Each one of us is in the race to live healthier, smarter, fuller, more social, more economical… well you get the idea. The first step to making this ideally wishful mode of life a reality starts when the clocks rings for us to wake up. Our jobs require that we keep both our minds and body active. That takes both will and energy to maintain one state, from the moment we wake up to the time we tuck our kids into bed; not forgetting the pressures that we have to go through to please our superiors, the long traffic jams, the long queues at the supermarket, the irritating honking of motorists, the hyper-active kid who can’t settle down and maybe the stress of handling a relationship gone sour. It is sometimes just so easy to reminisce over the good moments from yesterday. Here are some simple tips for staying active and energized through a busy day.
Whether choreographed in the early morning or late in the evening, exercises opens the body up and prepares it for the stresses involved in the day to day routine of life. Exercise also helps remove the pent-up anger and fatigue that builds up as the day tolls on. Exercise is not only going to the gym and doing a 30min exercise-bout, but also counteracts the time spent sitting down at a desk for too long. It can be walking around within ones workplace, as simple as replacing your desk chair with an exercise ball, walking the dog, rejuvenating yoga, and so much more.
drink plenty of water
A doctor recommends that a normal person should consume around 8 glasses of water per day. At first that seems like a scary amount, until you consider the time you have to drink all the life-giving water. Assuming you get 8 hours of sleep a night, that means you have 16 hours to drink 8 glasses. Only half a glass an hour. That healthy boost can be fit into any tight schedule. And if you feel you don’t have time for it, consider the benefits of staying hydrated. From the first sip, it lubricates your throat, wettens your mouth and cools the lips on a scorching hot day. As the water gets to your stomach, it promotes healthy digestion by giving your food room to digest. After your body has absorbed the water it helps regulate body temperature and cardiovascular health, makes muscles and joints work better, and keeps the skin more supple. Once your body releases the water, it still benefits you by taking toxins with it. From the moment it touches your lips to the time it leaves you, it is constantly making your body function at a higher level. All in all, a few well timed sips throughout the day can make a big difference on how you feel and move through the world.
cook for yourself and eat well
We’ve all heard it before: don’t eat fast food. But there is so much more than it just being unhealthy and hard on the body. The very idea of rush, rush, rush and consuming detrimental food takes you away from the moment and leads to a more sedentary life style. As you cook, you move. You smell, feel, and become engrossed in the meal. Throw your spin on it and have some fun. If you grab a quick burger, you’ll just be scarfing it down in the car or in front of the TV. Of course, these are broad assumptions, but taking just a little bit of time out for your food will do wonders for the body and mental health.
From start to finish, you dictate how your day will go with what you put in your body. Take a heavy breakfast to boost your energy level and give you a good start for the day ahead. A good heavy breakfast is always recommended by the doctor because it makes you feel full and energized as the day starts. Avoid taking a heavy lunch as that will slow you down but remember to take something to top up your energy levels at lunchtime to shoot you through the otherwise sleepy afternoon. And once you get home, have some fun putting a meal together that you will enjoy. Start to finish fun, healthy and energizing. You’ll be feeling wonderful in no time.
Sleep and wake up early
There is a saying that you may have heard before, “the early bird gets the worm.” Funny enough, other languages have the exact same phrase. In German they say “Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm.” It sure sounds better in english, but we can learn something from our efficient comrades. Get up early and start the day right, whatever that may be for you. We recommend a simple rejuvenating yoga practice, but in the light of pertinent phrases, “to each his own.”
Why aim to get up early you ask? Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found in 2008 that early risers are more proactive. Randler’s research also revealed that “morning people” are more likely to anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently, which leads to more success. On top of that, various studies have shown that morning people exhibit character traits like optimism, being agreeable, satisfaction and conscientiousness.
Sign me up.
But its not all one sided. To wake up and be well rested early in the morning, you need to head to bed earlier too. By no means am I advocating an 8pm bed time. None of us are 4 anymore. But an 2am bed time doesn’t give much time for sleep. Find what works for you. Surf the web 10 less minutes one night. Are you really going to miss that time when you wake up the next day?
Sleep experts say that if you go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, your body will be more in tune with the earth’s circadian rhythms, which offers more restorative sleep. Getting a good night sleep reduces fatigue and gives the body time to reconfigure itself and prepare for another hard day. A well rested body is able to sustain itself for the duration that it is meant to, even when a day throws heavy doses of stress its way.
feeling more alive
When you bring all of these tips for staying active together, what do you have? A simpler, healthier life. It doesn’t take much day to day to feel drastic changes. Just being aware of what is going on at any one moment moves you in the right direction.