Power up your mind—and body—with these easy tips.
Sure, it’s the New Year, so you want to have that get up and go sensation. But between frigid temperatures, early sunsets and most likely, a sugar and carb-filled holiday, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Frank Lipman, MD, an integrative and functional medicine physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, shares a few basic tips to incorporate into your daily routine to feel like a whole new you.
1. Eat a power breakfast. ”In the morning, protein and fat are essential for energy, and a large, healthy breakfast of the right foods is exactly what your body needs,” explains Dr. Lipman. Instead of heavy grains, bread or pastries, try a morning smoothie with whey or pea protein. “It’s the perfect breakfast because it’s quick to prepare, easily digested and can be packed with the healthy fats, proteins, nutrients and phytonutrients you need to fuel your day,” he says. At home, create his DIY protein-based smoothies—Green Mojito and Blueberry Avocado are whey based, while Coconut Bliss and Chocolate Love have pea protein instead. Click here for the complete recipes.
2. Drink water. “Feeling tired is often a sign of dehydration,” explains Dr. Lipman. “Sometimes when we think we need a sugar rush or caffeine fix, our body is really asking for its most simple form of liquid nourishment—water.” Be sure to have a bottle filled with H20 with you at all times to hydrate throughout the day. “If you really want to take it to the next level, squeeze in some lemon,” says Dr. Lipman. “This will help your digestion, and a strong digestive system is key to keeping energy levels high.”
3. Eat (or drink!) your greens. “Dark leafy greens are one of the most energizing foods available—they’re full of vitmains, minerals and antioxidants,” says Dr. Lipman. For even quicker absorption and to get the benefits of a variety of nutrients, try a green smoothie that contains options such as kale, spinach, romaine, and celery (plus some lemon or ginger for flavor and even more energizing properties).
4. Turn up the music. Sound is one of the most unused ways to alter your mood. “To raise your energy level quickly, put on a song you love and if you can take a dance break, even better,” explains Dr. Lipman.”That’s because our brain’s pleasure centers are activated when we hear music.”
5. Detox your adrenals. ”Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress,” says Dr. Lipman. “They help enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue—slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes.” And they get their name because of their role in your overall health: “Adaptogens have a unique ability to adapt their function according to your body’s specific needs,” he says. “Though the effects may initially be subtle and take time to make themselves felt, they’re real and undeniable.” Try a daily supplement such as Metagenics Adreset, $34.50 for 30, metagenics.com.
6. Relax to totally recharge. Although you have heard the meditation and yoga connection to feel more relaxed a million times, it’s surprisingly also a method that can increase energy, too. “Restorative yoga is my favorite night-time cure for a high-stress day,” says Dr. Lipman. “As you’ll be supported in these poses, for instance, by a chair or a wall, you’ll enjoy the healing and calming effects of yoga without having to exert any energy so you actually retain energy in the process, too.” His go-to movements: B.K.S Iyengar’s Reclining Belt Pose. “It’s the best ‘chill pill’ that I have experienced—ten-to-fifteen minutes in this pose works wonders, and gently preparing the body for sleep,” he says. Another simple power-down pose to try: Legs up the Wall. “It feels so good after a day on your feet to just lie on your back with your legs perpendicular against the wall, close your eyes and breathe for five-to-ten minutes,” he says. Then once you recharge, you’ll be ready to take on the world yet again. Click here to see a step-by-step for these poses plus other energizing yoga moves.