Working from home can have a huge impact on energy levels because it blurs the lines between personal and professional, making it harder to switch off. Routine gives us structure and distraction, it breaks up the day - without it, it’s easy to feel sluggish and lethargic. Here are four simple ways to keep energy levels high in the comfort of your own home:
Exercise gives you instant energy. It increases blood flow, which helps clear your head, and the serotonin boost helps improve your mood. Try to move as much as you can during the day: do a few star jumps as you make your way from the kitchen to the living room; dance your way to the bathroom or jog on the spot whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. The dog may eye you with caution, but you’ll feel better for it.
Even short sessions of gentle movement will help circulation, blood flow and cellular energy production. Ever tried chair aerobics? Quickly pump your arms overhead, then twist at your waist as you punch out across your body, side to side. Follow with several quick toe taps and heel lifts. For a real heart pumper, try punching and jogging at the same time - although maybe wait until you’re off the Zoom call.
Eat right for energy
Some foods can make you sleepy. Quick-release carbs found in white bread, pastries and sweets may give you an immediate energy hit, but after a couple of hours that sudden spike of energy will drop, making you feel tired and sleepy, and it won’t be long before you’ll be craving that sweet fix again. Slow-release energy foods: wholegrains and protein-rich foods, will help to keep you full for longer. Try peanut butter on wholemeal toast or porridge oats for breakfast, and snack on nuts and seeds throughout the day to keep energy levels high.
Up your H20
If your lips are often cracked and dry, and your pee is a darker shade of yellow, the chances are you’re not drinking the recommended 1.5 litres of water a day. To help keep you on track, your urine should be pale yellow or look like water. Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. The brain, vital organs and muscles contain even more than that. Even slight dehydration will cause body tissue to lose fluid and function less well. Symptoms include tiredness, poor concentration and a dry mouth.
Minerals, such as calcium and magnesium , are essential for turning the food you eat into energy. Magnesium is necessary for energy metabolism and normal muscle function. It can also help with tiredness and fatigue, improve sleep quality and relax tense, sore muscles (it’s a rather marvellous mineral). Good food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, meat, dairy products, whole grain rice and bread. Potassium contributes to normal muscle function. Foods high in potassium include turkey, fish, nuts, seeds, bananas, beans and shellfish. And calcium is important for bone health, energy metabolism and muscle function. Foods that contain calcium include dairy products, sardines, green leafy vegetables, tofu, nuts and many fortified foods.
Still need an energy boost? A.Vogel’s strawberry-flavoured Balance Mineral Drink contains magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D, which makes it great at reducing fatigue, improving energy and replacing electrolytes. It tastes great too. Simply add to cold water and stir.
Right, time to star jump your way to that kettle… it won’t boil itself.