We’ve all read at least one or two articles with ideas about health and energy. They all basically say the same thing: get more sleep, eat your greens, exercise daily, and drink more water. As a disciplined and productive person you probably have all these bases covered. Now it’s time to take it to the next level with these 30 original ideas you can add to your daily routine.
I collected them from many different sources and I’m sure you have never tried at least a third of them. Just pick the ones that fit your unique style and try them out.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” ― John Muir, The Mountains of California
30 Great Ideas For Health And Energy
1. Take a cold shower
This one changed my life and now I’m recommending it to everybody – take a cold shower every morning and after workouts. It will re-energize you, wake you up, and improve your mood. Moreover, it will strengthen your resolve for the rest of the day. What can be more challenging than an ice-bucket challenge as soon as you wake up? It’s also good to take a hot shower but reserve it for the evening. It will help you to relax and go to sleep more peacefully.
2. Use Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy is the new trend among athletes, and celebrities. You can try it at home (if you have loads of money) or at spas and gyms. You step into a freezing chamber (-256 F, -124 C) filled with nitrogen vapor and spend around three minutes for one session. It reduces muscle inflammation, strengthens the immune system and helps with anxiety and depression. It also burns tons of calories (around 500 – 800) during the 24 hours after the session.
3. Drink wheatgrass powder with warm water first thing in the morning
I’ve been practicing this ritual for a while now, and can attest to its effectiveness. After waking up, your body is dehydrated and you need to refill it to avoid fatigue. Drinking a glass of wheat grass powder mixed with warm water is one of the best ways to kick-start your day, get the nutrients you need, and start with the other activities of the day. You may also grow your own wheat grass and put it through the juicer but it’s a little bit messy and time consuming.
4. Meditate during your daily commutes
If you live in a big city, the morning commute can really drain your energy. Jostling your way through the noisy crowds can sometimes spoil an otherwise pleasant morning. I’ve found that playing relaxing music on my headphones while on the way to the metro really helps. And then, when you’re inside and waiting for your stop, just close your eyes, and practice mindfulness meditation for a couple of minutes. It’s much better than overstimulating your sleepy brain with news, social media, or loud music.
5. Use the brainwave entertainment music
You can actually manipulate the brainwave activity through music. Depending on the situation, you can get in to the Alpha state if you want to meditate or feel more relaxed, Theta state if you need to focus on an important task, or Gamma state if you want to feel high energy and excitement (Delta state is when you sleep). Listening to these special tracks for around 30 minutes can really change your mindset. Researchers also found that you can get into the Theta or Gamma state when you listen to your favorite, high-tempo music.
6. Microdose on LSD or Psilocybin
The study of Microdosing is still in its infancy, but we already have many reports from volunteers – and 99% of them are positive. Taking a micro dose basically means taking a very small amount of psychedelics which will not affect your perception but rather improve your energy levels, mood and well-being. If you want to learn more about this idea, you might want to read “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys” or “A Quick Guide to Microdosing Psychedelics.”
7. Try the dry skin brushing
This one is a little bit quirky but you still might give it a try. Just before taking your morning shower, you take a natural bristle brush and go through the whole body in the direction of the heart. It will help you to improve the blood circulation, take care of the lymphatic system (which is crucial for removing toxins from the body), and get rid of the dead skin. It also makes you feel more alive and energetic.
8. Use the Tony Robbins’ breathing exercise
This energy trick comes from Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within program. You inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 16 seconds and then release it for 8 seconds (you may also do 5, 20, and 10 seconds – depending on your lung capacity). You continue like this until you’ve done ten reps. This exercise is designed to enhance the lymphatic system which is stimulated by the oxygen flow around the body. One person created a neat 6-minute video of the whole session. It’s recommended to do three sessions per day for maximum impact.
9. Do the Spinal Cord Decompression exercise
Did you know that in the morning you’re actually a little bit taller than in the evening? It’s because of all the gravity that affects you during the day. If you don’t regularly stretch and spend a lot of time sitting, at some point you’re guaranteed to end up with a back pain. To prevent this, you might want to try the spinal cord decompression exercise. You basically grab the pull-up bar with a wide grip, and try loosening your back for about a minute. Your vertebras are going to thank you for it and you’ll improve your grip strength as a bonus.
10. Drink coffee and tea only in the morning, when you are rested
Coffee and tea are one of the best natural energy boosters but it’s good to use them sparingly. Many people gulp down coffee when they’re tired but that’s actually the worst time to do it (if you’re tired – just take a nap). The best time to get caffeinated is in the morning, when you’re full of energy. I like to drink my coffee just before starting my morning work-sessions. It will keep me ultra-productive for around 4 hours, after which I do a short meditation or a nap to regenerate. Afternoon is the time for tea, but it’s better to avoid any caffeine after 6PM as it’ll prevent you from falling asleep.
