After months of staying huddled up indoors, hidden under layers of comfy clothing, the inevitable is going to be here before we know it – the temperature rises and we are forced to consign those all encompassing woollies to the back of the wardrobe for another nine months.
When it's hard enough to muster up the energy to get out of bed in the morning, how on earth can we expect to get through the day with a spring in our step?
There are a few simple tricks to boost your energy levels that might just get you started on the right road.
Think about your food choices. Months of high carb comfort foods will take their toll on your waistline as well as your energy levels. You've heard it before and I'll say it again, get a decent breakfast inside you. Scrambled or boiled eggs with a slice of wholemeal toast is an excellent combination of carbs, protein and fibre to kick start your day. If you are one of those that simply cannot face breakfast, try rustling up an energy boosting smoothie of fresh or frozen fruits. Banana, kiwi, mango and berries all work well either whizzed up in fresh fruit juice or skimmed milk. (I really fancy one of those now!)
Although many diets will advocate no carbs after 6pm, a protein based lunch will boost your energy. Save the bread and potatoes for dinner, concentrate on meat or fish salads, or maybe an omelette at lunchtime, and for extra brain food add some seeds or nuts. If you should suffer that mid afternoon 'dip' don't fall into the sugar trap - that bar of chocolate will give you an instant sugar rush, but the comedown is swift and will leave you feeling even more lethargic. Cut down on fatty foods which will make your digestive system sluggish.
Exercise first thing. It is worth getting up that little bit earlier to start the day with some aerobic exercise. It doesn't have to be a full on gym session - just a brisk early morning walk with the dog will boost oxygen flow and keep you alert for the rest of the day...and boy does it make you feel virtuous! If you can squeeze in a couple of extra 10 minutes sessions, maybe in your lunch hour or BEFORE you slump in front of the TV in the evening, it will keep your metabolism ticking over nicely.
Get some downtime. Even five minutes is enough to re-charge. If your mind is racing, or you've spent the whole morning concentrating intently on some work project, give your brain a rest. Take yourself to a quiet corner and practice deep breathing. There's nothing complicated about this (if you've ever been to an ante natal class the process will be familiar!) Simply breathe in through the nose for a count of five, then gently release through the mouth, focussing on clearing your mind of the clutter build up.
Get your sleep. Sleep isn't about quantity; some people can function perfectly well on 5 or 6 hours a night, whilst others need at least 8 hours a night to feel human. Whichever category you may fall into, a restless sleep will be of little benefit. Make your bedroom a relaxing haven (keep television viewing as a downstairs activity), de-clutter the room, furnish it in soft colours and fabrics. Allow fresh air into the room and use relaxing scented candles such as lavender. Avoid using alcohol to help you nod off, and plump for a warm bath before bed instead.
Drink like a fish! A teetotal fish that is! Hunger, fatigue, headaches, stress – each and every one can be as a direct result of dehydration. Few of us drink as much water as we should. It doesn't have to be fancy bottled stuff; we're lucky enough to have perfectly good water on tap. If plain water just isn't your cup of tea, well, make a cup of tea! Fruit, herbal and green teas are all a healthy, palatable way to increase your water intake.
Give yourself a day off. Greasy fry up for breakfast, feet up all day reading the papers, massive Sunday lunch with all the trimmings followed by jam roly-poly and custard, accompanied by copious amounts of wine. When you're stuffed to the point of being in pain, the heartburn kicks in, and you literally cannot physically drag yourself off the sofa, you will be desperate to get back to all things in moderation... we just need reminding why from time to time!
If you want to increase your chances of sustaining your healthier lifestyle, why not try Breeze, the Urban Yoga Company in Guildford? Specialising in Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, and with the introduction of the revolutionary 'hot yoga' a trip to Breeze is guaranteed to leave you filled with a feeling of wellbeing and simply bursting with energy!
Are you a little bit creaky round the joints? Age taking its toll? Or do you have a condition or injury that just won’t heal? Whatever your age or circumstances, you can fight back and improve your strength, flexibility and physical health with the help of the Back in Shape Clinic. Offering a range of remedial and preventative classes and treatments, the Croydon clinic can go a long way towards keeping you in optimum physical condition!