After what might seem like a lifetime, winter is over and into a new season we go – hello Spring! Although we can expect to enjoy better weather, lighter mornings and evenings thanks to the clocks going forward, and a general uplifting vibe at this time of year, you may be struggling to shake off the sluggish winter ‘hangover’.
That’s why, in collaboration with Alive!, I’m sharing my tips on how to boost your energy, by making simple diet and lifestyle changes to really get your raring to go throughout Spring. Let’s make the most of longer, brighter days!
Supplement your lifestyle
While eating a balanced diet full of nutritious foods is vital, consider taking a supplement to help fuel your active and busy lifestyle. This is where Alive! Women’s Energy Soft Jells come in.
Specifically designed for women with the full vitamin B complex to support normal energy, plus Biotin for healthy skin and hair and fertility-boosting Zinc, these delicious jells contain a unique blend of 26 fruits and vegetables. With a delicious orange and berry natural fruit flavours, they contain no gluten, soya, dairy and yeast or artificial nasties – you can see why nutritionist (and a big inspiration of mine) Nicola Whitehead loves them too!
Turn the temperature down
It might not sound like the most pleasant thing in the world, but starting your day with a cold shower is a sure-fire way to get you going in the morning. The cold water will be a shock to the system and will literally jolt you awake. According to research, doing this regularly can even help to improve your immune system – worth a shot, if you can bear it!
Fill up on breakfast
Deemed to be the most important meal of the day, studies have shown than people who eat breakfast have a better mood and more energy throughout the day. Be sure to choose healthy options that are high in protein, low in sugar and are packed with complex carbohydrates and fibre. Good choices include: porridge topped with fresh or dried fruit and nuts; eggs with wholegrain toast plus spinach and tomatoes; a protein packed smoothie.
Get moving and get sweaty
If you’re lacking in energy, one of the best ways to regain it is to get moving. Running, strength circuits, even brisk walking can all raise your heart rate and help you to sweat out toxins while releasing endorphins – a natural mood booster. Try and get outdoors and make the most of the better weather, first thing in the morning, at lunch time or in the evenings after work. That extra dose of vitamin D from the sun is fantastic for bone healthy and immunity.
Regular exercise also helps to keep the weight off – extra weight can actually make you feel more exhausted so choose something you enjoy to keep in shape and feel more full of beans.
Boost your iron levels
Your body might be telling you you’re not getting enough iron if you suffer from extreme tiredness or poor circulation. Anaemia zaps your energy, so make sure you include plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet, including nuts and seeds, eggs, red meat (choose lean options), green leafy veg like spinach and kale. Eat with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes and berries to help the absorption of iron.
Cut down on sugar
Stabilising your blood sugar levels is crucial when it comes to boosting your energy levels. Sugary foods release energy quickly but can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling low and tired again. Enjoy regular healthy meals and snacks that are low-GI and go for options that have as little added sugar as possible, such as natural yogurt, porridge oats, pulses and wholegrain options that help to release energy slowly. Make sure you eat every few hours to avoid sugar crashes to keep you alert throughout the day.
Big Up the B Vitamins
Key to helping put a bounce back into your step this Spring are foods high in B vitamins, which help your body to release energy from food and reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue. Choose things like green veggies, oats, fortified cereals, eggs, lean meat and wholegrains and make them a regular part of your diet to really feel the benefits.
Get enough sleep
Good quality, restful sleep helps our body and mind to function better during the day, and is essential for mood and energy. Be sure to relax in the evening with a book, your favourite TV show, having a bath and switching off so you can fall into a peaceful sleep and leave you feeling fresh for the following day.
Take a break
It can be easy to feel a bit run-down if you are burning the candle at both ends, with work, cramming in a busy social life or taking on too much. It’s ok to take a break, to refresh your mind and feel invigorated. One of my personal favourite ways to do this is to just go out on a long walk in the countryside, leaving my phone at home and just enjoying the scenery.