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  • 10/21/2009

Habits that zap your energy (part2)

eating too much at once

Energy Zapper #5: Toxic Indoor Air

Humming copy machines. Cleaning products. Dry-cleaning chemicals. Synthetic carpeting. Even the desks in your office may be contributing to the load of toxins you breathe each day, because all of them release chemicals into the air. ‘No one knows for sure how much harm these cause to our bodies, but they do build up over time, and can drain your energy by potentially interfering with thyroid function and overloading the body's detox system,’ says Frank Lipman, MD, a New York City physician and author of Spent: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again. (Reduce your exposure to chemical toxins.)

Energy Fix

Get outside. If you're feeling tired, go out for 10 minutes to breathe fresh air. Indoors, cultivate houseplants, which are remarkably good at absorbing toxins. And don't wear shoes inside the house--you're dragging not just dirt indoors on your soles, but pesticides and other harmful chemicals too.

Energy Zapper #6: Eating Too Much at Once

Consuming a big meal is always something that will cause a dip in energy later, but that effect is most noticeable in the afternoon because the slump happens at that reach-for-coffee-or-sugar hour: 3 p.m. Here's what happens: You fill up on a carb- and calorie-rich lunch and, as nutrients are absorbed by your body, excess glucose is dumped into your bloodstream, and your body releases insulin to process all that sugar. ‘A better idea is to spread out what and how you eat throughout the day to keep energy levels steady,’ says Gloria Tsang, RD, founder of the nutrition website HealthCastle.com.

Energy Fix

Eat every four hours, instead of the usual six. To reform lunch, ‘try to brownbag more often than eating out,’ says Tsang. It's a fact that if you buy takeout or dine in a restaurant, you're likely to eat more. Four hours after lunch, have a snack. If you're going to eat dinner a couple of hours later, keep the snack small, such as half a turkey sandwich, or a yogurt and some crackers. Other ideas: Drink liquids (water, tea) all day. ‘Dehydration makes you tired, too,’ says Tsang. If you usually have coffee right after lunch, try it a little later in the afternoon and make it a latte. The caffeine's an obvious pick-me-up, but the little bit of fat and protein in the milk gives you a snack-like boost. (Increase your energy with a smarter lunch.)

Energy Zapper #7: Living in Artificial Light

Our natural body rhythms are keyed to the rising and setting of the sun, says Carol Ash, DO, medical director of Sleep for Life, a sleep-disorder clinic in Somerset, New Jersey. When you open your eyes in the morning and get your first glimpse of sunlight, your brain receives a signal that helps it set its sleep-wake clock for the day. Similarly, seeing sunlight during the day gives your brain a boost. So if you are awake before the sun, and/or don't see much sun all day, your body is experiencing something a lot like jet lag.

Energy Fix

Instead of hitting the coffee cart when you're flagging, hit the sidewalk--the combination of physical exercise and a shot of sunlight will energize you. You don't need much: ‘A 10- to 20-minute walk in the sunshine will give you a boost,’ says Dr. Ash.

Energy Zapper #8: Holding a Grudge

It takes a surprising amount of energy to remember whom you have a grudge against, and to continually update the faults, missteps and things you're mad about. ‘Resentment is a huge drain physically as well as mentally,’ says Dr. Lipman. ‘Anger, resentment, grudges--all of these emotions are toxic, and we hang on to them in our bodies especially in tense, tired muscles.’

Energy Fix

It takes practice, but try to forgive old mistakes. An easy way to start is to simply be aware of the times negative thoughts about others creep into your mind, says Dr. Lipman.


forgive - forget

‘Think of others as flawed humans, which we all are,’ which makes it easier to forgive-and free up energy.


Other links:

Habits that zap your energy (part1)

Yoga proven to improve dowagers hump

Chewing Tobacco No Safer Than Smoking

Your Food Cravings Explained and Contained

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Overview (Part 1)

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Overview (Part 2)

Spice it Up: Nutrition for Skin Care

7 Secrets your bodys trying to tell you

Exercise: 6 benefits of regular physical activity

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