Healthy, Happy Halloween. Frightfully fierce workout circuit and Spooktacular Playlist!

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One of the reasons I think so many people struggle with their weight over the holidays is because of an “all or nothing mindset”. They have the best of intentions, but with one piece of candy or a missed workout, throw their goals in the trash can. Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season, where the average American gains between 5 to 7 pounds from October 31st to New Years. I believe you CAN enjoy the holidays without the weight gain by working to CHANGE the all or nothing mindset and adopting an attitude of balance. Here are my suggestions for celebrating the haunted holiday and still having a freakishly festive and fit time. Practice some of these this Halloween, maybe you’ll adopt a new healthy habit that will carry you through to the New Years feeling amazing 🙂
Caroline’s Healthy and Happy Halloween Tips:
  • Be calorie conscious and don’t mindless munch.
    All the snacking, samples, and festive cocktails can add up! If you go to a Halloween party or are surrounded by bowls of candy constantly it can be tempting to eat without paying attention. The secret to success is watching your calorie intake, which means choosing appropriate portions and remembering that extra bites add up. It takes only an additional 100 calories a day above what you need to lead to an extra 10lb weight gain in a year.  It’s all about balancing calories in with calories out and the truth is many people overestimate the calories they burn and underestimate the calories they consume. Use a service like the dailyplate, my fitness pal, or a food journal to help you 1. know how many calories you should be consuming daily and 2. track your intake so you don’t overeat. Pay attention to what goes into your mouth and be mindful of how much you consume to stay on track towards your goals. 
  • Savor one piece of your favorite candy a day. Decide what time of day you most relish the sweet stuff, and save your special treat for that time. Then sit back and slowly savor the taste sensation. It is so easy to pop a piece of candy into your mouth mindlessly and not get the full enjoyment you would get if you saved it and ate it when you know you will enjoy it the most. Indulge your sweet tooth on occasion, because denying yourself completely could lead to an all-out binge.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Ask your co-workers to keep their candy jars and bowls inside their desks or stashed in a cabinet in the break room so you won’t be tempted every time you see it. If they want to keep candy on their desks, ask them to use a colored container with a lid so you can’t see inside. Try not to buy tempting treats for your home, when it’s out of sight its out of mind!
  • Take a walking break. When you are tempted to reach for the fun-sized candy bar for a burst of energy, try a walking break instead. Getting away from your desk for a breath of fresh air can invigorate you and help you get over the mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps that are often mistaken for hunger.
  • Eat Balanced meals and Manage your hunger. Going too long without eating inevitably causes you to crash and burn and overeat at the next opportunity of food (or dive head first into the candy jar). Plan out your week and prepare meals in advance so you don’t get stuck empty handed with the vending machine as your only option. Always make time for breakfast before you go to work and keep a few healthy snacks handy in your car, gym bag, or purse. Your preplanned meals with keep you feeling satisfied and make you less likely to raid the candy bowl.
  • Take advantage of the weather. Fall can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, pumpkin carving, a gorgeous canopy of fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. These months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures.  Walking, hiking and cycling are all awesome in the fall. Remember, it doesn’t have to seem like exercise to be a great workout, get outside and enjoy the fresh fall weather!
  • Fit Fitness in and work out before you go out. Many studies show we are more likely to eat less after a workout! When we work out, we feel good and accomplished. We also feel the need to eat healthier! Plan ahead and make time to fit in a workout before your holiday parties or events. It doesn’t have to be a whole hour, even 20 minutes will go a long way in helping you feel fit, confident, and healthy for a night out.
  • Keep your goals firmly planted in your mind. Strive for progress, not perfection. Put up little sticky notes reminding you of your goals (run a 5K, be down 5 pounds by Christmas, or maybe even just be more of a mindful eater over the holidays) whatever they may be. ALWAYS remind yourself, and keep that GOAL planted in your mind.
  • Have more fun with your workouts. People who exercise out of enjoyment last 25% longer than those who sweat because they feel obligated to do it. This Halloween, celebrate the season of spook with my “Frightfully Fierce Circuit” below, it will make you laugh and sweat at the same time 🙂

Frightfully Fierce Workout: Caroline’s Crafty Halloween Circuit! 

