By: Kerry Gustafson, LAT, ATC, LMT — Superfeet Wellness Panel Member. Kerry is the owner and visionary of Prime Sports Institute, a multi-disciplinary sports medicine clinic focused on helping individuals maintain healthy, active lifestyles through a comprehensive approach to wellness. An athletic trainer for more than 19 years, Kerry's specialties include the evaluation and rehab of injuries, running gait analysis and screenings to identify imbalances, mobility and movement dysfunctions
When life has you on the go and you're trying to add in fitness and activity, you can feel overwhelmed and depleted of energy. How can you fit one more thing into your already busy day when you don't have a lot of energy?
But, boosting your energy doesn't have to be overly involved, require equipment or cost you money and time. Nor does it have to add one more errand or appointment to your calendar.
Here are five easy and natural ways to increase your energy, even when your schedule is jam-packed.
Our bodies and minds function best with rest. For energy to stay consistently high, sleep is the best secret weapon. Need help falling asleep? Try a meditation app or listen to an audio book (set a sleep timer to turn off). Be sure to turn screens off at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Legs up the wall or calves on a chair can also help you ease into a restful sleep.
Take an Active Break
Short on time? If you work from home and your energy is starting to tank, look for simple ways around you to quickly boost your energy.
When was the last time you did jumping jacks? Find some space and crank out 10 of them moderately, then 10 quickly.
Take the dog for a walk around the block. Getting some fresh air helps both you and your doggo.
Walk up the stairs if you have them in your building. Start with a brisk walk up the first flight, then walk back down them. Then walk up skipping every other one. Walk back down. To finish, run up the flight quickly.
Try shuffle dancing — a move similar to the 90's-era running man.
Moving between temperatures can help to reset your nervous system. At Prime Sports Institute we have a hot and a cold tub to go back and forth for exercise recovery. You can also do this in the shower by turning the temperature up and down. When doing hot and cold contrasts, we recommend doing a 3:1 hot to cold ratio — spend three minutes in the hot, then one minute submerged in the cold water and repeat for three to four cycles. It may sound bizarre and like you would rather clip your fingernails too short, but the invigorating boost of energy can last a long while. It can also have a calming effect. One of the athletes at Prime uses it after traveling and racing and says it helps her reset immediately — she was hesitant at first, but loves the physical and mental boost it gives her.
Listen to Upbeat Music
Put on some of your favorite music that gets you grooving. Play a playlist you haven't listened to in a long time. Wear your headphones to get the full experience and let yourself have fun with it. You won't bother any co-workers around you but you will feel energized. Even if you work alone, the headphones can create a more 3D experience and awaken your brain.
Take a Technology Break
Taking a media break is a powerful way to improve our well-being. Try a four-day media fast. Benefits include improved sleep, deepened social connections and decreased anxiety. Disconnecting from our devices, even for a short time can help us live more mindfully and keep us living in the present.