The world may be uncertain, but nature continues to brim with life! Experts say these time-savvy strategies can boost energy and give you the vim and vigor to match this sunny season.
When You Wake Up: Massage Your Scalp
Gently massaging your scalp and neck for five minutes each morning — ideally before getting out of bed — will help you feel 30 percent sunnier all morning long. That’s the word from Canadian researchers, who say morning is when your production of mood-sapping stress hormones spikes, and giving scalp and neck nerves a little blissful TLC can cut stress hormone production by 32 percent. Plus, it prompts the release of the calming, fatigue-fighting brain chemical oxytocin.
At Breakfast: Open a Window
Crack the window while you’re eating breakfast and really listen to the sounds of nature, like birds chattering or leaves rustling in the breeze, and you’ll feel 65 percent more clear-headed and alert for the next three hours. Explains Elaine Wilkes, Ph.D., author of Nature’s Secret Messages, focusing on the sounds of nature stimulates your brain to release energizing beta waves.
At Noon: Relax in the Sun
Stretch out in the midday sun for 15 minutes every day, and your energy level could rise by 50 percent in 72 hours, say Boston University researchers. Explains endocrinologist Jerry Keane, M.D., UV light exposure prompts your skin to make vitamin D-3, a nutrient that energizes your liver, helping it break down fatigue-triggering toxins and wastes.
Mid-Afternoon: Dash to the Mailbox
As little as two minutes of motion mid-afternoon can increase your happiness, energy and stamina by 40 percent for two hours, British researchers say. Turns out, afternoon is when your production of energizing brain chemicals called endorphins naturally starts to dip, but a quick burst of motion can restore them to their morning peak.
Snack Your Way Smart & Slim!
Just by adding two ounces of protein to every meal and snack! UCLA researchers say a steady trickle of amino acids energizes your brain’s focus-enhancing frontal lobes, plus it encourages lipolysis — the burning of fats for muscle-energizing fuel.
Expanding your chest with a yawn increases oxygen intake by 30 percent, which Stanford University researchers say prompts the release of hormones that sharpen focus in 10 seconds.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.