By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 11:28, 01 April 2020
Staggering new research* has found that we are most energised at 11am but by 2pm, just three hours later, we’re already flagging! What’s more, Brits feel they don’t have enough energy to get through the day at least three times a week.
Four fifths of us (80%) believe taking better care of ourselves would lead to feeling more energised, which would have a huge impact on our lives, but how exactly can we accomplish taking better care of ourselves? We’ve rounded up a few simple and helpful practices to incorporate into your life to feel more energised!
Eat Breakfast – Truly the most important meal of the day, particularly as the research showed 39% of Brits considered skipping breakfast as their main energy drainer! Try topping a hearty bowl ofNairn’s Porridge Oats (RRP £2.00, Sainsbury’s) with fresh berries or a dollop of nut butter for a filling first meal.
A helping of oats will help to keep you energised for the first part of your day, as they’re full of B vitamins to help our cells make energy from our food, and help keep blood sugar and mood stable. Nutritionist Fiona Lawson comments that oats “provide a low-GL form of carbohydrate, which means their energy is released slowly and steadily. This helps us to feel consistently energised,” so we can make it to lunch without turning to coffee for energy, which 30% of us are liable to do.
Exercise – The research found that almost three quarters (71%) of Brits admit they would be more likely to challenge themselves to do more physical activity if they didn’t feel so lethargic, but ironically, regular physical activity has been proven to improve both mood and energy levels.
So even if it’s the absolute last thing you feel like doing, try to fit time for exercise into your daily schedule, as it can help increase endorphins and help you sleep better, both of which will certainly increase energy levels. However, don’t feel pressured to be out doing a 5K or lifting weights every day – taking a walk on your lunch break or cycling around the park are both great options too. Which leads us to…
Get Outside – The amount of time we spend inside in the office means we only get an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes outside on a typical day, so it’s important to take advantage of any opportunity you can get to be out in the sunshine! Sunshine boosts levels of serotonin to help you feel happier and energetic, whilst reducing levels of the hormone melatonin to help you get up and go. Plus, a breath of fresh air after being cooped up at a desk all day is sure to give you an energy boost.
Fuel Your Body Strategically – Eating well is probably the most guaranteed way to ensure that your energy levels don’t crash. While eating a healthy and hearty breakfast will start you off on the right foot, a well-balanced lunch will carry you straight through that pesky afternoon slump.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says, “Sushi can be really good for us because fresh raw fish such as salmon and tuna are packed with nutrients. Salmon in particular is high in those super-healthy omega-3s, which are great for our heart and brain. And both these fish are rich in B vitamins – especially B12, which is essential for energy and for keeping our brain sharp as we age!” Try the best of itsu dish (£9.99, nationwide itsu stores) for a delicious and well-balanced sushi lunch!
Don’t forget about an energising snack to perk you up throughout the afternoon either – 21% of us turn to chocolate to give us an energy boost, but choosing raw chocolate, likeOmbar’s 90% Cacao (£2.10, Ocado) is a better option as it won’t leave you with a sugar crash later on. It also contains the mineral magnesium, which is crucial in converting carbohydrates to energy. In fact, if you’re low on magnesium, it could leave you feeling drained and lethargic.
Prioritise Proper Rest – Finally, one of the easiest and most important ways to boost your energy levels is to simply get more sleep. When we’re busy, sleep often goes to the bottom of our priority list, but lack of sleep is one of the main reasons contributing to feeling tired or sluggish. Wind down properly with a book or warm bath and try to avoid screens an hour before bed to improve quality of sleep.