Get ready for my fun and festive HALLOWEEN Circuit. This 10 minute routine doesn’t require any equipment and uses total body exercises for an effective and efficient workout. It’s perfect for the gym, traveling, or at home training. For best body results, aim to train your core at least 2-3 times per week and follow a clean, healthy diet.

Caroline’s Crafty Core Circuit Includes the following “evil Halloween drills”:

  • “Witches Hat”
  • “Scardey Cats”
  • “Creepy Crawlers”
  • “Graveyard Glutes”
  • “Be-witched Twist”
  • “Spider Plank”

Complete the routine once, twice, or three times through for a quick and challenging core training session. Or combine the exercises with Caroline’s “Trick OR Treat “Time Saving Cardio Routine for a complete cardio and core workout!

Caroline’s “Trick Or Treat” Time Saving Cardio Routine

  • 3-5 Minute Warm-up Walk
  • 90 Second Sprint
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second Sprint
  • Repeat 5 Times Through!
  • Rock Out With a Festive Playlist. There’s nothing like a few Halloween-tastic tunes to get you moving. Not only does a little of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” set the tone for the day, you also might be inspired to get up to burn some calories. My “Very Superstitious” Halloween Playlist will get you up and killin your workouts 😉

 

When you make healthy choices your baseline you CAN enjoy treats in moderation without destroying your hard-earned fitness goals. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Try out some of the suggestions above this Halloween and let me know if they help you celebrate AND feel good November 1st. Here’s to the start of a holiday season thats fit and fabulous.

Cheers to your health!

Caroline
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Healthy, Green Juice Detox Recipes. Drink your Greens For More Energy!

Give your diet a healthy boost with these simple green juice detox recipes!

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I like to be busy, so its important to make sure I get the nutrients I need to function at full speed. Thats why I drink my greens. Full of raw, seasonal produce, green juice is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acid to nourish our insides for healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth. And because it’s in an easy-to-drink juice form, it’s both quickly digested and absorbed with minimal effort by our bodies – meaning you get more bang for your buck, without having to eat 8 cups of salad for breakfast! If you are feeling stressed, bloated, or you’re just looking to throw your health into high-gear, step away from the medicine cabinet and into the kitchen to whip up a green juice!

Health Benefits of Green Juice:

  • Green juice is loaded with amino acids (the building blocks of protein), minerals, vitamins, fiber & chlorophyll. They provide loads of  anti-oxidants which helps improve the function of all of the body’s functions. Juicing helps fill the gap for people that many be deficient in certain nutrients they are not getting from foods.
  • The nutrients from juices are easily absorbed by the body. When we consume the fresh juice it requires little digestion, which means all it nutritional goodness gets rapidly absorbed into your system.
  • Juicing allows you to consume a larger portion of vegetables and fruit in an efficient manner in one day. Lets be honest most of us could benefit from more fresh fruits and vegetables!
  • Improved nutrition from green juices helps enhance digestion
  • Green juice provides our bodies with lots of enzymes to stay strong and healthy and that it helps with glowing skin, hair, and nails.
  • Aids in improved energy levels from quality nutrition.
  • Juices help build your immune system. Seeing as nutrition plays an important role in protecting us from those nasty seasonal viruses, there is no better way to help support and strengthen our immunity than by extracting delicious and nutritious nourishment from your favorite vegetables and fruits.
  • Studies have shown drinking green juice can aid in weight loss and reduce cravings.

How to Make Green Juice and Smoothies

As with most things, there is no perfect way to blend up a green juice drink. Depending on your preferences and the seasonal produce available, your green juice will differ from batch to batch. The options are endless when making a green juice or a green smoothie. When you juice you are extracting the pure liquid from the fruits and vegetables that you juice. There is no fiber. When you make smoothies the entire fruit or vegetable is used so you are also consuming the fiber. Smoothies are more filling than juice, but either way you can’t go wrong blending something up! Here are a few helpful pointers on experimenting with the right juice for you:

Be fresh. Always use fresh, seasonal produce – and aim for organic when possible.

Go dark. The darker the leafy greens, the richer they are in nutrients. So, experiment with chard, kale, spinach and more!

