Get More Energy!
Step 3: Stick to Your Workout Routine
Get this: Expending energy on exercise actually creates more for you to use. "Research shows that physically active people feel more energetic overall than sedentary people," says Patrick O'Connor, PhD, director of the University of Georgia exercise psychology laboratory in Athens. In one Australian study of 40,000 women, the more weekly physical activity they did, the more they reported feeling revved up. "It's likely that exercise stimulates neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, and this creates feelings of greater energy," O'Connor says. Aim for 20 to 40 minutes of cardio four or five times a week.
On the other hand, not all workouts need to be heavy-breathing sessions: Yoga is also restorative. A University of New Mexico study found that people who followed an eight-week yoga and meditation program had a significant increase in daily energy. And women who regularly practiced Hatha yoga had 41 percent less cytokine interleukin-6, a compound related to stress, in their blood than those who did not, researchers at Ohio State University found. "Because of the type of deep breathing that's incorporated into yoga, when you do even a single pose you bring freshly oxygenated blood to your organs," says Mary-Ann Mastreani, a yoga instructor in Irvington, New York.
For an instant pick-me-up, try performing this Easy Energy Twist at the office or in your living room:
Sit on the edge of a chair, back straight, feet flat on the ground. Inhale as you raise your arms over your head (a); exhale and bring your left hand to your right knee and your right hand slightly behind you on the chair (b). Twist to the right. Sitting tall, inhale and exhale while gently increasing the twist. Relax; switch sides. "Twisting increases blood flow and stimulates digestion, temporarily speeding up your metabolism and increasing energy," Mastreani says.
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