"If you can get your energy going first thing in the morning, it will carry you through the rest of your day."
Did you know that the ear has about 200 pressure points, and that each one corresponds to a particular part of or function within the body? For instance, the pressure points in your ear lobes are linked to your brain. When you massage them, you release endorphins, and endorphins reduce pain and stress and give you more energy. And that’s what today’s show with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD holistic nutritionist, is about — 9 great ways you can boost early morning energy levels.
- 03:11: Why early morning energy?
- 07:31: Questions to ask yourself
- 09:16: Things believed to zap energy
- 12:28: Why You Might Be Experiencing Low Energy
- 19:34: A warning about a serious problem
- 20:36: 9 tips to boost early morning energy
- 21:56: Spice it Up
- 25:31: Tense up
- 28:45: Sing it out
- 30:13: Have a spot of tea
- 32:35: Water
- 34:21: Take a hike
- 35:00: Orange light/blue light
- 38:44: Cold shower
- 40:04: Stretch it out
- 46:10: Wrap-Up
Why early morning?
Because if you can get your energy going first thing in the morning, it will carry you through the rest of your day. And if you do it right, it will even last you into the night and help you get a good night’s sleep!What youdon’t want to do, is start an IV drip of coffee as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Instead, we’re looking at healthy, nutritious, and natural ways to boost energy levels so much that you won’t even think about that late afternoon caffeine pick-me-up.
Questions to Ask Yourself
As we get started, think about the answers to the following questions:
- Do you wake up feeling rested or do you immediately feel sluggish upon waking?
- How many cups of coffee do you need in the morning until you feel like you can be productive and start your day? Be honest!
- Do you frequently need a late afternoon pick-me-up, or feel like you’re about to fall asleep at around 3 or 4 p.m. every day?
- If you answered yes to that last one, what do you do to boost your energy — do you grab some sort of snack loaded with carbs or sugar? Do you run to the nearest Starbucks and order a Venti Latte with an extra shot of espresso?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then it is time to make a change, before it’s too late!
Things People Believe Zap Your Energy
Some of the factors listed below are rumors, and others have scientific data behind them, but all are believed to be energy zappers.
- Full moon/supermoon
- Being right-brained — having a more creative, less analytic job (writing, graphic design, etc.)
- Working late at night
- Being extroverted
- Being a perfectionist
There is evidence that many of these do decrease your energy! The good news is, there are ways to boost energy without caffeine, sugar, or energy drinks. You can boost your energy levels in a holistic, healthy way, and if you implement them first thing in the morning, you’ll enjoy that boost all day long.
Why You Might Be Experiencing Low Energy
First, let’s talk about why you might be experiencing the dreaded 4 o’clock fatigue, or why you might be experiencing low energy, in general.
Are you getting enough sleep?
Adults need 7 to 9 hours of good, quality sleepevery night. Maybe you’re one of those people who burns the candle at both ends during the work week and then uses the weekend to “catch up” on sleep. In the long run, and even the short run, this will have a negative impact on your overall energy levels. It’s a great feeling to stay snuggled under the covers and sleep in on the weekends, but studies suggest you should get up at the same timeevery single day, including on days when you don’t have to work. Doing so will actually improve your sleep and that alone will improve energy levels because you’ll wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day. If your circadian rhythms are off, you won’t get a good night’s sleep, since your body craves consistency.
Now how are your eating habits?
Eating too many carbs is no bueno. Not only are a lot of carb-filled foods inflammatory, but they only serve as a quick fix in terms of boosting energy. After that initial, short-lived boost wears off, you actually feel more tired than you originally felt. If you’re at your desk, fighting to stay awake in the afternoon, your body may be processing the sugar from a carb-heavy lunch.
Are you practicing self-care?
Self-care includes things like exercising, getting a massage — basically, taking time out of your day that is just for you. Even if you’re just taking five minutes to practice breathing exercises, it can help reduce stress and keep you healthy.
What does your daily stress level look like?
Stress is like a snowball. If you’re stressed, you might not be sleeping well, which can lead to low energy. Because you’re busy and stressed, you feel like you don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal so you grab an energy drink or a quick, or a carb-heavy snack. It can feel like you’re too stressed out and tired to even think about going outside for a walk to get some exercise and healthy vitamin D! It happens to all of us. But be intentional about reducing your stress! Even three deep, intentional breaths can calm your central nervous system and help you relax.
A warning sign
Lastly, extremely low energy could be a warning sign of something more serious going on. It could be something like a metabolic disorder, or a sign of pre-diabetes, hypoglycemia, sleep apnea, depression, heart disease, or an underactive thyroid. Extreme low energy could also be a sign of anemia, which is an iron deficiency, or a vitamin D deficiency. If you find that you try some of the tricks we are talking about today and youstillhave zero energy, a visit to your healthcare practitioner might be in order.
9 tips to boost early morning energy
Believe it or not, today's post isn't going to focus too much on the benefits of exercising or eating anti-inflammatory foods to help you feel more energized. Getting 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day will have amazing effects on your health, elevated energy being just one of them, and you already know that ananti-inflammatory diet is crucial. Even though eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, as well as eating moreleanproteins over complex carbohydrates will have profound effects on your energy level, today we want to focus more on a few other holistic tips and tricks today to keep you zooming through your day.