Clean up. Not only should you make sure your vegetables are clean before making your green juice, but also be sure to clean your juicer well before and after use. Don’t have a juicer? Many of the smoothie recipes listed below can be made in a blender.

Sip ASAP. Vegetable juice is one of the most perishable foods, so try to drink your green juice when it’s freshly juiced.If you absolutely need to store some, make sure to stick to use a glass jar with air-tight lid and fill it to the very top to keep air to the bare minimal, then store in refrigerator.

Start Simply. While green juices can get spicy and vegetably very fast, if you’re just beginning try a sweeter combination like spinach, cucumber, green apple and lemon. When you’re ready, swap out the cucumber and use kale instead. Rally ready to up the ante, ditch the apple and add parsley and celery.

Your green juice or smoothie can be as simple or complex as you’d like it to be. When I’m feeling like a healthy, simple snack, the following recipe does the trick.

Simple Classic Green Juice Smoothie

Ingredients:

2-3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 cup almond milk, or water
1/2 cup frozen berries
1-2 bananas  (frozen or fresh) ** sometimes Ill sub apples here, a bit sweeter.
juice of 1/2 lemon
dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Toss the ingredients into a blender, and process until nice and smooth!

Try more Green Juice Recipes

Green Juices:

Green Smoothies:

Will drinking juice change your life on its own? It could. But, lets not romanticize one aspect of health. Being healthy means including green juice or smoothies into a healthy balanced life that involves a nutritious eating plan, exercise, stress reduction, healthy relationships, spirituality, and self-love.

If you add green drinks into your life in a healthy balanced way you will experience wonderful benefits. It might not change you life…. but your body will definitely appreciate it. One thing I know for sure: If you want to look and feel good, you have to eat foods that help you look and feel good.  After regular consumption of green juice I can honestly say that adding one green drink to your day could result in numerous health benefits, including energy, increased immunity, reduced cravings, and glowing skin. For a quick, nutritious snack on the go – Green juice is my go-to!!

Have you tried green juice and found it to benefit your health? 

Cheers to your health!

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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green juice recipe

Teaching Fitness 101. Questions to consider before starting your fitness career

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I get a lot of emails and messages from people interested in teaching group fitness full or part time. Since there is such a demand for information, I thought it would be helpful to post some suggestions and helpful thoughts in this space.

These days, more and more folks are leaving their corporate jobs to come to the fitness world. You love fitness. You’re obsessed. You look at your instructor and think, “I could do that”. But first, let’s have a little heart-to-heart (you and yourself, that is). Here are a few questions to ask yourself before jumping into a fitness career. This list is based on a combination of things:  observations of instructors (which qualities make for great ones, which qualities hold them back) and a survey of instructors who told me about questions they wish they had considered. Feel free to chime in below if you think I’ve missed something!

1. Is my primary reason for wanting to become an instructor that “I love taking classes” or “I love working out”?

This is actually a huge pet peeve of mine. I hate hearing potential instructors say, “I want to get certified so that I can get paid to workout”. Your job as the instructor is NOT to workout for money. It is to educate, inspire, motivate, and support your students in their health and fitness. Getting paid to work out isnt teaching. There is a huge, often-underestimated gap between “taking classes” and “teaching classes”. This is the number one question you should ask yourself (and be honest!) when considering the career. Many people try their hand at fitness instruction, and fail – because at the end of the day, they’re just not teachers or they realize that teaching means giving up their workout to give to others. There are coaches and there are athletes – sometimes they are one and the same, but often they are not.

On the other hand, if you don’t love taking classes, you have a much bigger problem. You can’t teach something if you don’t understand the pleasure derived from your students.

2. Do I have a utopian view of what it means to be a fitness instructor?

Quiz: What do instructors do when they are not teaching?

  1. Drink green juice and go shopping at Lululemon.
  2. Stuff.
  3. Educate themselves, spend hours scoping new music for playlists, create class plans, practice new moves, connect with their clients over social media, maybe maintain a blog, do shitloads of laundry, commute to other classes, take classes from other instructors, the list goes on…

And a sub-question: Do I think that I’m going to be an overnight sensation?

A little confidence is a good thing, but make sure you have realistic expectations for your career trajectory. Even the youngest, most popular instructors you know had to put in their fair share of empty and half-empty classes before they started filling up. Coming into the industry, you need confidence that you can achieve greatness – but be realistic about the time frame that will require.

