Power Up: 6 Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Energy

1. Try Relaxing: Studies show that relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can decrease levels of energy-zapping stress hormones like cortisol. Count down slowly from 10 to zero, following each number with a deep inhale. Exhale like a sigh, allowing your belly to slowly deflate, says Alice Domar, Ph.D., executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Waltham, Massachusetts.

2. Drink Hot Chocolate: Savoring a sweet mug of cocoa and inhaling the aroma may activate an area of the brain linked with arousal, helping us wake up, says Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

3. Wear Red: Because we associate the fiery hue with fear and danger, it can help rev us up during sports by signaling the brain to be on alert, a study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology finds.

4. Play Music: Runners listening to loud, up-tempo music ran faster than those jogging in silence, according to a study in the journal Ergonomics. Next time you need to get yourself pumped, crank up your iPod. Update your tunes at Self.com/playlists.

5. Do the Twist: Spinal twists increase blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body, which make you feel rejuvenated, says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. Sit at the edge of your seat, feet flat on the floor. Place left hand on outside of right thigh and exhale as you twist to to the right, placing right hand on back of chair. Take three to five deep breaths to deepen twist. Repeat on opposite side.

6. Sniff Peppermint: The scent stimulates blood flow to the brain, increasing alertness, researchers report in the International Sports Journal. A minty candle, lotion, shampoo, tea—pick your pleasure and breathe it in. 



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