have more energy and springtime is a great time to kick it off! Here are some quick tips to help you feel more energized so you can be more productive during your day, sleep better at night, be alert and awake.
Start your day smoothly with a fruit smoothie
By replacing a cup or two of coffee with a smoothie in the morning and afternoon, your blood vessels won’t be constricted from the caffeine and your blood will flow more freely, helping to oxygenate the blood better. In addition, by using low glycemic fruit, blood sugar remains more stable, keeping your energy level more stable without spikes of highs and lows. For a healthy recipe idea, I suggest the following:
– Filtered water (12 – 16 oz), since juice can add a lot of sugar.
– Banana (small or 1/2 large), not too ripe, since the more brown spots, the more sugar it has.
– Green apple (1), with the peeling, and organic if possible.
– Fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries (1/2 cup). Organic is best, since they’re in the “dirty dozen” of fruits that easily absorb pesticides.
– Fresh or frozen mango, peach slices or pineapple (1/2 cup).
-Add all of the ingredients to a blender and enjoy!
Here’s some pillow talk… get enough sleep
With our busy schedules, we might get 6 or fewer hours of sleep at night. While that might be fine for some, many of us need 7 ½ or 8 hours. It’s important to give our body and mind some rest and relaxation so we feel more alert and it’s important for heart health. A good night’s sleep helps brain function and weight loss too. Create a relaxing ritual before bed like taking a warm bath, listening to mellow music, sitting in bed with a good book or drinking some soothing decaf tea. Also, shut off the TV, computer and smartphone at least 30 minutes before bed, since the light from the screens can be too stimulating for the brain. Just try it for a few nights and see how you feel!
The sky’s the limit, so get some sunshine
If you work in an office during the day, try to get outside for some fresh air and a little sun. Even stepping out for 10 minutes and taking a brief walk down the street or around the building can help with de-stressing and adding energy. As the days get warmer and brighter, it can really help to take a few minutes to breathe in deeply, fill your lungs and get a little extra Vitamin D. Spending some time in nature can help you feel revived and refreshed during that afternoon slump, and be more productive during those last few hours of the workday.
Change-up some of the things you eat and drink
Just like some restaurants have seasonal menus and offer different foods at different times of the year, try switching your diet from heavy winter foods to lighter spring foods and you’ll feel better and lighter. Also, before drinking high-calorie and sugar-laden beverages like soda, juices or fancy coffees, try drinking a glass of water with fresh-squeezed lemon or lime or both. Eventually, your cravings will lessen and so will your feeling of tiredness.
Get moving and exercise
Being active on most days can really help with feeling more energetic. There are many other benefits to moving and exercise, such as sleeping better, losing weight, toning and firming the body, and keeping the heart healthy. It doesn’t need to be a 3 hour workout in the gym to get these health benefits. Just 30 minutes of movement at least 3 days during the week on a consistent basis can make a big difference! Walking, dancing or taking the stairs instead of the elevator all count towards exercise. Some light weights or resistance exercises are good too. Go for a walk during your lunch hour sometimes, or get outdoors to walk or jog in your neighborhood, since the days are light longer during this season. Even if you feel too tired at the end of the day, just put on your tennis shoes, take a step out the door and you’ll be on your way! You might consider getting a friend to join you, since you’ll be more likely to keep your plans. By listening to music while exercising, you’ll feel more motivated to workout a little harder, feel more uplifted and the experience will be more fun too!
By taking some baby steps and making a few simple changes in your life, you will be able to add a spring to your step and have more energy for springtime and throughout all of the seasons!
By Nancy Goldstein, Certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute For Integrative Nutrition and Clinical Nutritionist from the Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy in San Diego, CA. Follow me on Twitter @NancyGoldstein4