3. Am I currently undergoing some kind of life crisis? (mid-life, quarter-life, general-life)?

Okay, this is only sort of a joke. Ask yourself, do I really want to become a fitness instructor, or is it more that I dont like my job and/or life right now?

Keep in mind that even though you might be getting loose as a goose in spin class, the person up at the front is actually at work! Make sure your intentions are “I want to do this” and not “I don’t want to do what I’m doing right now and this seems like a good alternative”.

4. Is group fitness a side gig, or am I looking to make it a full time career?

If it’s a hobby, realize that it’s going to be an expensive hobby; the costs of certifications and education are the same whether or not you’re teaching full-time. But more importantly, ask yourself: Is this something that I’m willing to dedicate my life to?

5. Do I understand the time and cost associated with becoming an instructor?

If you’re not certified already, consider at least starting, if not completing, a certification program before taking the leap. This will open your eyes in more ways than one, and give you a sense of whether this is where you passion truly lies.

At the very least, do the math before you leap – know how much the programs cost. For example the American Council on Exercise group fitness certification costs $299.00 (you can view their certification program by clicking HERE.) You will need to renew your certification every 2 years by earning continuing education credits. You will have to pay both for the continuing education credits and to renew your cert. Renewal fees are typically $150.00 and CEC’s can range in price, at least expect to pay $300 for continuing education.

6. Do I understand that learning doesn’t stop after I get my certification?

Fitness is changing every day. Research is constantly being updated, new products are always being introduced and last year’s hot trends most likely won’t stay around for long. It’s your job to stay up to date with continuing education, which is not only vital to your relevance as a group fitness instructor; it’s a requirement for your re-certification every two years. Many organizations, including ACE, offer continuing education designed to help you stay ahead of the curve.  As an instructor, you have to commit to a lifetime of learning, and an ability to adapt as new information in exercise physiology is released. Make sure you don’t walk into a fitness career thinking your certification is one-and-done.

7. Am I realistic about the economics of group fitness?

Have I done my research? Do I know what fitness instructors make in my area (high, medium and low?) Have I reviewed the best and worst case scenarios? Can I afford to do this, or am I willing to make the life changes to allow me to pursue this career?

Hint: The majority of groupex instructors aren’t exactly rolling in Benjamins. This is a labor of love for most. Of course, you CAN make good money – but do the math before, not after.

8. Have I considered the fact that most instructors are contracted, not employed?

In other words, have I factored in the costs of freelance health insurance, lack of 401K and cushy matching programs, transportation costs (many instructors have to bop from studio to studio throughout the day), pensions, etc?

9. Have I fully ascertained the challenges of a freelance-like work schedule?

This might seem enticing now, but leaving job with structured hours, weekends off, and a 9-5 schedule can be  extremely difficult. You lose the routine of waking up at the same time every day and reporting to the same place, interacting with the same people, being able to grab post-work drinks. You typically dont have co-workers to teach with and bop from gym to gym alone. Most of your class preparation will be done alone, and when you’re in the classroom, the folks around you will be your clients. It can be hard to find the sense of tight-knit coworkers, unless you work at a studio that really nurtures the employee culture. It can be a lonely!

Also, consider that fitness is a leisure industry; you’re working when everyone else is not. That means weekends, early mornings, and nights. Your down-time is likely to be late morning/early afternoon – which can add to the “loneliness” factor or make it challenging to see your friends who have regular hours.

10. Am I ready for the responsibility (and privilege) of taking clients’ bodies into my own hands?

And furthermore, do I take that responsibility seriously? You need a degree to be a doctor or a physical therapist, but you can get by with a quick certification to be a fitness instructor – and yet you have the power to heal (and hurt) your students in every class. Make sure you’re mentally prepared for that. Know your stuff, practice safety at ALL times, and always maintain a current CPR certification!!

11. Do I understand that this career is dependent on a functioning body?

Being an instructor gives new meaning to the phrase “my body is my temple”. No more skipping your annual physical; no more “hoping” that pain in your foot will go away. In becoming a fitness instructor, you need to make an absolute pledge to your health – not for the sake of sexiness, but because you physically cannot do your job without it.

