Fatigue shouldn’t be slowing you down during the warm weather season. Say bye-bye to end-of-winter tiredness with these six natural ways to boost your energy this spring!
A daily dose of sun stops sickness.
Vitamin D-3 (the “sunshine vitamin”) is study-proven to keep spring colds at bay and prevent influenza more effectively than flu vaccines. Now research published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests a daily dose of D-3 cuts the risk of severe covid-19 symptoms by as much as 80 percent. Michael Holick, MD, explains that this nutrient keeps immune cells energized and focused, so they kill viruses without producing a lot of damaging inflammation. To get this impressive protection, soak up 15 minutes of strong sunlight daily (UV light prompts skin to produce vitamin D-3) or supplement with 4,000 IU of D-3 daily.
A whiff heightens happiness.
The sun is shining, and you want your moods to be sunny too! If the long, dreary winter left you in a funk, there’s an easy fix: Sniff your favorite spring flower, new buds on a tree or a few blades of fresh grass. University of Connecticut scientists say your brain’s limbic system (which heightens happiness) gets sluggish over the winter, but the blissful aromas given off by rapidly growing spring plants can quickly wake it back up, chasing away blah moods in 30 seconds and boosting your contentment for up to 2 hours per sniff.
A dash of cardamom banishes burnout.
It’s not just you! Almost 67 percent of women struggle with mental burnout after winter, and monitoring pandemic do’s and don’ts didn’t help us stay clear headed. Thankfully, Canadian researchers say the sweet, nutty aroma of cardamom can instantly boost your focus and memory by 22 percent , so you can recall facts and details in as little as 30 seconds. That’s because cardamom’s volatile oils prompt your brain to release focus-enhancing gamma waves. Simply stir it into warm milk, sprinkle it on roasted vegetables or mix it into muffin and pancake batters.
A liver boost restores stamina.
Feeling sluggish? A quick liver cleanse could help your energy and stamina soar this spring, say Swedish scientists. They found that pairing silymarin (the active ingredient in milk thistle and artichokes) with turmeric activates liver detox enzymes to clear the organ of built-up wastes, boosting energy by up to 55 percent. A product with both, plus liver-healer choline: New Nordic Active Liver (Buy at Walmart, $14.97).
A simple sketch speeds slimming.
Fresh produce and warm weather make diet goals easier to achieve in the spring, but if food cravings are sabotaging your slimming, here’s another trick to try: Take two minutes to sketch something smile-worthy- like a funny-looking tree or silly stick figures. Scientists at New York’s Brooklyn College say this fun distraction fires up the brain region (the prefrontal cortex) that doubles willpower, so you shed up to 6 pounds in two months if you do it daily.
A stair stretch erases pain.
Being cooped up indoors all winter tamps down the brain’s release of pain killing hormones (endorphins), and 55 percent of us are feeling achy these days as a result. The good news for boosting your energy this spring: Research in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice suggests a deep, 60-second calf stretch can help you feel more limber and ache-free by signaling your brain to boost endorphin release. To do: Stand with the balls of your feet on a stair and your heels hanging over the edge, holding the handrail so you’re not wobbly. Drop your heels until you feel a strong, steady pull in your calves; hold for one minute.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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