How Healthy Habits Can Boost Your Energy

As summer comes to a close and you return to the daily grind of work, school, and other commitments, you may find yourself feeling tired, especially around 3 p.m. when the afternoon slump often hits. Before you reach for another cup of caffeine, work one (or more) of these healthy habits into your routine. It may be enough to boost your energy and get you through the rest of your day!

Five Good-for-You Ways to Recharge

  1. Hydrate: Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, especially during the afternoon. A study from the University of Connecticut showed that even a 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume can cause fatigue, concentration trouble, and headaches. So drink up!
  2. Eat a hearty breakfast and smaller lunch: For your first meal of the day, focus on foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Research suggests that a balanced breakfast releases energy slowly throughout the morning instead of all at once, which may lead to afternoon fatigue. Additionally, a breakfast high in carbs can cause a blood sugar spike, which also results in energy loss. Opt for a vegetable omelet with a side of sausage or bacon over a blueberry muffin or pancakes. 
  3. Go for a walk: If you can, schedule a midday workout. Taking a break to move your body has been shown to improve productivity. Plus, it’s a great natural energy-booster, as it increases oxygen flow and blood circulation. Bonus points if you can do it outside: A number of studies in the Journal of Environmental Psychology reveal that being outside makes people feel more alive and energized. Bring on the Vitamin D!
  4. Meditate: Did you know that regular meditation actually gives you more energy? Research found that short mindfulness exercises (even just five minutes of thoughtfully breathing!) can lessen inflammation markets and reduce stress, which often contributes to the afternoon slump. Download an app like Headspace or Calm and start your practice today.
  5. Listen to music: Pick something upbeat and fun — something that makes you want to dance! Research shows that the feel-good chemical dopamine was 9 percent higher in volunteers who were listening to music they liked. They also felt more alert and focused. If you’re working in a private space, sing along. Study participants who belted out their favorite tunes reported feeling more energized and less sleepy. 

Plan Your Schedule Accordingly

If all else fails, tackle your to-do list with your circadian rhythm in mind. According to Psychology Today, you experience a peak in alertness between 8 and 9 a.m. with a natural decrease in energy between 1 and 3 p.m. Focus on your most difficult and time-consuming tasks in the morning and plan to accomplish a few simpler things in the afternoon. 

Reach out to Dr. Asha Tota-Maharaj, MD at Platinum Primary Care with all your healthcare needs. Come visit us at our new office: 2071 Dundee Drive in Winter Park.