10 easy ways to boost energy

It's a familiar feeling: You're utterly drained of energy and nothing can entice you to get off the couch and get moving. Sometimes it strikes when you're sitting at work, and sometimes it's when you're driving. It happens to everyone.
Fortunately there are natural ways to get a lift in energy. Whether they are quick fixes that work in the short-term or lifestyle habits that help you to have longer-lasting energy with longer term benefits, here are top 10 energy boosters.
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1. Take control of your stress.
Everyone knows stress saps energy, and now scientific studies have confirmed it. Harvard Medical School explains that stress-induced emotions consume large amounts of people's energy. Try diffusing stress by engaging in relaxation therapies such as meditation or yoga or simply have a chat with a friend or a therapist.
2. Increase magnesium.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, according to WebMD, including breaking down glucose into energy. This means low magnesium levels can have a very quick impact on energy levels, causing them to drop. Women should get about 300 milligrams a day and men should have about 350 milligrams, so try adding a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your diet and increase your intake of whole grains and fish.
3. Boost your B vitamins.
The B-complex vitamins are crucial for fueling bodies with carbs, proteins and fats – all energy rich. Body and Soul recommends eating more wholegrain cereals, meat, poultry, salmon, eggs, milk and green leafy vegetables or taking a daily multivitamin.
4. Get moving!
Even though it may be the last thing you want to do, WebMD explains that increasing physical activity – particularly walking – increases your energy. Studies have shown a quick 10-minute walk to cause an increase of energy for the following two hours, and the effects were even longer-lasting when the walks were completed daily. Talk about a quick energy boost!
5. Drink more water.
Harvard Medical School says forget all the expensive and flashy sports drinks: Water is the only liquid that has been proven to enhance performance across the board. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration, so fill a glass with H2O and get drinking.
6. Step away from the coffee.
Yes, in the short term caffeine can provide a quick boost in energy. But on a deeper level, it stimulates the production of stress hormones, and those sap energy. Body and Soul recommends having a herbal tea instead so you can avoid the eventual irritability and decrease in energy caused by caffeine.
7. Have a power nap.
Most people would love to have a nap sometimes, and now there's the science to back it up. WebMD cites studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health, which found that napping for an hour can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload, but can also help people to better retain what they have learned.
8. Stretch it out.
Health recommends an invigorating stretch. Stand in a doorway with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach your arms out at chest height and grip the doorframe with your fingers, then push your chest forward until you can feel the stretch in your torso and your back. It opens up the airways, increasing oxygen flow to the brain, and it's energizing for the body and the mind. Best of all, you don't need a yoga mat.
9. Eat regularly.
Food is fuel, and studies have shown that people who eat breakfast enjoy a better mood and higher energy levels throughout the day. According to Harvard Medical School, people should be eating food with a low glycemic index – those whose sugars are absorbed more slowly. Furthermore, studies have shown that missing any meal during the day will lead to greater feelings of fatigue by the day's end. Moral of the story: Don't skip lunch because you're too busy. You'll be more productive if you take a break and fuel up.
10. Laugh!
Last but not least, Health explains that a good belly laugh can raise your blood pressure and boost your heart rate. This means more oxygen-rich blood travelling through your brain and your body, and a quick boost of positive energy.
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It isn't nice to feel drained, but often it's a vicious cycle. If you feel too tired to exercise or eat properly, that only saps vitality more. The best advice? Use those last traces of energy to get up, have a drink of water and eat some energy food. Go for a quick 10-minute walk, have a stretch, and you'll feel a whole lot better.

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