6 Natural Ways to Put More Pep in Your Step

Is fatigue dragging you down? When your energy level dips down below your knees, it's easy to give into the impulse to grab a sugary snack or a shot of soda, coffee, or whatever you favorite form of caffeine is. But there's a better, healthier way to put more pep in your step. In fact, there are several! Next time you're trudging through your day, skip the caffeine and give one of these natural energy boosters a try.

1. Wake Up With Water

When the urge to nap strikes, start sipping water. Dehydration stresses the body, leaving you feeling tired and head-achy. Rehydrating revitalizes your system, giving your energy levels a bump and making it easier to focus. Staying hydrated can also help chase away the munchies, which is a bonus anyone struggling to maintain a healthy weight can appreciate.

Oddly enough, many people mix up the signals for thirst and hunger, so drinking water may reduce your urge to snack. If you don't like water try flavoring your water with fruit juice. If you still can't stomach it, reach for a glass of milk instead; loaded with several nutrients that your body needs to function effectively, it's a healthy alternative to water.

2. Get a Fresh Start

While nutritional cleansing has its detractors, many people swear by it as a way not just to lose weight, but to increase energy. Why? The thought is that all the chemicals in our environment, coupled with our poor diets and other negative influences, create a rather toxic buildup in our bodies that needs to be flushed out every so often. Popular programs include Isagenix, juice detox cleanses, Dr. Oz’s 48-hour Weekend Cleanse and more. If you want to try a detox program, make sure you do your research and choose one that gives your body the proper nutrients—otherwise the “fresh start” may end up sapping your energy, not giving you more.

3. Soak Up Some Sun

To run smoothly, the human body's internal clock needs periods of light and dark. Unfortunately, artificial light doesn't always get the job done, so spending too much time indoors can throw off the body's circadian rhythm, setting the stage for drowsiness, fatigue, and insomnia. Resetting the body's clock and restoring your get-up-and-go is as easy as spending some time in the sun. As a bonus, enjoying some sunlight on your skin can also boost your mood and provide your body with vitamin D, a crucial nutrient that many people are deficient in.

4. Fuel Up With the Right Foods

It's true that a sugar rush provides quick energy, but that burst of vigor is inevitably short, and it's just not worth the crash that follows. To give fatigue the boot, eat right. Choose a healthy snack or a meal with protein, whole grains, fruits, or vegetables to provide your body with the complex mix of vitamins and minerals it needs to function effectively. If you need help steering clear of the snack machine, go nuts. They have a satisfying crunch, don't require refrigeration or any real prep time, and are a fantastic way to ward off hunger pangs.

5. Recharge With Movement

When you're too tired to think straight, how can anyone expect you to move? As counterintuitive as it may seem, using your last gasp of gusto to move won't leave you completely drained. It will perk you up. If you're slumped over your desk, sit up. Poor posture can compress the arteries that carry blood to the brain, so simply sitting up straight can be energizing. Better yet, stand up and take a few steps to get your muscles moving and your blood circulating.

Numerous studies have linked exercise to improved energy, so get moving. Try a walk around the office between appointments, take the stairs on your way to a meeting, stroll around the block during your lunch hour, or make a quick trip to the gym.

6. Tap Into the Power of Touch

The thymus gland, located near the sternum (breastbone), supports the immune system. Small but mighty, and a staunch ally in the fight against fatigue, it's a natural energy booster right at your fingertips. Simply tap the center of your chest just below your collarbone for 20 or 30 seconds while doing a little deep breathing. This stimulates the thymus to produce infection-fighting T-cells, reduce stress, and boost energy.

In a fast-paced world filled with constant demands, exhaustion is a fact of life. While sugar and caffeine are known for their ability to perk people up, there are alternatives that are just as effective and much better for your body. The next time your energy levels are bottoming out, give one of these natural energy boosters a try.

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