Spice Up Your Life
Herbs and spices like peppermint, rosemary, and cinnamon are very energizing. Inhaling the powerful scent of peppermint essential oil is like downing a shot of espresso. All you have to do is place a few drops on your hand, rub your hands together and cup your hands over your nose (careful, not too fast, or it could be too strong). Close your eyes and take a big inhale. You can also rub a drop or two on the insides of your wrists, on your temples, or even rub some onto the bottoms of your feet. Rosemary is another herbal energy booster. Like peppermint, it’s also available as an essential oil or you could buy a rosemary plant and put it in your office. When you feel like you’re fading, rub a few sprigs between your fingers and take a whiff. Or, sniff a cinnamon stick. Cinnamon can have the same effect as peppermint, and taking in its sweet aroma can make you feel more alert. This one is also available as an essential oil, called Cessia. Make sure you use high-quality, essential oils that use organic ingredients.
When you increase blood flow, you feel more energized. So do a few isometric exercises to get the blood flowing. An isometric exercise is an exercise that involves a static hold or contraction without moving. For example, tense your fists and your biceps as much as you possibly can and hold that for a few seconds. Then release, and shake it out. Feels good, right? Move throughout the body and perform the same action on your stomach, glutes, thighs, calves, and even your toes. You can even hike your shoulders up to your ears and then let them drop like a heavy weight, or scrunch up the features of your face and release.
Sing it out
Singing your favorite song can give you an emotional high, and make you feel more energized by reducing stress hormone levels in the body. Sing in the shower when you’re getting ready for work or belt out a tune during your morning commute. In fact, break into song any time you feel the needle in your energy tank tipping toward empty. Seriously, try it!
Have a spot of tea
We talked about using peppermint essential oils to boost energy but a cup of peppermint herbal tea will do the trick, too. Other herbal teas like licorice root and ginger will have the same effect. Licorice root stimulates the adrenals and increases blood flow. Ginger is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and also improves blood flow. All these things translate into a serious, long-lasting energy boost.
Ginger tea is so easy to make on your own, too! All you need is about 2 inches of fresh ginger root and 1 to 2 cups water. Simply peel the ginger and then cut it into thin slices. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, add the ginger, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea. Pour the concoction into your tea cup, maybe add a little lemon, cinnamon, or raw organic honey and enjoy!
You don’t need coffee or an energy drink when you’re feeling sluggish. Most of the time you just need water. Very often, fatigue can be attributed to dehydration. When you wake up in the morning, drink a 16-ounce glass of water with a slice of lemon in it, right away. Try and stay hydrated throughout your day – conventional wisdom says you should be drinking about nine 8-ounce cups of water every day. A more precise calculation would be drinking half your body weight in ounces. Any time you start to feel sluggish, sip some water and see how much your energy levels change.
Take a hike
This doesn’t have to be a serious hike. Take a short stroll at some point early on in your day. The sunshine will give you a dose of vitamin D, which helps your muscles work efficiently, and boost energy by working on the cells in your body from the inside out. Plus, the endorphin rush from getting a little exercise will help fight fatigue later.
Orange light/Blue light
Reduce the amount of blue light in your life, especially before bedtime. Technology like cellphones, Kindles, iPads, even TVs all emit blue light. This blue light can greatly reduce the amount of melatonin being produced in the body, which can have a negative impact on your sleep. When the production of melatonin gets messed up, so does your body’s circadian rhythm which is the natural cycle of sleeping and waking. Watching too many screens too close to bed time can actually trick your body into thinking it’s time to get up not time to go to bed. Avoid technology for at least two hours before bed. If that’s just not possible for you, most smartphones and tablets these days have a setting that allows you to reduce the amount of blue light on your screen after a specific time of day. Go one step further and invest in some shades with orange lenses. Orange lenses block out blue light so you can wear them during tech time. You’ll get a better night sleep which translates into more morning energy.
Take a cold shower
A hot shower is wonderful, especially when it’s cold outside. But did you know that switching the dial from hot to cold can increase your energy levels throughout the day? Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning will definitely wake you up! In addition to making you feel more alert, cold showers improve circulation and ease stress by increasing antioxidant levels in the body and keeping them performing at peak levels, which is vital to your overall health and help fight disease in addition to helping you feel energized all day long.
Stretch it out
Yoga can be very relaxing and is a great way to reduce stress. Did you also know that it can be incredibly energizing? There are a number of poses designed specifically to give you energy. Generally speaking, back bends can be very energizing, however, if you're new to yoga, you should not attempt back-bending right away, as this can be really intense on your low back. There are a few poses you can do like bridge pose, or downward facing dog instead. Even if you don’t want to do a full inversion for downward facing dog, you can sit in a chair and splay your torso onto your thigh, hanging your head between your legs.
Yoga isn’t for everybody, but if you incorporated these two poses into a morning stretch routine, you’ll see crazy results in the amount of energy you have as you move through your day. Even just standing up for a minute or two and stretching your arms and legs will help you feel more energized. Periods of prolonged sitting can not only zap your energy but can lead to obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. Invest in a standing desk too. You’ll have so much energy by 3 o’clock you won’t know what to do with yourself!
Today we talked about ways you can boost energy early in your day so you can fight fatigue later on. First and foremost, you need to get enough sleep. Sleep is so vital to so many things in your body and in your life — reducing stress, fighting inflammation and disease — and of course you need it for energy. In addition to exercising regularly and eating lots of anti-inflammatory foods, we gave you some creative ways to elevate your energy levels early on so you don’t feel the need to overload on caffeine and carb-heavy snacks. Energy boost tips include:
- Reduce your screentime for two hours before bedtime. Blue light from technology screens can disrupt your sleep cycle and trick your body into thinking it’s time to start your day when you should be winding down.
- Sing a song. Singing can lower stress hormones, which can prevent you from feeling sluggish.
- Get some sun! Vitamin D, and taking a walk, can have a double whammy effect on your energy level.
- Integrate energy-boosting essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, and cinnamon into your life. Any time you start to feel sluggish, take a sniff of these energizing scents for a burst of alertness.