New Year, New You

Feel your best and meet all of your health goals -- for real -- this year!

Easy Ways to Increase Your Energy

Follow these tips to get a better night's sleep and boost your energy during the day.

put some pep in your step


Start off with a stretch: Waking up with a stiff neck or cramped shoulders can drain your energy before you even hit the shower. Stretch your arms overhead, or try a simple supine twist. For an easy stretch, lie on your back, then hug your knees into your chest. Drop your knees to your right side, gently resting your right hand on your left leg and stretching your left hand out to the left at shoulder height; turn head to left. Hold for eight breaths, then return to center and repeat on the other side. It only takes 2 minutes and will really perk you up! 

Ride a bike: A study done at the University of Georgia showed that adults suffering from sustained fatigue who biked at a low intensity for 20 minutes, three times a week, felt 65 percent less tired after six weeks than a group that didn't exercise. Those results were even better than ones for a group that did moderate-intensity exercise (the effect of which was similar to using prescription amphetamines).

Go for a walk: An Oregon State University Study of more than 2,600 people ages 18 to 85 found that 2 1/2 hours of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly (the national guideline for good health) can yield a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. An easy way to meet that 150-minute goal: Walk briskly for 30 minutes five days per week. Some people are sensitive to working out before bedtime and others aren't. Avoid strenuous exercise two hours before you turn in.

Change it up: Making a simple switch to your daily routine can give you a jolt of energy, because it can prompt your brain to release dopamine. Try taking a different route to the office, or walk the opposite way around the block.

Break a sweat: An Oregon State University study found that participants who did moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, such as brisk walking 150 minutes per week (about 20 minutes daily), slept better and felt more alert during the day than those who didn't exercise much. Include strength training, which improves both the quality and quantity of sleep by taxing the body. Try exercises that work several muscle groups at once, including squats, lunges and push-ups; aim for 10 to 15 reps of each—three sets total—on three nonconsecutive days during the week.