6 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels This Winter
Falling temperatures and shorter days can zap your energy during the winter. Most of us struggle with the dreaded 3pm energy slump, but in winter, it can feel as though this lasts all day long.
If it’s a major struggle to get out of bed in the mornings and your energy and motivation never really get going, it’s time to take action.
Try these tips to get your mojo back and give your energy levels a massive boost during the winter.
Stay Away From Winter Comfort Food
Cozy winter comfort food can make winter a whole heap more bearable, but it’s super unhelpful for your energy levels. Sugary treats are a major culprit for spikes and crashes and having zero energy as a result. If your diet tends to be high in sugar over the winter months, swap it for healthier choices that won’t crush your energy levels. With the right foods, you can give your energy levels a huge boost and keep your mojo all winter. Swap high-fat and sugary comfort food for a balance of whole grain carbs, protein, and healthy fats to slow down the absorption of carb. The end result? Your energy levels stay super stable, and energy crashes are a thing of the past.
Tempted to skip breakfast most mornings in favor of a slightly longer lie-in? Struggling to get out of bed in time to eat a good breakfast can have a super important impact on your energy levels. With a filling and nutritious breakfast, your body has an opportunity to refuel after a night without food and receive nutrients that help your mind and body function at their best. A healthy breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats will keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep your energy levels stable throughout the morning. Oatmeal drizzled with Greek yogurt and nut butter, avocado or peanut butter toast topped with chia/flax seeds, fruit and quinoa parfait (with Greek yogurt, nuts, and seeds) and egg spinach breakfast burritos are all great examples of delicious and nutritious breakfast options.
Even mild dehydration can make you feel super tired. Staying hydrated is an easy way to make sure your energy levels don’t slump. If you’re not a big fan of water, sip on warming herbal teas. These have the bonus of helping you to feel perkier and more energized. Go for green tea, peppermint tea, or black tea for an energy boost and good hydration. Drinking lots of caffeinated drinks can also affect your energy. Caffeine gives you a quick energy boost in the short-term, which is quickly followed by an energy slump that can leave you feeling even more fatigued. It’s fine to have the odd caffeinated drink still — as long as you’re not relying on them to keep your energy levels up. Bear in mind too that caffeine isn’t very hydrating and can contribute to dehydration.
Exercise may be one of the last things on your mind during the winter months, but it’s another way to keep your energy levels higher. Exercise boosts blood flow around the body and helps tissues to receive more oxygen. Aim for around 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days for a regular energy boost. As a bonus, exercise also helps boost your mood — which can also have a knock-on effect on energy levels.
Stretching your muscles may not seem like the most obvious way to boost your energy, but it’s a hugely underrated way to get a quick boost. Stretching improves your circulation. If your muscles are on the tight side, it’ll help them to be less tight. Since your body needs to use more energy for tighter muscles, helping them to be looser frees up more energy. Starting off your morning with even a few minutes stretching is a super quick energy boost to prepare you for a busy day!
Improve Your Gut Health
An unhealthy gut can have a lot of negative effects on health and wellbeing, and it’s a big influence on energy levels. A healthy gut is super important for absorbing nutrients and getting energy from your food — which is also hugely vital for energy, of course! If you’re regularly struggling with your energy levels, it could have a lot to do with your gut — especially if you’re also eating poorly and not doing a lot of exercise in the winter months. Probiotics can be super helpful for giving your gut health a boost. Foods with probiotic and prebiotic qualities are also a great move. Bananas, leeks, and onions are just a few examples of prebiotic foods that you may already be eating, and they can support your probiotic intake.