Monday, December 18, 2017

Energy Refreshers

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Stay charged throughout the holiday season. Here’s how …

December is a busy month. Yet, its nature often calls for solitude. The cold air, gray skies, and fallen leaves indicate a type of hibernation to come. The landscape does not match the hustle of the holidays and year’s end.

Despite an inner need to slow down this time of year, we rush forward. Our high-speed lifestyle clashing with nature. Try these tips to balance your days. End the year with a festive bang, not a fatigue-induced bungle.

Be Asleep by 11:00pm

Restorative sleep happens between 11pm and 1am.
Restorative sleep happens between 11pm and 1am.

Always aim to be sleeping between the hours of 11:00pm and 1:00am. It can enhance your workout. Growth hormone– which helps repair muscle, improve immunities, and build lean muscle and healthy skin—is mostly secreted within this timeframe. Give your body the optimum time to recover from workouts and rebuild itself from daily stresses.

This restorative hormone, along with body temperature, digestion, and other processes, follows a 24-hour cycle connected with light exposure. Plan to finish your standard eight hours of sleep around the time of sunrise. You’ll wake easier and feel less sleepy throughout the day.

Add a squeeze of citrus for an extra zing.

Drink Water

Sipping water throughout the day is an excellent way to remain hydrated. However, when using water to wash away tiredness, go for a full glass at once. Replenish your system, wash out impurities, and increase your energy level. Add a squeeze of lemon or other citrus and breathe in the scent for an immediate boost.

Limit Caffeine

Revive yourself and your spirits.
Revive yourself and your spirits.

This time of year, hot beverages are more tempting than ever. Many cozy up with a cup simply to get warm. If you already feel depleted, you probably won’t reach for decaf coffee or tea. We crave the comfort of a frothy latte or steaming tea for a shot of energy and warmth in one.

Don’t deprive yourself this perk. Many studies find coffee and tea have health benefits. Instead, monitor the time and amount you drink. Limit your daily intake to one cup (two, if it’s New Year’s Eve or something). Time it wisely. Enjoy a cup either in the early morning or early afternoon. Both are times when energy needs a jumpstart. Avoid any caffeine after 4:00pm.

Other options include hot chocolate. With its caffeine derivative, it has a lesser but noticeable effect. Hot apple cider, weaker teas, or half-caff coffees are also options. Check labels for caffeine content.


Exercise away holiday side effects, like weight gain, stress, and fatigue.
Exercise away holiday side effects, like weight gain, stress, and fatigue.

With this month’s demands on your physical and emotional state (it takes a lot of energy to keep that holiday spirit going), you need your workout. Relieve stress, increase stamina, and boost your immune system by remaining committed to fitness.

Exercise can be your best defense against a list of holiday heaviness: cocktail parties, post-shopping muscle aches, sweet treats, event stress, sleep deprivation, and more sweets—and pie and whipped cream and that egg nog.

Give your loved ones the ultimate gift. Take care of yourself. Prioritize your health. You will be one less worry on their list, and that’s an ongoing gift. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And during the holidays, everyone you know is particularly thirsty.


“5 Ways to Boost Your Energy,” by Cathy Wong at

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