Unlike other careers where you can continue on despite injury and physical limitation, in fitness, if you can’t do it, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to teach it. Worse, consider the fact that as a contractor, you rarely have access to the same employee benefits that would sustain someone in a more traditional position.

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12. Am I a natural teacher?

Have you ever taught anything before? It’s hard to answer this question without precedent, but vital to consider before you make the leap to become a fitness instructor.

13. Can I perform?

No matter which way you cut it, every fitness instructor is also a performer. You need to command the room, maintain your students’ attention, and keep them focused. There are many types of “performance” – from the flamboyant, to the strict, to the chill – but make no mistake, as an instructor you are a performer, and the classroom is your stage.

14. Do I look the part?

Now, before the lynch mob comes down on this, let’s be clear: Talent comes in all shapes and sizes, and you don’t need to be barbie or Ken to make it in fitness. But do be honest with yourself: As an instructor, if you don’t have a memorable ‘look’ it will be harder for people to remember you – so you might have to work harder than your coworker Brad Pitt to fill the classes at first.

The tough truth is that this is fitness – much of the industry is predicated on “looking good”. Sadly, some instructors do sustain successful careers on looks and charisma alone – but for God’s sake, don’t be one of them (we don’t need any more of those, thx…)

The point: Anyone can be a fitness instructor, but just like anything in life, some folks have to work harder than others.

15. Do I have thick skin?

Do you know how demanding we are (your customers?) Are you sensitive to criticism? Can you brush it off, or do you dwell? You need to be prepared to both receive and digest tough love – from students, colleagues, and employers.

You also need to develop the skill of deciding which feedback is useful and which is not – taking the good and leaving the bad. It can be challenging not to take anything personally. I know I’ve had to get a thick skin over the years of teaching. Reality is, not everyone is going to like you or your class. It’s important not to stress over it and to focus on doing the best you can for the people you connect with.

16. Am I quick on my feet/can I adapt to the pressures of last-minute challenges?

As an instructor, you rely almost 100% of the time on external forces outside of your control. What if the instructor before you didn’t clean up? What if the stereo stops working? What if the studio is 100 degrees (and you’re not teaching a hot yoga class)? What if you have all new students of different abilities, ages, and interests?? There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a group fitness class that are outside of the instructor’s control. Are you someone who might be overcome with anxiety when things go wrong? Are you someone who can improvise and think quickly?

The instructor needs to be able to perform under pressure, quick on their feet, and flexible!

17. Do I have strong vocal chords?

This might sound silly, but there are a lot of folks out there who literally cannot talk for extended periods of time without throat pain. Have you ever tried it? This is another reason it’s great to go through a certification and some “practice classes” before making the leap. Maintaining your vocal fitness is actually challenging, and properly warming up your vocal chords before teaching is an important part of keeping your body healthy long term.

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18. Am I good at making friends?

Okay, sorry for this Barney-the-purple-dinosaur bullet, but to make it you’re going to need to be friendly, outgoing, and good at negotiating fitness industry politics. More than other industries, schmoozing, friend-making, and diffusing disputes are invaluable skills.

19. Am I creative?

Absolutely necessary for a fitness career. You’ll be creating classes, building playlists, entertaining customers, and often flying by the seat of your pants – you need a few creative bones in your body to survive.

20. Do I have a distinguishing “thing”?

I leave you with this question, because it’s the core of every successful instructor. To survive, you will need to have a distinguishing teaching style – something that sets you apart and makes students clamor to book your class every week instead of someone else’s. You may not know what your thing is on day one – or year one – but you’ll need to work towards it every day of your career until you’ve found it.

The above are many things you should consider before becoming a fitness instructor. Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comment section below . Teaching group fitness classes is a part of my career as a health and wellness professional. Sharing movement with others is something I truly LOVE to do. I believe that fitness is not just about exercise, but about creating an experience that brings joy to people’s lives. Through my work as an group fitness instructor, I strive to provide excellence, commitment, and inspiration to others. My goal is to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit; to help people realize personal happiness through wellness . Here’s my advice to you: if you want to pursue a fitness career, st down with yourself and consider the questions above. Do your research and check out the AMERICAN COUNCIL OF EXERCISE’s online resources for aspiring health professionals. The “get certified” section has everything needed to get started pursing a career as an instructor.

