Tips from Susan Scott
We recharge our phones, put petrol in our car, but forget about boosting our own energy. Why do you think this is?
Susan Scott, author of Life Force offers her top tips for creating more energy. By building healthy habits into your life you lay the foundations to optimise your energy. Add vegetables to your dinner plate, take the stairs rather than the lift, manage the triggers that cause you distress; simple changes can soon become embedded and become the norm.
Tip 1: Make time to eat. Having three meals a day with a healthy snack in the morning and afternoon will balance your blood sugar levels.
Tip 2: Eat good complex carbohydrates such as oats, wholegrains and brown rice. Carbs are the fuel required for energy production in our cells but we need carbs that digest slowly so we don’t get a sugar rush.
Tip 3: Eat a varied diet of chicken, eggs, oily fish, wholegrains, pulses, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds to provide the nutrients vital for the energy-making biochemical reactions in our cells.
Tip 4: Have some good protein with each meal; meat, chicken, eggs, oily fish, cheese. This slows the absorption of glucose into our bloodstream, preventing highs and lows in energy.
Tip 5: Reduce or cut out caffeinated and sugary drinks such as coffee, cola, fruit juices. These only provide a short energy boost then leave you crashing.
Tip 6: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (around 1 ½ litres). The brain is 80% water and doesn’t function as well when its dehydrated.
Tip 7: Avoid alcohol in the evening. Although you feel it relaxes you, it’s a stimulant which disturbs sleep patterns.
Tip 8: Find time to exercise for each day. This doesn’t have to be the gym, but can be running up and down stairs, going for a brisk walk at lunchtime or doing some squats and lunges while you brush your teeth. This increases blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen to the neurones.
Tip 9: Take regular breaks from intense focused work to recharge your energy. Break each hour into 50 minutes of focused activity followed by a 10-minute break.
Tip 10: Have an electronic-sundown 2 hours before you go to bed. The light emitted from smartphones, tablets and computers suppresses the hormone melatonin that helps you sleep.
Tip 11: Know your limits and priorities and do not over-commit yourself. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ when asked to do something that you really feel you don’t have the time, energy or capacity to do.
Tip 12: Take time to relax and recharge. Spend time with the family and friends, practice mindfulness, listen to music, read, do some gentle gardening.
Tip 13: Use your full holiday allowance to help you unwind and recharge.
Tip 14: Have an annual health MOT at your GP or supermarket pharmacy to check blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Susan Scott is the author of Life Force (April 2, 2019, Eclipse Publishing & Media, £14.99)