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5 Best Ways to Increase Your Energy, Focus, and Productivity

The energy-in-a-bottle industry is booming. Visit any checkout counter in America and you’ll likely see a variety of energy drinks and supplements with questionable health qualities.

Increasing your energy, focus, and productivity doesn’t come from a convenience store, it’s about how you treat your body. Getting exercise, good sleep, proper nutrition, managing your stress, and yes, maybe a little caffeine are some ways of increasing your energy and focus.

1.Exercise!

You’ve heard this before. If you are feeling drained, you should head to the gym. This is easier said than done when you are feeling lethargic, but the data doesn’t lie. A University of Georgia study says that those who are most sedentary stand to gain the most from light to moderate exercise.
People from all different activity levels can stand to gain from exercise. According to the same study, a group of mostly sedentary people who began a light workout regimen saw a 65 percent increase in energy levels. A simple walk in the morning can help you wake up for the day, burn a few calories, and even reduce stress.

2. Get the Appropriate Amount of Sleep

Setting a sleep schedule that works for you is vital to maintaining healthy energy levels. Being sleep deprived or sleeping too much are both causes of fatigue. Your brain and body need you to sleep!

A University of Rochester study determined that during the day proteins build up in your brain as a byproduct of cognitive activity. While sleeping, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid increases and washes away the toxins. Without this process, the brain cannot function at full capacity. This is why it is hard to focus when sleep deprived.

Sleep position is also key to getting proper rest and avoiding fatigue. Having bad sleeping posture can lead to a laundry list of problems including back and neck problems, acid reflux, snoring, premature wrinkles, and fatigue.

According to various medical specialists, side sleeping is the best solution to the issues mentioned above. In order to get better rest, make sure that you choose memory foam pillows and a comfortable mattress designed especially for side sleepers. For further information regarding the benefits of using a high-quality mattress, click here.

3. Don’t Neglect Nutrition!

Proper nutrition is one of the most effective ways of increasing your energy and focus. You are what you eat! Garbage in, garbage out. Getting advice to eat nutritious foods for energy is not news to anyone, yet as a society, we still eat sugary, non-nutritious foods.

There are countless studies backing up a balanced diet, but reading those aren’t likely to change behavior. Try an experiment on yourself. Keep notes of how you feel on your current diet, especially if that diet is high in refined starches and sugars. Then for a few days, cut out the processed foods and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Take note of your energy levels! When you realize that your energy and focus, and therefore your productivity has increased, you may finally be convinced to make those changes permanent.

Nutrition isn’t just what you eat. It’s what you drink as well. Being dehydrated can cause low energy. If you find yourself feeling low during the middle of your day, the first thing you should do is take a brisk walk to the water cooler. The walk, plus the hydration can be just what you need to catch your second wind.

Alcohol can also affect energy levels, especially when consumed right before bed. Having a night cap might help you fall asleep, but on average you’ll be awake again in a few hours leaving you sleep deprived the next day.

4. Consume a Proper Amount of Coffee
Caffeine is a classic and often abused tool in the arsenal of ways of increasing your energy and focus. However, excessive consumption can lead to awful side effects, affecting cardiac rhythm and raising blood pressure.

On the other side, moderate caffeine consumption can improve your focus capacity. According to various studies, 4mg of caffeine per 1 kg of body weight can improve focus and memory. In other words, when used properly, caffeine will certainly increase your productivity!

5. Stress

Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight impulses. This is very useful in short-term circumstances, but when the body is exposed to chronic stress, including job-related stress or relationship stress, many adverse symptoms can arise including exhaustion.

Sleep can be a self-defense mechanism and when faced with constant stress, your body wants to “check out” by sleeping. If sleeping means your body can avoid the stressor, then that’s what your body wants you to do. Rooting out the causes of chronic stress or better managing the demands of your daily life can allow your body to get better rest when it’s time to be restful and therefore have more energy and focus daily.

Conclusion

Energy and focus are valuable commodities. You don’t have to buy them at the convenience store, you can control your energy levels by following the five steps above.

When the body gets proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep there is no doubt your energy levels will rise.

5 Reasons Why You Actually Should Try That “Breathing” Thing

Have you had someone tell you just to breathe and your natural reaction was something along the lines of rolling your eyes or wanting desperately to punch them in the face?

Especially if you’re upset or stressed about something. It’s like it makes your blood boil even more. Don’t tell me to relax! Now I’m even more hulk-like!

Well, I’m certainly not going to tell you to relax…I do have a couple questions though:

  • Do you ever get nagging aches & pains that distract you from your work?
  • Do you ever feel like your mind is running at 100MPH and you can’t seem to shut it off?
  • Or maybe you have persistent pain that limits you from being able to play golf, go rock climbing or go on a walk/hike with your significant other?
  • Have you started to feel like having pain, feeling insecure and/or out of shape is your new norm?

Well, if any of that even slightly resonated with you, and if you’re open to it, here are 5 reasons that might peak your interest in this whole “breathing” thing.

  1. It literally lowers stress [by activating your vagus nerve which decreases the sympathetic (fight or flight) tone of your nervous system. every time you breathe, you are quite literally telling your nervous system “it’s all good, nothing to worry about here!”]

  2. It allows you to finally turn your brain off [the different areas of our brain compete for their attention, so by focusing on something physical, our brain activity cannot focus on the millions of thoughts running through it – it must instead divert its energy to the physical. this is the same reason you can’t really talk if you’re concentrating heavily on some difficult new yoga pose or dance move or golf swing.]

  3. It relieves tension in spine that may be contributing to your pain [many people hold themselves in a very rigid, upright position all day, which creates a lot of excessive muscular tension in the spine (much like holding a bicep curl all day long – it would hurt & fatigue eventually!). it’s extremely difficult to hold this stiff position while breathing deeply, so if we practice deep breathing, we learn to let that stiff, rigid posture go.]

  4. It improves core strength [deep, diaphragmatic breathing actually requires use of specific abdominal muscles – the muscles in between your rib cage. so, by focusing on a deep, long exhalation, we are actually enabling our core muscles to activate better!]

  5. Its a powerful way of giving movement to your body 24/7 [breathing is actually a form of micro-movement. as we inhale and exhale, the joints and muscles of the spine and the core are getting movement. and as we know, the body does not like inactivity, so by learning to breathe deeply throughout the day, we are feeding our body more movement in areas that are often tense/inactive. this has a plethora of benefits!]

I’m going to be following up on each of these topics for the next couple of weeks, so be sure to stay tuned. I’ll be posting them on my Facebook page, my Instagram, my Twitter, and my exclusive Facebook Group!

And don’t be shy – if you have a specific question about any of this, email me so we can jump on a quick phone call to discuss what’s going on with you!


To learn more about Melanie Daly and her personal training, please visit her website: http://www.backpainpersonaltrainer.com/

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