Here’s one thing I know for sure: if your heart is in it and you put your mind to it you will make a great group fitness instructor. Put your heart into it and make it happen! Let me know how I can help you 🙂

In health,

Caroline

Interested in a yoga career instead of fitness?? Read this great article by my dear friend Debbie Steingesser on Mind Body Green, “So you wanna be a yoga instructor”

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All Natural Ways to PUMP up your energy.

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Have you ever suffered from an ENERGY SHORTAGE? Maintaining healthy energy levels and conquering drowsiness before it overwhelms your mind can be  a challenge without the help of caffeine, taurine and drugs.  And with the abundance of energy drinks and coffee shops conveniently located all around us, finding an unnatural, unhealthy energy boost is easy.  Taking the unhealthy way out certainly allows you to be wide awake and wired, but unfortunately your health pays the price for it.

It doesnt have to be that way. There are  healthy, natural ways to boost your energy and stay awake and alert when you must. Here are my top healthy ways to PUMP up your energy, I hope it gives you some fun options to try next time the 2pm afternoon slump has you reaching for drugs, caffeine, or candy!

Caroline’s All Natural Ways to PUMP up your energy

  1. Turn on all the lights. Darkness promotes fatigue and laziness.  Turn on every light in the room.
  2. Go outdoors. Getting some fresh air outdoors is always a good way to rouse your senses.
  3. Be mindful about your meds. Many drugs, including blood pressure medication and some birth control pills, can affect energy. Antibiotics can cause strange fluctuations in your strength. If you suspect that your medicine is zinging your stamina, check with your doctor about making a switch.
  4. Call a close friend. Sometimes a quick conversation with someone you care about is just what you need to boost your mood.
  5. Eat nutritious snacks. Fruits like raspberries, apples, oranges, and grapefruits are great energy boosters.  Heaping scoops of spicy salsa on a few small crackers or a handful of almonds are other great choices. Here are some of my favorite healthy snack ideas to get you started.  Stay away from meats, breads and dairy products that are harder to digest and can weigh you down.
  6. Listen to some fast beat music.  If it’s not too much of a distraction, listening to fast beat music can be a great way to keep your mind awake.
  7. Watch or read something that inspires you. Sometimes all you need is a little mental pep talk.  Watch a motivational video, take a live class with an instructor that inspires you, or read some inspirational literature 🙂
  8. Have a good laugh. Watch a funny video clip or read your favorite comedy blog.  A good laugh will stimulate your mind, giving you a renewed level on energy.
  9. Crank up the AC. Warm, stuffy environments accelerate mental fatigue.  If you need to stay awake and energized in a lecture hall or meeting room find an open seat under an AC vent.
  10. Say NO to an overbooked schedule. Having a non-stop calendar and giving all your energy away to others can leave you feeling drained (and resentful). Be honest with yourself about what you can and want to commit to. Honor your needs first and work on finding your balance. If you are having a tough time, try this rule when presented with an opportunity : If it’s not an absolute YES then its a no. That will make it easy to decide what YOU want to make time for.
  11. Apply pressure to the top of the back of your neck. – Use your fingertips to apply pressure and lightly massage the top part of the back of your neck for a few minutes.
  12. Chew sugar-free peppermint gum. – It won’t rot your teeth and that minty taste will make you feel fresh.  Strong peppermint flavors seem to work best for me.
  13. Take light exercise breaks every two hours.  Take a break and take a walk or do a couple air squats to get your blood moving.  Even the slightest bit of exercise can act as a healthy way to energize your mind and body (and prevent all the pain caused by sitting 🙂
  14. Have a piece of chocolate. Not too much, but if you’re going to have some candy, it might as well be chocolate. We get an endorphin buzz from chocolate (not to mention the energy boost from the slight bit of caffeine chocolate contains). Dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate.
  15. Write and plan. The idea is to keep your mind busy.  If you are attending a lecture or business meeting, write down everything that is said.  If you are simply trying to stay awake or re-energize, create a detailed to-do list for the week or plan out your perfect weekend getaway.
  16. Get yourself some cold water. – Splash some on your face and the pulse area of your wrists.  Also, drinking an ice-cold glass of water can help to wake you up and feel alive.
  17. Stay organized. Avoid losing energy by keeping everything in its place.
