Looking for fresh ways to put the energy back in your life.
TAKE A CONTRAST SHOWER: Hot-cold hydrotherapy, practiced by the Finns for the past 2,000 years, is believed to strengthen immunity, increase circulation, and have a stimulating effect on the body. So, after showering, turn the tab to as cold as you can stand it for 30 seconds, switch back to warm, and end on cold. Get your neck, back, and chest. Repeat 2-3 times.
DON'T BREW, SQUEEZE: Start the day with a glass of hot water, the juice of one-quarter to one-half a lemon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (and a little honey if you want).Why is this a detox staple? Experts say due to its sour taste, lemon juice stimulates digestive juices and the release of bile from the liver. Cayenne stimulates the secretion of gastric acids in the stomach and raises the metabolic rate. Theoretically this can increase fat burning and thus the release of fat-soluble toxins from fat cells. Translation: It gets things moving.
PUMMEL YOURSELF: Borrow this gentle, invigorating exercise from the energy—cultivating practice of qigong. Gently "drum" the insides and outsides of your arms and down your sides and legs with a loosely closed fist; then drum up the insides of your legs, your abdomen and solar plexus, neck, and lower back. This thumping can stimulate the flow of qi and increase circulation— plus, it just feels really good.
EAT EARLY AND OFTEN: If you skip breakfast and eat a meager lunch, you may hit a wall by mid-afternoon. By the time you get home, you're ravenous, and at that point your body will not be able to "make up" the nutrients it lost all day. Eat a breakfast of complex carbs, protein, and a little fat, and several light but nutritious mini-meals throughout the day.
STRETCH: Taking a moment to stretch each hour or so throughout the day goes a long way toward preventing stiffness, increasing blood circulation, and giving you a shot of energy. Try this right now: Stand up and, taking a deep breath, raise your arms and reach for the sky; hold. Then release the stretch, exhaling and dropping your arms. Beginning with the crown of your head, roll down, vertebrae by vertebrae, until you're hanging forward. Let your arms dangle. Shake and nod your head gently to loosen the neck. Without locking your knees, feel the stretch in the back of your thighs. Enjoy this stretch for a few moments.
MAKE YOUR HEART POUND: There's a reason you feel so good after exercising. Engaging in vigorous, sweaty exercise for as little as 10 to 30 minutes triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain—serotonin, adrenaline, and endorphins—and has been shown to greatly improve mood. Regular exercise has also been shown to do everything from lowering blood pressure to relieving depression —and no energy regimen would be complete without it. So if you don't exercise regularly, start. And if you already have a steady workout routine, try stepping it up a few days a week by increasing the number of days you do it, or the intensity.