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Even getting out of bed on these dark mornings can seem like a struggle. But whether it's a Monday morning pick-me-up you need or a mid-afternoon energy boost, here are some simple yet effective remedies for winter lethargy.
Clean up your act
A morning shower does wonders for your outlook and your energy levels. If you can bear to alternate between hot and cold you'll benefit from an increased oxygen flow to the body. For an extra boost, a citrus-scented shower gel will stimulate mind and body. Never underestimate the wonderful feeling of being clean, fresh and ready for the day.
Not all day, obviously, but without breakfast you're body will be running on empty before you've even got to the office. Eat a healthy breakfast and you'll be set up for the day. Porridge is a great choice as oats keep you filled up for longer and release their energy slowly. Add a chopped banana for an extra energy boost.
It's all too tempting to indulge in endless cups of tea or coffee in the winter. But while that espresso pumps you full of caffeine-inspired vitality, the effect is only a temporary. Enjoy your morning fix, by all means, but plenty of water will keep you focused, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
It sounds unlikely but US researchers discovered that a whiff of peppermint enabled athletes to run faster for longer, so clear those airways for an instant minty refresher.
Iron out fatigue
Iron deficiency causes fatigue because the blood cells aren't able to carry enough oxygen to the organs. If you feel tired more often than not, particularly women who are more prone to anaemia, an iron supplement will help to boost those blood cells.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells and helps the body to use iron, digest food and absorb vitamins from your daily diet. Get a B12 boost with a simple supplement.
During a long hard day at work, it's all too easy to stare at the computer screen as you scoff down a sandwich. But even a brisk walk to the shop or around the local park can work wonders for your alertness. In fact a US study found that just a 10-minute walk can increase your energy level for up to two hours, with the added bonus of releasing some of those sought-after happy hormones.
Love your lugholes
The last thing you probably think of when you hit that mid-afternoon flat spot is your ears. But according to Chinese medicine, a little lobe stimulation sends a wake-up signal to the rest of your organs. So give your ears a little rub and up your energy instead of letting lethargy drag you down.
Do you have a tip for a natural and instant energy boost? Let us know below...