  18. Take a few really deep, controlled breaths.  Deep breathing helps reduce stress, a source of fatigue, and increases the level of oxygen in the blood.  Techniques can be as simple as inhaling for five seconds, holding your breath for four seconds and exhaling for four seconds.  You can also try more elaborate techniques which require different positions. I like using some of these youtube videos.
  19. Exercise regularly . Ease into exercise, and then keep it up.  You should aim to be active for at least 30 minutes each day.  Those 30 minutes of exercise will make you feel energized for hours to come.  I’ve found exercise most effective on my energy levels when I exercise in the morning.  But no matter when you do it, exercise gets the endorphins flowing, which keeps you happy and productive most of the day.
  20. Eat at least three meals a day. Give yourself lasting energy by keeping your body well fueled. Waiting too long between meals will cause you to crash and burn. Plan ahead and prepare nutritional options in advance so you can eat on a regular schedule and have energy for DAYS.
  21. Spend your energy wisely. We all have times during the day when our energy levels are at their peak. Know when your energetic moments are, and use this time productively.  Often if you get the ball rolling, you won’t stop.
  22. Practice altruism.  By doing good work and good deeds for others you’ll help your energy with enhanced happiness, satisfaction and health.
  23. Avoid late night television or aimless web browsing. These habits do NOTHING for your health (just junk food for your brain!) Get more sleep instead.  Nuff said.
  24. Stretch. When you feel yourself start to hit a slump, get up, reach towards the sky, bend down and touch your toes, twist your torso from side to side… stretch it out!!  Also, certain yoga exercises, including the warrior poses, have been known to reduce fatigue and increase energy levels.
  25. Take a 15 minute cat nap. A short afternoon nap can be refreshing, and won’t interfere with regular sleep patterns if you do it early enough.
  26. Limit your sugar consumption. Sugar causes fluctuations in energy that can cause you to crash and burn. Learn to become more aware of your sugar consumption and limit your intake. Here is my guide to watching your sugar levels.
  27. Eat smaller meals more often. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help you keep your energy up and avoid the groggy feeling that comes with digesting large meals. (can someone say food coma?!)
  28. Eat whole grains and energy foods. Whole grains have complex carbohydrates that take a while to break down, providing you with energy that lasts.  Some of the best high energy foods include sunflower seeds, beans, fruit or fruit juices, eggs, yogurt, nuts and vegetables.
  29. Choose lean protein. Foods with lean protein help you feel fuller for longer.  They also prevent blood sugar spikes, giving you more steady energy.  Lean protein foods include fish and other seafood, lean pork, or chicken breasts (white meat).
  30. Cut down on coffee and energy drinks.  Although coffee can give you a rush of energy, in the end it will cause fatigue.  Coffee does not have to be eliminated, but it’s best to stick to one cup a day.
  31. Get your vitamins. Make sure you get the proper amount of vitamins, especially vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, riboflavin, niacin and the B-vitamins such as pantothenic acid, folic acid, thiamine and vitamin B12. You can do this by eating a clean, healthy, colorful diet 🙂
  32. Use aromatherapy and incense. Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants to stimulate the brain through the nerves in the nasal passages.  Oils can be added to bathwater, massage oil, a steam bath or vaporizer for inhalation.  Essential oils that can help you stay alert and reduce fatigue include bergamot, cinnamon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, fir, ginger, lemon, lime, lemongrass, peppermint, pine, rosemary, basil and black pepper.  Also try a citrus scent, I LOVE the Kheil’s grapefruit shower soap at EQUINOX fitness clubs.
  33. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.  Dehydration can reduce blood volume, which leads to feelings of fatigue.  Drinking plenty of water will also increase your need to go to the restroom, a feeling that will also help you stay awake (and get up to move your body more often)
  34. Clear your stuffy nose. If allergies have your sinuses blocked, you may be feeling more tired and cranky.  Rinse your nasal passages with saline solution.
  35. Wear brighter colors. Why do you think I’m always sporting bright lululemon?? This trick is related to the mood you project to people, and the reciprocating mood they project towards you.  If you wear dark, somber colors, you project a dark, somber attitude, and people will respond to you with a somber attitude.  If you wear bright, happy colors, you’ll get that attitude projected towards you, which will boost your own mood and energy levels.
