Stretch It Out1 of 9
If you're not a morning person, setting your alarm for an early exercise class might set you up for failure--after all, making it there means getting up, dressed and out the door on time. Instead of snoozing on fitness, try the next best thing: a good morning stretch. Setting aside just a few minutes to master mobility first thing in the morning increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to your muscles, which helps boost energy levels.
Take a Power Nap2 of 9
Daydreaming of a mid-day snooze? Go ahead and take it. According to experts, a 10-minute power nap could be just what you need to boost alertness and clarity. You'll get some quality shut eye without running the risk of slipping into deep sleep and waking up tired.
Break a Sweat3 of 9
If you've noticed some pep in your step after exercising, it's likely due to a rush of endorphins. These hormones are released after exercise and create a sense of euphoria, improving mood and energy. Try a brisk walk around the office (or the building) if you're nodding off at your desk. An added bonus: Not only does exercise motivate you in the moment, but it can also improve the quality of your sleep, according to a study in the Journal of Sleep Research.
Sneak in Some Seeds4 of 9
Instead of reaching for that midday sugar bomb and risking the afternoon jitters, eat some heart-healthy chia seeds. In addition to being high in fiber and Omega-3s, their ratio of macronutrients--protein, carbs and fat--makes them a stable source of energy. According to the USDA's National Nutrient Database, one 28-gram serving contains 5.6 grams of protein, 8.4 grams of fat, 13.1 grams of carbs and 11.2 grams of fiber. Mix yours with some yogurt or blend into a smoothie.
Climb Stairs5 of 9
Come out of that afternoon slump, it's time to lace up and hit the stairwell. According to a study in the Journal of Physiology & Behavior, a short time stair-stepping can be more energizing than a cup of coffee. When comparing the revitalizing effects of a 10-minute stair-climbing session to that of a 50 mg caffeine dose (think an espresso shot or can of soda), researchers were in favor of the low-to-moderate intensity of the stairs.
Eat Complex Carbs6 of 9
No, we're not encouraging you to eat white bread or zap some mac and cheese, but if you feel a case of the ZZZs coming, reach for complex carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, or potatoes. Because they take longer to digest, they'll provide you with a steady source of all-day energy.
Breathe Deep7 of 9
If you're feeling groggy, step back and take a breath. By breathing through your diaphragm--filling your lungs, chest and belly with air while nixing short, shallow breaths--you'll activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This improved breathing helps aid in the flow of oxygen to your blood and rev up alertness.
Laugh8 of 9
Looking for an excuse to giggle? Laughter is a natural energy booster and has been known to lower stress levels by increasing endorphins. It's also been shown to improve blood flow and circulation.