Naturally Energize This Winter
4 ways to boost your energy levels.
It was 4:30 p.m., and darkness was already falling over the corn fields, casting long shadows. I’d just awoken from a so-called power nap, yet felt like I could have gone back to sleep and hibernated for two months. Anyone else having this problem lately? Winter can really sap energy levels, so for this week’s Healthy Habit, let’s look at ways to feel alive and motivated, even in the doldrum months.
Greet the Sun
Is there any sun?! But seriously, getting daylight first thing in the day is ideal, though 10-15 minutes a day at midday works, too. According to an article published in Environmental Health Perspective, sunlight exposure early in the day helps keeps the body’s production of melatonin in rhythm, leading to better sleep at night, and has been effective in preventing seasonal affective disorder. Getting a daylight boost also ups serotonin, and “Moderately high serotonin levels result in more positive moods and a calm yet focused mental outlook,” the report states.
Just Beet It
Roast beets, juice beets, try a beet energy supplement, but get some beets into the diet if you can. Beets are a chockablock source of nitrates, which may help reduce blood pressure and help cardiovascular health overall. The premise is that beets boost performance by helping the body use oxygen more efficiently, which is why they are popular with runners and other athletes.
Color Your World
Supposedly, the blue-turquoise in these futuristic glasses stimulates sensory cells in your eye, which can help give you more energy, boost mood and improve sleep. You can also get a portable blue light, like this one by Philips. According to the Mayo Clinic, when using light therapy, it pays to consistent, so try to stick to the same time each day to use whatever product you pick. On the wardrobe side, wear “hot” colors like orange, bright red and hot pink, which are associated with creativity, energy and power.
Move Chi with Ginger
In Chinese medicine, ginger is used to tone the yang energy, dispersing cold from the body. It’s an energizing rhizome you can use in tea, in stir fries, raw in juices, or externally in forms such as a roll-on tonic or a shower gel.