Now That's Energy: Our Best Tips for All-Day Energy
The Wake-Up Workout
Do any or all of these easy yoga stretches, and feel refreshed.For A.M. Energy
Stand a few inches in front of your bedroom doorway and lift arms so that elbows are at shoulder height. Place palms on the edges of the door jamb, framing both sides of the doorway. Anchor hands as you lean forward and exhale. "Hold for a few breaths, allowing shoulder blades to move together and the chest to open," says Edward Vilga, a yoga instructor at Laughing Lotus in New York City and author of Yoga for Suits. Then, inhaling, return to starting position.For At-Work Energy
- Sit on the edge of your office chair and do an Upward Spiral: Reach right hand to left knee, grab the back of the chair with left hand, and inhale. As you exhale, twist left, toward the back of the chair. Hold for a few breaths, twisting deeper into the stretch with each exhale. "Twisting releases the spine, allowing energy to spiral upward in the body," says Vilga. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Sit in your chair for a Side Stretch: Raise arms toward the ceiling, fingers reaching. "Inhale and linger, visualizing nailing tomorrow's presentation or landing an important client -- whatever inspires you," says Vilga. Lean to the right while exhaling, then to the left. Repeat 3 times on each side, holding for a few breaths. "This opens the rib cage, increasing your heart rate and improving circulation," Vilga explains.
- Try the Breath of Fire: Pant through your mouth for a few seconds, then breathe through your nose, inhaling and exhaling rapidly for 15 to 30 seconds. "Because you're quickly contracting the abdomen, you'll increase your heart rate, which delivers oxygen everywhere and tones your belly," says Vilga. Finish with a few slow, deep breaths.
Need a Lift? Try mint. Breathing in the scent of peppermint is a natural pick-me-up. In studies at West Jesuit University in West Virginia, lead researcher Bryan Raudenbush, PhD, found that mint stimulates the part of the brain connected to attention and arousal. Use a peppermint-infused body lotion.
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