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At this time of year we are in season limbo land. Our poor skin has suffered through an ever-lasting winter and summer feels like it’s a million miles away. So it comes as no surprise that our get-up-and-go has well, got-up-and-gone. Thankfully, health and fitness guru James Duigan (the man behind the bodies of A-listers such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson) is about to get our mojo back. Here’s how:
1. 'Practice yogic breathing (pranayama) for five minutes first thing in the morning for a natural morning energy boost. When we take full, slow, deep breaths through the nose, drawing out the exhalation longer than the inhalation, a number of important things start to happen in our body. First, nose breathing filters the air, warms it, and keeps it moist so the air arrives in our lungs in the best condition to provide the most efficient transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Secondly, this breathing technique ensures we’re realising our full potential of oxygen as opposed to when we take short, shallow breaths. As we are inhale, we increase our levels of oxygen which means our body's energy levels are increased and we are able to work/move for longer without becoming tired.'
2. 'Make a shake! Protein is not just for muscle-men gym fanatics. A combination of good quality protein such as pea and rice protein provide fibre and anti-oxidants and will help ensure your blood sugar levels remain stable to help prevent sugar cravings and ensure your energy levels remain high.'
3. 'Stretch your fascia (the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and blood vessels). Our bodies become stiff and tired with lack of movement so practice a simple 5-10 minute daily stretching routine to keep your soft tissue hydrated and flexible. Foam rolling is also a great way to relax overactive, tight muscles.'
4. 'Go for a walk outside. No matter what the weather is like, get your daily dose of fresh air to awaken the senses. The air-conditioned atmosphere in your office or even your gym is often just recycled air, flowing round and round over and over again. Fresh air gives you increased oxygen levels so you’ll breathe easier and feel better.'
5. 'Laugh. If our mood is low, then so are our energy levels. Find something to make you smile or better yet laugh out loud, boosting the body’s serotonin levels.'
6. 'Drink green tea. High in antioxidants, green tea is a healthier way to get your caffeine hit in the morning.'
7. 'Reduce your intake of CRAP (That’s Caffeine, Refined sugars, Alcohol and Processed foods). A sluggish body is one that is tired of constantly cleansing its system of these toxins. Give your body a break and see if you feel more energised.'
8. 'Drink more water. Something we all know but don't do enough. Try to aim for two litres per day. The more water we consume, the easier it is for the body to remove toxins. This in turn will lead to better energy levels, increased focus and less sugar cravings.'