11. Take a plunge into cold water
I once watched a short interview with Tony Robbins where he said he starts his day by sitting in a Jacuzzi for 10 minutes to loosen his body, and then plunges into ice-cold water for a few minutes to reduce inflammation in the muscles and reap all sorts of other benefits like higher energy and improved mood. There’s a documentary about Fedor Emelianenko (probably the best MMA fighter of all time), where you can see him taking an ice-bath after each workout. If Fedor can do it, you can do it. If not, at least take a cold shower.
12. Do rebounding (or just jump around for 15-20 minutes)
Research shows that it’s worth to invest in a small trampoline and jump around for a few minutes every day. Due to gravity changes, and quick movements, you can strengthen your blood cells, increase lymph flow, improve the cardiovascular capacity and overall fitness – all that with very low strain on joints. If you don’t have a trampoline (which you can actually buy for less than $100) you can always try a high-intensity plyometric workout.
13. Immerse yourself in the personal Arabic Baths (or Hammam)
Have you ever been to a Middle Eastern country? They have Hammams all over the place and for a good reason. Hammam is basically a steam bath where you sweat out all the toxins, scrape yourself with an exfoliating glove, and get a nice massage. There might be no Arabic Baths close to your place but you can recreate the experience at home. Just put the super-hot water in the shower cabin as this will create a lot of steam. Then, when you start sweating, cover your body with the Moroccan Black Soap and scrape your body with the scratchy glove. After getting out you’ll feel rejuvenated and energetic like never before. (In Morocco, they perform this ritual around once a week).
14. Take a 15-20 minute nap
Napping is one of the best energy-replenishing habits you can develop. So many modern companies like Google and Facebook allow their employees to take a small nap during the day simply because it increases the productive output. One study conducted by NASA concluded that people who took a 15-20 minute nap in the afternoon were 34% more productive than the subjects who worked without rest. In the early afternoon (around 1:00 – 2:00 PM) your energy naturally drops, so that’s a perfect time for a nap. After getting up, splash some cold water on your face and you’re ready to go.
15. Visit a sauna
If there’s no Arabic Baths around, you might want to visit a traditional Finnish (“Dry”) sauna. Peoples of northern Europe use this kind of sauna for centuries as it helps to detoxify the body, enhance the immune system, improve mental clarity, and lower blood pressure. Just get in there for around 15 minutes, and then take an icy shower as a bonus. If you want to get really fancy, and you know where to find it, you may also try out the Infrared Sauna.
16. Eat white tea leaves
I’ve learned this one while in tea factory in Kerala, India. White tea is actually richest in nutrients and vitamins, because the leaves remain mostly unprocessed. While drinking it is always a great idea (it has lower amount of caffeine than the green, and black teas), you may also want to grab a few leaves and chew them. This will promote fat loss, but will also boost your energy, fill your body with antioxidants and take care of your heart.
17. Always carry water with wheat grass or lemon juice
As an active human being, you need more than the recommended 2 liters of water per day (especially if you live in a warm climate). Dehydration is one of the commonest causes of fatigue. Some people walk around for the whole day complaining about low-energy levels but they never drink anything except for tea, coffee and occasional soda. If you want your energy to soar, please grab a water bottle with some lemon juice or wheat grass powder and sip from it throughout the day.
18. Don’t mix proteins with carbohydrates
This one is not 100% confirmed, as there’s still more research to be done but in my own diet, I try to avoid eating proteins and carbohydrates in one meal (sometimes you can’t avoid it but it should be a general rule). The idea is that different food groups require different enzymes to complete the digestion process. If you eat a big meal made of pasta and meat (like lasagna), you’ll feel quite heavy and low on energy afterwards. That’s why it’s better to eat simpler meals, based on vegetables, and skip the dessert.
19. Eat smaller portions
This advice is especially applicable in US, where portions are usually larger than in Europe and other places around the world. If you want to really get into the topic, I highly recommend a very short yet ever useful Food Rules by Michael Pollan. In the book, the author shares some golden rules for eating healthily and having more energy as a result. These include: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”, avoid sugars of all kinds (first they give you an energy boost, but later make you crash), and “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
20. Work at a standing desk
Standing desks have been gaining popularity for quite a while and their health benefits are widely documented. But are you using one? Or do you still spend the majority of your time sitting? Sitting for more than six hours per day invites cardiovascular disease, diabetes, back ache and feeling of exhaustion. On the other hand, users of adjustable standing desks are crushing it at work. 87% report to feel more energized, 66% more productive, 71% more focused, and 62% happier. Just try it out and see for yourself.
