Long Life Movement

Increase Energy with Movement

Still reaching for caffeine at 3 p.m.? Check out this simple sequence you can do anywhere to help you beat the mid-afternoon slump.

When I was working on my Master’s degree, I found myself burning the candle on both ends. Between my regular work, teaching movement classes, volunteer commitments, family life, and my course work, I regularly found myself hitting a wall by mid afternoon.

To help jump start our brains, we often turn to caffeine. The problem with caffeine so late in the day is that it most likely will keep us up at night. Then, we will not be well rested in the morning. And most of all, we will find ourselves repeating the cycle each day.

Therefore, it’s really wise for us to explore other strategies.

Another strategy we often turn to is eating a mid afternoon snack. The crunch of food helps keep our brains alert. While we may feel temporarily satisfied with our afternoon snacks, over time, we often don’t appreciate the side effect of an expanding waist line.

Increase Energy with out Caffeine or Food

How do I increase energy without caffeine?

Any easy way to increase energy without caffeine is to move and sync your movement with your breath. Try raising your arms up while you inhale. Lower your arms as you exhale.

How does raising and lower my arms help decrease fatigue?

When we raise our arms up, we provide additional space for our lungs to take in a fuller breath. Furthermore, syncing your breath with your movement requires your mind to focus on the task. When we are tired we tend to lose focus.

How many times do I need to repeat this movement to decrease my tiredness?

Everyone is different. Try 3 to 5 times and see if you feel a difference. Or, take a really big stretch – like your largest full body yawn and reach out in all directions. See how one large movement helps you.

A movement sequence to increase energy.

Try this sequence of exercises to see if they help you feel better.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

A movement sequence to increase energy.

  1. Lunge with arms up

    Stand well in both legs. Keep your bent knee aligned with your ankle. Spread your toes and push down into your feet. Raise your arms up and breathe. Stay in the shape for 3 breath cycles. An inhale and an exhale is one breath cycle. woman wearing read doing warrior one pose

  2. Forward Bend

    Keeping your legs firm and your spine long, forward fold from your hip joint. Allow your hands to touch the ground or the object you have your foot on. Breathe. Hold the shape for 3 breath cycles. As you push with your feet and hands, use an inhale to stand back up. woman wearing red doing yoga humble warrior pose

  3. Warrior Two

    As you bring your arms out to a “T,” use an exhale and relax the top of your shoulders. Breathe and remain in the pose for 3 breath cycles. woman wearing red doing yoga warrior two pose

  4. Side Angle Pose

    On an exhale, rest your arm on your front leg as you reach fully to the sky with your other arm. As you press down with your back leg foot, reach up from your back side waist through your armpit to your fingertips. woman wearing red doing yoga side angle pose

  5. Side Angle Variation

    As much as you are reaching your top arm up, equally extend your bottom arm down. woman wearing red doing yoga extended side angle

  6. Hamstring Stretch

    Bend the knee of your standing leg. Press down into your heel on your front leg as you spread your toes on both feet. Keeping your spine long, tip forward from your hip crease. breath. woman wearing red doing hamstring stretch or padanghustasana

  7. Adductor Stretch

    Press down into both feet and lift up fully through your torso. Breathe. woman wearing red doing modified yoga pose to stretch inner line of legs called adductors

  8. Triangle Pose

    With both legs lengthened, breathe. Spread your toes and isometrically pull your legs towards one another while extending fully through your torso and arms. Breathe. woman wearing red doing modified triangle pose or trikonasana

  9. L-Pose

    With your legs hip width apart, bend your knees. As you breathe, tip your pelvis to the sky. Pressing down into your hands, lift your armpits and maintain the natural curves of your spine. woman wearing red doing a modified downward facing dog called L-Pose in the mountains

A great sequence for on the road.

Hope this sequence helps you increase energy without needing to drink caffeine or snack. It’s also a great sequence for road trips. It may help reduce driver fatigue as well as decrease discomfort from sitting in the car.

Use a curb or a bench at a rest area as the prop for your front foot. Be sure to practice the sequence on both sides of your body.

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about the author

Lisa Long, M.A.

Lisa Long wants to live in a world where Love gives you a "permission slip" to drop the mask and be who you are. Known for her hearty and full-body laugh, Lisa meets people where they are in the present moment. She passionately believes in the healing potential of movement. As a teacher and producer/writer, her work has been featured on Good For You blog, CBS television station affiliates, and telelvision cable channel networks as well her print manual called "Home Practice: A Guide for Healing from Breast Cancer" was published by a 5 hospital health care network. When she's not helping others reach their fullest potential, you'll find Lisa hiking a trail to a waterfall or riding her bike at the beach. Her latest collaboration with a university launches in 2020.

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