In her just-released book Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life, 53-year-old Denise Austin–who “makes the Energizer Bunny look lethargic,” according to People magazine–shares the food and fitness plan that’s allowed her to maintain her booming body and her booming business for the past 30 years. Here she shares 5 easy ways for you to get your energy back now:
1. Expend energy. A sedentary lifestyle is an energy drain: ironically, the more you sit, the less energy you have. Regular exercise boosts your circulation and delivers much-needed oxygen to your body. And you don’t have to sweat buckets, either. I exercise just thirty minutes a day. I know how tough it can be to get to the gym when all you want to do is curl up on the couch. But research shows regular exercise can reduce fatigue by 65 percent. Just remember: to get energy, you need to expend it.
2. Stretch. Each time I take a break from working at my desk, I stretch. Presto! Instant recharge. Remember: energy begins with oxygen. Stretching enhances blood circulation, which brings fresh oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your body. During a good stretch, your brain calms, your mood lifts, and your energy generator comes online again. Then you’re ready to jump back into the fray.
3. Go to bed earlier. It’s better to sleep and wake early (i.e., 10 p.m.– 6 a.m.) because your body’s functions—temperature, digestion, and restorative processes—are linked to its exposure to natural light. Research suggests that getting ninety minutes’ less sleep for just one night can reduce your alertness by 30 percent the next day. Can’t sleep? Make a list of worries and possible solutions in the early evening to avoid the fretting that keeps you awake; turn off the bedroom TV; create a soothing pre-bed ritual; get earplugs to drown out distractions, such as your partner’s snoring.
4. Breath deep! Renewing your energy can be as easy as breathing! I’ve always said that energy begins with oxygen. Take a deep breath right now..in through your nose…and then slowly exhale through your nose. Repeat a few more times. With each breath, you delivered energy-giving oxygen to every cell in your body, from head to toe. When you breathe correctly, you can melt away stress and relax and unwind–and of course, it all benefits your energy level.
5. Savor a square of dark chocolate. To rev up and bliss out, indulge in one square of dark chocolate. It’s rich in anandamide, the so-called “bliss molecule” associated with post-workout euphoria, according to research conducted at the University of California — Irvine. Caffeine and another stimulant called theobromine are also at work.
This is adapted from Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life by Denise Austin. Copyright (c) 2011 by Denise Austin. Reprinted by permission of Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
[Read FOF’s complete interview with Denise Austin]