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Low Energy? Try These Quick Fixes!

Zoning at the officephoto © 2005 Simon Law | more info (via: Wylio) Having a low-energy day? Be it lack of sleep, or diet and exercise choices, many of us experience an energy slump throughout the day or even for weeks at a time.  And surprisingly little things—like the size of your Starbucks order or how you decorate your office—can hurt or help your energy levels. Try tweaking your routine a bit with these small changes and you may see a noticeable difference in your energy levels.

1. Have bran for breakfast. Eating a morning meal rich in fiber may make you more alert during the day. A Cardiff University study found that subjects who ate a high-fiber cereal in the morning showed a 10% reduction in fatigue, lower incidence of depression, and better cognitive skills. The belief is that fiber slows the absorption of food which in turn will keep your blood sugar levels steady.

2. Order a small latte—and sip it slowly. While it is recommended to not rely too heavily on caffeine for energy, if you just need your fix, it is best to split it up throughout the day. Mini servings of caffeine (8 ounces of coffee or less) every few hours keep you awake, alert, and focused for longer than a single jumbo one would, according to sleep experts.

3. Eat more often. This is one of our favorites. Eat 6 small meals a day! Who doesn’t want to eat more often? Following a strict three-square-meals-a-day plan may be sapping your vigor. Eating frequently will keep your blood sugar steady and your energy high.

4. Gulp some water. You may be thinking, again with the “drink water” thing. Well? Do it.  Staying hydrated is one of the simplest ways to keep energized and focused. A recent study of athletes found that 92% felt fatigued after limiting fluids and water-rich foods for 15 hours; they also had lapses in memory and reported difficulty concentrating. Aim to drink every hour or two so you don’t feel thirsty.

5. Or steep a cup of tea. Not only have recent studies linked green tea to weight loss, but it also helps your energy! A recent report found that pairing caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, both present in tea, decreased mental fatigue and improved alertness, reaction time, and memory.

6. Take a 10-minute walk. A short stroll can invigorate the rest of your day, suggests research presented to the American Heart Association. Women who walked briskly for 70 minutes a week (or 10 a day) reported 18% more energy than their sedentary peers after 6 months. They also felt more clearheaded and confident, had fewer aches, and hoisted groceries and climbed stairs more easily.  10 minutes a day is nothing!

7. Cue up your iPod. Feeling dazed at your desk? Consider listening to music while you work. Can’t focus on your work and listen to music? Then listen to music on your break to get you energized. One study found that employees who donned headphones while they worked were 10% more productive than without them.

8. Order the seaweed salad. Try seaweed salad the next time you head out for Japanese food. It’s packed with iodine, a chemical that helps maintain sufficient levels of the thyroid hormones that regulate your weight, energy level, and mood—and a new study finds you may not be getting enough of it. We tend to get our biggest dose of iodine from table salt, but among 88 randomized samples of common iodized salt brands, 47 didn’t contain the FDA’s recommended iodine concentration, say scientists from the University of Texas at Arlington.  Adults should get 150 mcg of iodine daily. Not sure about the seaweed? Other food sources include fish and yogurt.

Sources: http://www.prevention.com

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