Staying Energized Throughout the Day

By Alexandra Jasinowski, Y Wellness Educator

Stay Energized Throughout the Day

Working with children all day can be draining, but here are some ways to improve your overall energy, so that you stay alert during the day and aren’t exhausted at night.

1. Make sure you get enough sleep!

5-6 hours of sleep is simply not going to cut it if you’re on your feet all day running around with children – or even just at your desk trying to focus on work-related tasks.  Try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night, or even just add an extra 60-90 minutes to what you usually get.

2. EAT a healthy balanced breakfast!

Eating breakfast and getting a sufficient amount of sleep are not only the two most important things you can do to increase your overall energy – but they’re also the two things most people don’t do.  Breakfast will jump-start your metabolism and give your body energy to begin the day.  However, this will only work if you are eating the right foods.  Your breakfast should consist of lean protein (i.e. egg whites, low-fat milk, turkey bacon, fat free greek yogurt, reduced fat cottage cheese, etc), complex carbohydrates (i.e. oatmeal, whole grain cereals – cheerios, kashi goLEAN, 100% whole grain bread), and a small amount of healthy fats (i.e. nuts, nut butters, olive oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, grape seed oil, and seeds).

3. Go for a walk…

Even if it’s only for 10 minutes at time and within the workplace, it can help tremendously.  Physical activity triggers the release of feel-good chemicals, like endorphins, which naturally pep you up.  I recommend walking for 10 minutes before work to get energy to start your day, 10 minutes after lunch so you don’t crash after eating, and 10 minutes after work so you still have the energy to do things in the evening.  Your goal should be to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, which will help with weight management, mood, and cardiovascular health.

4. Decrease your intake of high saturated fat and high sugar foods, especially if processed, and increase your intake of lean protein foods and whole grains. 

Here are some recommend energy boosting foods:

–   An apple and 14 almonds

–   Fat free plain greek yogurt and berries

–   Healthy grain and protein bars like Kashi goLEAN bars

–   2 tbsp of hummus with lots of veggies

–   String cheese

–   Low-fat cheese wrapped with lean ham or turkey

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