A 3 Step Routine to Boost Energy

One of the most popular excuses people rely on is a lack of energy. When we feel tired we give up early. It’s impossible to be enthusiastic when you’re exhausted. Energy is the difference between having a fantastic, productive day and merely going through the motions.

For most of my life I considered myself a low energy person. By nature I’m a night person. I’ve always been groggy in the mornings and I assumed there was nothing to be done about it. Recently I’ve come to realize that what you do is far more important than who you are.

By starting off your day with this simple 3 step routine you can create a boost of energy that lasts all day — leading to higher levels of happiness, productivity, and fitness.

Step 1 – Jump Out of Bed

Sleep feels great. When you’re in that warm cocoon between the sheets you never want to leave. I used to linger in bed, hitting the snooze button multiple times before reluctantly rising. This sets a lethargic tone for the entire day.

Getting up is inevitable, so you might as well do it quickly. As soon as the alarm goes off, jump out of bed. This energetic movement rouses you immediately. Make some other quick movements too. I usually swing my shoulders, hop around, or do a silly dance step. It might look ridiculous, but movement shakes off the cobwebs and gets you excited. Try it and you’ll be amazed how much the way you move affects the way you think and feel.

Step 2 – Exercise

Right after getting up, take action. Have your gear next to the bed so you don’t waste time. Go straight into 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise. You’re probably thinking, “Exercise in the morning? You’ve got to be kidding. I have a hard enough time exercising at all.” I used to feel the same way, but after starting I couldn’t go back.

Exercise in the morning has immense benefits. First, it raises your metabolism. This creates a natural buzz that burns calories all day. Second, it gives you the opportunity to plan out your day. Deciding exactly what you need to achieve helps you prioritize. This allows you to start working on what’s important without hesitation. Third, it starts the day with a positive accomplishment. Don’t you feel proud of yourself after exercise? This creates momentum and self confidence that will improve your mindset for the rest of the day.

Step 3 – Eat a Solid Breakfast

Your body needs fuel. There is no substitute for a solid breakfast, especially if you want to get in great shape. Not eating leads to binging later on. It slows your metabolism to a crawl so you don’t burn as many calories. When I skip breakfast I feel tired, irritated, and always end up eating junk half way through the morning. Get into the habit of doing this every day and you won’t stop.

Pretty simple isn’t it? The main reason most people don’t do these 3 things is that they believe it takes too much time. This is a weak excuse. By investing time in energizing yourself you create many more productive hours than you expend.

This routine takes about 45 minutes longer than hitting the snooze button, getting showered, skipping breakfast, and leaving for work. I make time for it by getting up an hour earlier and I haven’t missed the sleep at all. Low energy levels aren’t due to lack of sleep, they’re due to lack of movement. The nights I don’t sleep well I still follow the routine and feel as good as ever.

Just try it and see how you feel. Once you get accustomed to starting your day with energy and confidence you’ll never want to stop.

  • Steve

    Nice post. I’m sure you’re right, these are great tips. I’ve always been meaning to start doing this stuff but never get motivated. I think I’ll finally give it a try!

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Steve,

    I was in the same position for a long time. After the first time I tried it I really became a believer.

  • http://nloomis-brainstorm.blogspot.com/ Nicolas Dujovne

    Very good points John, i will try to do what you propose in number 1, im one of those who snooze the alarm a few times before waking up.

    As for number 2, i go to the gym at 7 am, and i discovered the same things as you, i feel great the days i go. And just to mention 1 side-benefit of my routine, i avoid the traffic every morning since the gym i go is a few blocks away from my job, so instead of driving 30-60 minutes i managed to do so in 15 (there is a lot of traffic where i live).

  • http://www.anjamerret.com Anja

    Nice one. I tend to exercise in the afternoon, so that I can get some work done in the morning. But I see the point of the morning drill.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Yes, Anja, I used to exercise in the afternoon too. I still do when I stay up to late and can’t get up. It’s a lot better than not at all, but I think the energy benefit makes doing it in the morning worth while.

  • http://www.healthbolt.net Sara

    “Recently I’ve come to realize that what you do is far more important than who you are.”

    Nice.

    I especially like #2 – though I had the opposite problem. I was always getting tired by 7 or 8. I work out before dinner now and this keeps me going until 11 or 12.

  • marc

    John,
    Are you saying that exercise should be done before breakfast? What about weight lifting? Should all workouts be done prior to the first meal of the day? Final question, how long ago have you adopted these methods and how are they working out so far?

    Look forward to your response.

    -Marc

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Marc,

    So far I’ve been exercising before I eat, mainly because I don’t like moving around too much on a full stomach. I’ve been mixing cardio (usually elliptical machine) and weight lifting 50-50. Depending on what your goals are, it might make sense to eat first as long as you don’t mind being active afterwards.

    I started doing this a 2 weeks ago and it’s been going great so far. My goal has been 6 days a week and I’ve only failed to get up once and even then I exercised later in the day.

    It also seems like my body is getting accustomed to the earlier wake up and anticipating the exercise. If I don’t get up immediately, I usually lay in bed thinking about it and get up after 5 or 10 minutes.

    If you’re thinking of giving it a try I highly recommend it. There’s really nothing to lose and I’ve felt significantly better over the course of the day.