21. Breathe through the diaphragm
This simple idea can change your life. Most of us breathe mostly through the upper parts of the respiratory system – this kind of breath is shallow, and makes you feel anxious (just think about your breathing pattern when you’re scared or stressed). On the other hand, breathing through the diaphragm helps to reduce stress, lowers blood pressure, and blood sugar level, and even makes your voice more melodic. You can learn about the technique in this 3 minute video and then practice it until the end of your days.
22. Do the bedtime yoga routine
During the day, you put a lot of strain on your muscles, joints and the nervous system. To sleep much better and feel more energized in the morning you can try doing a short bedtime yoga routine. In only twenty minutes, you will relax your body and soul like never before. You can do the routine on your own, or try to do it with an instructor. I highly recommend the Yoga With Adriene channel on YouTube where you can find a 20 minute session of bedtime exercises. Just try it once and you’ll thank me later.
23. Try the sensory deprivation tank
Sensory deprivation tanks are becoming more and more popular, and you can probably find one in your city. You basically step into a cocoon-like tank filled with a special type of salt, and then you’re closed in there for 1 to 2 hours.
As you float, you’re deprived of light, sound, and even the sense of touch and gravity. Many people (including Richard Feynman) who used this technology report having “out of body experiences”, “losing the sense of self” and hallucinations. Some more commonplace benefits are: stress management, pain relief, and aid with meditation. 1 hour session should cost around $20-$30.
24. Hug – a lot
When was the last time you hugged somebody? Hugs (and especially deep hugs in bed) instantly boost the secretion of oxytocin and serotonin levels which in turn increase your levels of happiness, positive energy, and well-being. Hugging also gives a boost to your immune system, relieves stress and anxiety, improves your self-esteem and balances the nervous system. If you’re in a relationship, hug as much as possible. If not, you can hug your friends or walk around with the “free hugs” sign (joking).
25. Take a multivitamin, omega 3, iron, and D6/D12, and pure cocoa powder
There’s a common notion that supplements are actually useless as they cannot be fully absorbed by our bodies. After much research I came to the conclusion there actually are a few things worth adding to the regular diet. Multivitamin helps to cover the deficiencies in your diet. Omega 3 comes from the fish oil and it’s great for overall health. Iron and D6/D12 are great for your heart and functioning of the brain. And 100% cocoa powder (no sugar!) is great for mood, brain and overall well-being.
26. Use the Chili Pad
I’ve first heard about this one from Tim Ferriss. Chili Pad is a mattress pad which you put under the bed sheets. By circulating the water it helps to regulate the temperature of your body during the night. If you sleep with a partner, you can set different temperatures for each side of the bed. This technology will enable you to improve the quality of your sleep and it’s especially useful if you suffer from arthritis or endometriosis.
27. Get 8 hours of sleep, use sleep mask, drink chamomile, use earplugs, and no screens 1 hour before bed
Sleeping well is probably the top thing if you want to improve your energy and well-being. Of course you’ve heard about the 8 hour rule, but you can get bonus sleep points for observing the following rules:
- Use a sleep mask.
- Make sure your room is totally dark.
- Try to go to sleep at the same hour every night (your body will get used to this rhythm and you’ll start to get sleepy at a certain hour).
- Drink chamomile tea around one hour before going to bed – it will help you to fall asleep more peacefully.
- Use earplugs to block out all the noise while you’re asleep.
- Don’t watch TV, use a smartphone or a laptop at least one hour before going to sleep (read a paper book and plan your next day instead).
28. Drink water with a pinch of sea salt
If you want to maintain high levels of hydration in your body (especially during or after a workout), you might want to consider adding a pinch of natural sea salt to it (table salt won’t do, and it’s best to be avoided in your diet). Sea salt will provide you with all the minerals that might be lacking in the filtered water and you’ll get a range of other benefits as well.
29. Do a 15 minute Qi Gong routine
Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese health & longevity technique which has been used for over 3500 years. It’s based on gentle movements, breathing, and meditation. Dozens of people swear by the benefits it provides, which include: improved balance, posture, flexibility, blood circulation and lower risk of anxiety and depression. Most of these Chinese traditional medicine things are wacky, but this one seems genuine. Try it out with this short 18 minute session.
30. Drink a morning-super-energy-smoothie
Smoothies are probably one of the most underrated tools in the high-energy department. There are hundreds of different recipes and all you need is a decent blender and some creativity. You don’t have to be so specific with them. Just buy as much green stuff as possible (such as spinach, kale, fresh mint, cucumber, mango, wheatgrass, etc.) and throw it into the blender with some ice cubes and natural fruit juice. You might also want to experiment with all kinds of berries, almonds, ginger, chia & flax seeds – as they’re known superfoods.
Do you have any other unique ideas for higher levels of health and energy? Which one is your favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.