6 easy ways to put a spring in your step

Susannah Hickling 30 November -0001

It’s spring, but have you got get-up and go? Or are you collapsed on the couch with your energy at rock bottom? Here are some easy ways to pep yourself up:

1. Nurse a small coffee throughout the day

Compelling research from various institutions, including Harvard Medical School, finds that frequent low doses of caffeine—the amount in a quarter of a cup—are more effective than a few larger doses at keeping you alert.


2. Switch off the news for a week

Terrorism, murders, horrendous accidents—depressing, isn’t it? If you’re a news junkie, stop reading the paper, switch off the TV news, stop checking online bulletins. If you’re more energetic and less jittery after a week, stick to your new habit.


3. Eat something crunchy

Nuts, carrots and other crunchy foods make your jaw work hard, which can wake up your facial muscles. This should help you feel more awake.


4. Go for a ten-minute “thank-you” walk every day 

As you stride out, focus on the things you feel most grateful for. Afterwards, make a mental note of how you feel. This simple technique not only gives you a sense of wellbeing, but the positive effects of exercise will flood your brain with happy neurotransmitters and endorphins.


5. Have your thyroid checked

If it’s not producing enough thyroid hormone, you could be feeling wiped out. A simple blood test will show if there’s a problem. Other symptoms of an underactive thyroid are dry skin, weight gain and constipation.


6. Stay still

Not moving doesn’t sound like the best recipe for livening yourself up, but it’s often just what you need. Simply sit for ten minutes in a comfy chair and stare out of the window. Let your mind drift wherever it wants to go.


Zest for Life

Lemon and lime

Citrus peels are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, bone-building calcium and antiinflammatory, antioxidant bioflavonoids. They also provide potassium, which helps blood pressure, and limonene, a phytochemical that may have anti-cancer effects and help with heartburn. Use grated lemon and lime zest in smoothies or stirred into plain yogurt topped with raspberries and honey. And choose pesticide-free organic if you can.