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Boost Your Energy Level: 5 Body Hacks That Perk You Right Up

These tried-and-true tactics pump up your energy levels when you need a boost most.

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Check your posture

While gazing at the floor from a standing position, you should be able to see the tops of your shoes without craning your neck. Another quick alignment check: In a standing or sitting position, your head should be lined up over, not in front of, your body so that your ears are directly over your shoulders. Why do this? Slouching doesn’t just make you look tired. It makes you feel tired too, because it places excess strain on your back and hips; plus, when your joints aren’t properly aligned, your whole body has to work harder than it should. Additionally, standing or sitting tall will improve the flow of oxygen to your brain, which increases alertness and attentiveness.

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Expose yourself to light

Throw open the curtains and sit in a sunny window or step outside periodically. Environmental cues play a huge role in the body’s energy cycles throughout the day. Regular exposure to natural light has been shown to maintain higher energy levels in people suffering from fatigue. Exposure to natural light can also enhance your mood. Work in a windowless space? Try to step outside for some light therapy for five minutes every hour if possible.

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Use good scents

This isn’t about dousing yourself with your favorite perfume. It’s about harnessing the power of aromatherapy to lift your spirits when you need it. Take a whiff of peppermint, rosemary, or jasmine when you feel droopy. Research shows these scents increase alertness. (By contrast, lavender oil and the pure scent of vanilla have relaxing effects on both your physical and emotional states).

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Surround yourself with energizing colors

Focusing your eyes on a vibrant shade of red, orange, or yellow has an energy-boosting effect on the body, partly because these hues represent heat and radiant energy (think fire, sun). So tie a red, orange, or yellow scarf loosely around your neck so you can see it or place a vase of blooms in these colors on your desk.

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Give yourself the right soundtrack

Numerous studies have found that listening to pleasant music lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and improves mood. Plus, unplugging from melatonin-suppressing TV and computer screens will improve your ability to fall asleep when your head hits the pillow. Use music strategically: While listening to slower tunes can alter brain activity in a way that leads to a reduction in stress and pain, tuning in to upbeat music that has a high beat-per-minute count (120 or higher) can rev your energy when you need it (during a workout, for example).

More Ways to Beat Fatigue

In the new book The Exhaustion Breakthrough, Holly Phillips, MD, shares the proven science (and tips that work for her patients) to sleep better, eat and exercise for energy, solve underlying health issues, and take control of stress. Learn more and buy the book here.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest