I know I’m not the only woman who feels like she’s running a marathon, even though I’m not! Packing lunches, cleaning, work, kid’s activities, cooking, shopping…yikes! The list is so long most days! So how to get it all done without feeling like you’re dragging yourself around all day and still find the time to get a workout in? Yes, we could all use a few extra hours of sleep, but sometimes it’s not extra sleep that gives us the extra energy to make our day a great one!
1) Morning Ritual. Snoozing until the very last second and then starting your day stressed and agitated drains loads of energy and starts the day off all wrong. Instead, change your morning ritual – wake up an hour earlier and take some time to stretch, meditate, read, or journal. Starting the day with a little ‘me-time’ sets a great tone for the day – and makes you much more patient with those around you.
2) Show Gratitude. This should be a part of every morning routine. Every day, either list the things you are grateful for in a journal or include them as part of your meditation. List some of the amazing things that you are fortunate to have and it will bring an instant smile to your face. Focusing on all the amazing positives that we have in our lives, gives the mundane task purpose and makes it much more joyful. So instead of sulking about having to do them, you are actually quite happy to do them. A task like preparing your meals is a welcomed one because you are grateful for your body.
3) Breakfast. A donut, a sugary latte, a plain bagel…these all set you up for disaster, not only for your health, but for energy levels. Your first meal of the day should bring your body from fasted to fueled, and junk is not fuel for the brain and body. Proper fuel to get us going should include a healthy source of protein, fats and carbs. A healthy smoothie or eggs and veggies are great quick options.
4) Unstrap from your Phone. Constantly checking emails and texts that pop up on our phone takes energy away from the task at hand, and it takes a lot of energy to get focused back on what we’re supposed to be doing. Dedicating time to check emails and get back to people makes us much more productive. Productivity translates into more time.
5) Never Skip a Workout. The worse thing you can do is skip your workout because you feel tired. Exercises energize us, releases endorphins and empowers us too. Yes, on days when you are quite simply drained, a modified workout is a good idea, but don’t skip exercise all together. Our bodies are meant to move, and even when we need rest, we benefit from a relaxing walk or stretch session. If you get into the habit of skipping workouts when you’re tired then suddenly you won’t remember the last time you worked out.
6) Gut Check. Good digestion and elimination is key to high energy levels. You should have daily and good quality bowel movements. If not, check your diet, stop eating boxed food, eliminate foods you may be allergic to, and include gut healthy foods into your diet; kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi. A good quality probiotic can also make a world of difference. Free your abs by reducing inflammation.
7) Carbohydrates. No, they are not the devil and are not to blame for sabotaging your weight loss goals. They are necessary to keep energy levels up, you just need to stop abusing them and eating the wrong ones. Carbs are the main source of fuel for the brain, they help us feel satiated, and they help replenish the body after a tough workout. About 30% of your daily calories should be from healthy carbs.
8) Water. Make sure that you stay hydrated. Many people say they don’t feel thirst, but our bodies need water for all bodily functions. Add a sprinkle of real salt to your water to help with absorption and prevent you from running to the bathroom all day long. Take your body weight in pounds, divide it by two and drink that many ounces a day.
9) Eat Enough Calories. So many of us are going about our day just grazing whenever we get the chance. Be intentional about your food, plan your meals so that you eat enough calories to keep your energy levels up, regulate your blood sugar, and keeps you from a sudden binge when you realize you haven’t had a meal all day long. If you’re looking to lose weight, severe calorie deficit is not the way to go. It will only lead you to low energy levels and a poor metabolism.
10) Last but not least…Sleep. Enough sleep is critical, but the quality of sleep is just as critical. Ever sleep eight hours and wake up completely unrested? Stop caffeine consumption after 3pm, wear an eye mask, turn off electronics, and take time to unwind. Sleep is necessary for muscle recovery, something to keep in mind if you’re a ‘night person’.
In health and fitness,
Daniela Nahas, HLC 2, Fitness Coach
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