Gemma McCaw's 9 energy boosting hacks

Lift your mood and productivity with these easy energy boosters.

By Gemma McCaw
We all have periods in our lives where we feel a little lacklustre, but here are some simple ways to refresh and boost our energy levels.

Cut down on alcohol

Can you have more alcohol-free days in your week? Try imbibing on special occasions only, rather than everyday consumption. Alcohol may help bring on sleep initially, but it affects your deep restorative sleep (REM) and leaves you feeling less rested the next day.

Opt for brain foods

Foods that are high in sugar and calories can leave us feeling fatigued. Making smart choices can help us to feel alert all day long. Recharge your body's batteries with energising foods such as porridge, bananas, salmon, spinach, almonds, eggs and avocado.

Exercise often

Exercise gives us energy. The idea of getting up and moving may seem tiring, but just 20 minutes of activity three times a week can help reduce fatigue. It's all about creating good habits. Make a regular date with a friend for a brisk walk or join a class. Exercise can be fun and social, and leaves us feeling better afterwards.

Work in natural light

Natural light keeps us alert, so if you have the choice at work, opt for a desk space near a window. If this isn't possible, make sure you head outside during your breaks to recharge your batteries.

Take regular breaks

Try to give yourself time out every 30 minutes or so to have a stretch, grab a drink of water or breathe in some fresh air. It will help alertness and sharpen your focus.

Go to bed early

Quality sleep and good health go hand in hand. Ensuring you have a good night's sleep means you can wake feeling refreshed for the day ahead. Aim to get a consistent bedtime and try for the magic eight hours, even if you have to miss that last episode on Netflix and go to bed earlier!

Stay hydrated

Hydration is really important for digestion and appetite regulation. Often we mistake hunger for thirst, so ensure you keep your water bottle with you throughout the day. Opt for water over energy drinks as these sugar-laden beverages cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels and often leave us feeling lethargic or drowsy.

Start the day with light exercise

Beginning the day with light exercise is a great way to boost energy. Go for a jog or brisk walk, or do a few lunges or star jumps before you shower. Your oxygen levels will increase and the happy hormone serotonin will be produced, so your mood and energy levels will increase.

Take a break from your phone

Studies have shown that switching off from technology – even just for an hour – has a positive impact on our energy levels. Try to schedule some time each week where you step away from the phone and laptop. Go for a walk in the bush or a swim in the sea as getting outside is great for re-energising the body, mind and soul.

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