Boost your energy in 24 hours

Hour by hour, here’s how to get the most out of every day.

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Hour by hour, here’s how to get the most out of every day.

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06.30 - 07.00 Rise and shine!

Between seven and eight hours sleep is perfect, but ideally, let natural light wake you, as this stimulates energising serotonin, cortisol and adrenalin.

07.30 Exercise

People who exercise in the morning are more calm and productive, according to a study at the University of Bristol in the UK. You kick-start metabolism, boost feel-good endorphins and are less likely to cancel your workout because of distractions that crop up later in the day.

08.00 Have a shower

“First, dry-brush your skin to boostrbis circulation,” says natural health expert Janey Lee Grace. “Work in small, circular movements up from your feet, with enough pressure to tingle, but not hurt.” Try adding essential oils of basil, lemon and rosemary to a fragrance-free shower gel (10 drops of each per 100 ml of gel), to revive your senses.

08.30 Eat a good breakfast

UK researchers found that people who eat a fibre-rich cereal for breakfast – like bran flakes or porridge – have a 10 per cent reduction in fatigue and improved cognitive skills. A protein-rich breakfast, such as baked beans or eggs, will keep you going until lunch. 

11.30 Have a snack

Boost energy with a healthy snack. Try something wholsome like an oatcake with peanut or almond butter.

12.00 Take a big drink of water

Just a two per cent drop in fluid levels will make you feel sluggish.

13.00 Stop for lunch

“Avoid all white bread – it can trigger a dip in blood sugar a few hours later,” says sports nutritionist Anita Bean. Choose a wheat-free, slow-releasing carbohydrate, such as sweet potato or brown rice. Eat this with lean protein, such as egg, chicken, and fish, or try an open sandwich using one slice of rye bread. And eat plenty of salad containing leaves, tomatoes, cucumber and celery.

13.30 Get outside

Light has a caffeine-like power to make you more alert (and you need sun to make vitamin D).

14.00 Power nap

Studies show this time is when energy levels are most likely to dip, squeeze in a siesta if possible, but no longer than 20 minutes, to avoid interfering with night-time sleep. Not possible? Suck a peppermint (US researchers found this pepped up athletes) or sit by an open window (boosting your oxygen levels reduces fatigue).

15.00 Have another healthy snack

Keep blood sugar and energy on an even keel with a piece of fruit, or a handful of walnuts and dried apricots for a powerpacked protein, healthy fat, mineral and antioxidant combo.

16.00 Do a mini workout

Fitness trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read recommends aerobic exercise. “Jog on the spot as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then recover for 10 seconds with a slow march on the spot. Repeat four times,” she advises.

16.00 - 17.00 Take a walk

If you missed your morning exercise, this is the next best time. Muscle tone and flexibility are at their peak. In experiments conducted at California State University, a brisk 10-minute walk increased energy for up to two hours.

18.00 Tune in to the rhythm

Music is invigorating. To avoid an energy dip, listen and move along to it as you prepare your evening meal.

19.00 Prepare a tasty and nutritious meal

A good example is chicken breast (lowfat protein), broccoli (antioxidants, vitamins) and sweet potato (fibre). It takes less energy to digest than a pre-prepared or takeaway meal.

20.00 Tidy up

Try to keep your living area clean, as messy rooms drain energy, says decluttering expert Sue Kay.

20.30 Light a candle

We like the soothing aroma of the new Diptyque Liquidambar Candle, $118, from Escentials.

22.00 Get an early night

“Sleep is the bedrock of energy,” says lifestyle fitness expert Jacqueline Harvey. The best time to nod off is between 9 pm to 10 pm, as that’s when our bodies naturally tire. If you have trouble dozing off, try having a cup of milky drink or go to bed with a good book and read until your eyes start to droop. W


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