  36. Watch your attitude.  If you let the bad things that happen during your day get you down, you’re bound to start feeling worn out. Watch your attitude and make sure you’re not letting yourself be overly negative.  A generally upbeat and optimistic outlook on life will keep your energy level up.  Yes, the worst thing that can happen might actually happen, but giving it too much worry will only drain you.  Look for the positive in every situation and you won’t be so tired. #truth !!
  37. Examine your emotions. Stress, depression and other negative emotions can take a heavy toll on your energy levels. Your exhaustion may have a lot to do with how you’re feeling mentally, so its important to take the time to deal with your emotions or get help if you need it. I truly believe in therapy/coaching (its like personal training for your mental and emotional health!) and highly recommend it, even if you aren’t dealing with depression.
  38. Lose a little weight. Carrying around extra weight takes a toll on your body and energy, so take off a few pounds graduallyHere are my top tips to help you find a healthy, happy weight. These are all actions that also have a positive effect on your energy level.
  39. Consider herbal supplements. Many people swear by herbs that are purported to improve energy levels. If you’re looking for a natural way to stay awake, try supplements of ginseng, bee pollen, gutu kola, maitake and more.
  40. Find something to look forward to.  Having something to look forward to is a great motivator. Plan a vacation, make time for friends, start a cooking class – spice up your life with things that bring you JOY.
  41. Avoid energy vampires and toxic people.  Energy vampires always have something to complain about, or a problem that needs to be fixed, and they’ll drain your energy by making you listen to them about their problems or by giving them attention.
  42. Have a discussion about or work on something that interests you. Even if you can only do it for a few minutes here and there, get your mind firing on all cylinders by talking about or doing something you feel passionate about.
  43. Start work with a challenging task. Get your brain in gear by giving it a challenging task first thing. You’ll be more alert and you’ll get the hard stuff out of the way so the rest of your day will be a breeze.
  44. Stop slouching. Slumping down at your desk isn’t doing you any favors in the alertness category. Sitting up at your desk, in an ergonomically friendly way, can make you feel more alert and ready to work.
  45. Try something new. Getting into a rut can make your day seem boring and tedious and drain your energy levels. Change things up, try new things and seek out new experiences to spice up your day a little and keep you alert and awake.
  46. Finish an incomplete task. There’s nothing more draining than the lingering of an incomplete task.  Get things done.  Do you have a task that’s weighing heavily on your mind?  Just do it, and get the monkey off your back.
  47. Dress up. Feeling better about yourself has a magical way of giving you more energy.  Put just a tad more effort into looking your best for work, and you’ll get compliments from coworkers that will make you feel better — and make you a perkier and more energetic.
  48. Get enough sleep at night. This one should be obvious.  The best way to feel energized is to be well rested.  We need 7-8 hours of sleep to be fully rested.  Consistently sleeping less than 6 hours a night builds up a sleep debt that is hard to recover from.
  49. Check your iron levels. About 12% of American women and 7% of men have an iron deficiency, which leaves you feeling drained and lethargic. Vegetarians, dieters, and athletes (especially bikers and runners), are at an increased risk for iron deficiency. Iron-rich foods such as meat, beans and cereals can keep iron levels high. To maximize absorption into your system, they are best consumed with a food high in Vitamin C. You can also purchase over- the-counter iron pills or multivitamins with iron if needed. Make sure to consult with your doctor if you think you may have low iron levels or are considering taking iron supplements.
  50. SMILE. Believe it or not, smiling does actually provide a number of health benefits, both physical and psychological. According to recent research, flashing your pearly whites may help you look younger, feel happier, have healthier relationships, and amp up your energy. Don’t believe me? Give it a try right now and let me know if it gives you a burst of energy.

Evaluate how your energy levels are now and where you want them to be in the future. Take a moment to reflect on how you can effectively incorporate the above challenges into your routine. Do you have a favorite way to pump up your energy? Leave it as a comment below, Id love to try your methods for living life fully powered.

In Health,

Caroline

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