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10 Natural Energy Boosters

1. Jump out of bed in the morning. Instead of grudgingly throwing off the covers, get up fast. Yes, it takes courage to throw yourself out into the cool morning air of your bedroom, especially when coming from a cocoon of warm covers, but it's worth it. Jumping from bed as opposed to hesitantly edging out provides you with an immediate burst of energy to start your day off right.

2. Drink more water. You've probably heard that it's important to drink eight glasses of water a day. But why? Water keeps the sinuses hydrated and blood pressure normal, preventing headaches. In addition, your muscles are made up of 70 percent water, so the more water you intake, the better your muscles will function. More water equals stronger muscles. Stronger muscles equal more energy. And more energy means more accomplishments throughout the day. So drink up.

3. Move it. Even if it's just a morning walk around the block or walking for a half an hour on the treadmill, get your blood flowing. When you get moving early in the day, you're not only starting your routine with a positive accomplishment, but you are also boosting your metabolism -- which gives you that extra energy kick you're looking for. Also, Take a little time at work every couple hours to take a brisk walk; it will pull you out of the middle-of-the-day stupor.

4. Alternate showers between hot and cold. According to studies from the Thrombosis Research Institute in London, England, alternating the temperature of your shower increases metabolism and boosts circulation, ridding your body of lethargy and giving you the pep you need. If you can't stomach quick changes in temperature (or cold at all), do all your cleansing in warm water, then slowly transition to cold at the end of your shower. Taking a short bath at the end of the day can also help to recharge your batteries and give you the energy you need to finish the day.

5. Eat an apple. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But did you know that eating one in the morning can help wake you up? The chewing action required and the monosaccharide sugars that moves right into the bloodstream get your body working fast.

6. Start a new hobby. Don't worry -- trying something new doesn't mean it has to be as exhilarating (or terrifying) as skydiving or bungee jumping. It can be something as simple as joining the neighborhood tennis team, sewing, or learning to play an instrument. In any case, the thrill of getting out of the old routine provides an extended adrenaline rush and a new medium for excitement. Trying something you've always wanted to do can really put an extra spring in your step.

7. Show those pearly whites. Laughter is said to be the best medicine, and that may be because it imbues you with energy. Laughing releases the chemical serotonin into your brain, reducing stress hormones and boosting your immune system. And depending on the intensity of your laughter, it can provide a total body workout. So go ahead and laugh. It's energizing and fun.

8. Spice it up. Adding a little cayenne to your meals can help get the blood moving. In fact, there is no herb that increases your blood flow faster -- and more blood means more oxygen coursing through your body, giving your metabolism a great boost. If you're not a fan of spicy food, look for a nutritional supplement that contains cayenne in the formula.

9. Go outside. Whether you garden, hike, bike ride, or play with the kids, escaping to the outdoors gives you a chance to breathe in the fresh air and rejuvenate. Take advantage of the cool winter weather and plan a day outside, away from the television and telephone. It will do wonders for your mood and free you from those sluggish feelings that come from being trapped inside.

10. Take a twenty-six minute power nap. Who says naps are just for kids? NASA did a study that showed pilots' performances improved by one-third after a twenty-six minute snooze. Naps of sixty minutes even reverse information overload and improve memory and learning skills (although naps over thirty minutes are harder to wake from and can make you groggy afterwards, so err on the side of caution and nap for shorter periods). Bottom line: You snooze, you win. If you can't get away for a nap during the day, make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night.

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