  • http://comebackpluto.blogspot.com marc

    Will give it a try… thanks!

  • Suze

    This is so timely for me. On June 24, I transitioned to a morning running routine (I’ve been running since 1987, always in the afternoon.)

    The difference is incredible. I feel GREAT — so much more energy. I even get to work earlier — amazing since I’m doing more in the morning than I’ve ever done before.

    This is like a drug that I’m never giving up.

  • http://www.shinewithgrace.com Shine

    Great tips. I particularly like the jump out of bed one – it’s still OK during summer but in winter… More mind power is needed.

  • http://stresstopower.com/blog Jean Browman

    Jump out of bed? Get real. Some of us with low blood pressure would fall flat on our faces! Just goes to show we should always adjust advice to our own circumstances.

    Also, for me, lying in bed in the morning is my best thinking time. I suppose it depends on what you do. If your work involves a lot of insight and thinking maybe rushing into action isn’t always the best approach. If you plant ideas in your mind at night and let them gestate overnight, it’s a good idea to take time to harvest them in the morning.

  • http://comebackpluto.blogspot.com marc

    I suppose Jean stated the obvious: Not all advice works for everyone. However, anyone with common sense would know whether a piece of advice works for them or not. I believe the whole point of the article was to create physical energy for the day and avoid being groggy. In my opinion, the best way to achieve moments of insight and clarity in thinking is by having the energy to do so.

    Most studies regarding sleep say that the hormones responsible for waking us up linger until two or three hours after regaining consciousness, hence the statistic for greater morning traffic accidents as opposed to the rush hour home. I certainly wouldn’t want to do any of my serious thinking during my first moments awake where I haven’t regained full mental acuity.

  • http://stresstopower.com/blog Jean Browman

    Sounds as if you don’t try to solve problems that need creative insight, those “aha” moments that come from a completely different way of looking at things. They usually come in more relaxed moments, after you’ve done the serious groundwork. It’s a different approach from what you’re advocating, I know. I’m just pointing out that can be extremely effective at times. M. Scott Peck was once asked how he accomplished so much. His answer was he never did anything for the first hour of the day. That was reserved for thinking/reflection.

  • http://comebackpluto.blogspot.com marc

    While I understand your point of view, the aim and goal of the article was to introduce a new method of creating and sustaining energy that would last throughout the day. Whether it’s someone who does physical labor or works in an office most of the day, the advice given, like all advice, should be taken as it applies to the individual.

    The way in which people solve problems that might require creative insight is subjective. Sure, some may experience it in the solace of a quiet morning, while some might be enlightened during a time of high energy. Again, it’s up to the individual, but we’ve already digressed from the main idea of the article.

  • Pingback: Blog » Blog Archive »

  • http://www.skepticalpd.com Sieow Yeong Huah

    Morning exercise gives me a good boost of energy too, although I only exercise once a week. The other 2 steps don’t really do anything for me, but half the fun of self improvement is finding out what works for you.

  • Pingback: carnival of struggling bumbling newbies - July 14, 2007 : SuccessPart2.Com

  • http://lifelearningtoday.com/ AgentSully

    These are great tips.
    Regarding waking in the morning something different has worked for me. I usually wake before the alarm goes off and at that time I like to “wake up slowly.” I use this first quiet time of the day to think about my day and what I want to get done. I can think most clearly at this time. I get excited about my day and this naturally wakes me up with energy. I guess I’m lucky in that I love what I do. I think that is key!
    The next thing I always try to do is exercise. You’re so right about that!

  • http://stresstopower.com/blog Jean Browman

    “I usually wake before the alarm goes off and at that time I like to ‘wake up slowly.’ I use this first quiet time of the day to think about my day and what I want to get done. I can think most clearly at this time. I get excited about my day and this naturally wakes me up with energy. I guess I’m lucky in that I love what I do. I think that is key!”

    Amen to that! If you love what you do one of the best ways of energizing yourself is to tune into that passion. I also agree with the importance of exercise, as well as good nutrition. And as we get older weight training is as important as aerobic exercise for keeping our energy levels up. If we don’t do the weight-bearing exercises muscle is replaced by fat, and our physical energy is produced in muscle tissue.

  • Pingback: anja merret - chatting to my generation » Blog Carnival of Observations on Life July 15, 2007

  • Pingback: Achieve IT!

  • http://lifelearningtoday.com/ AgentSully

    that’s a good point about weight training too.

  • Pingback: The Power of Choice » The Personal Development Carnival - July 15th, 2007

  • Pingback: The July 15, 2007 Edition is Up

  • pril

    Jumping out of bed! yes fun!
    Exercising yes fun — got to start doing that again!!
    eating food in the morning! love the idea and try it all the time
    i get up at 7:00 and eat by 10:30 i am the hungriest human alive. now if i skip morning food and wait to lunch i’m golden i don’t get hungry.
    From what i gather this isn’t normal but odd. when i get hungry when i don’t i don’t get hungry!
    Also tried eating different morning food
    traditional breakfast – eggs meat potato — makes me sleepy but full for a while!
    cereal – makes me snake all day – don’t make me sleepy -
    warm cereal – makes me hungry but fills me up gives me energy -
    any suggestions about that!

  • Pingback: Total Mind and Body Fitness Carnival #6 | FitBuff.com's Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog

  • http://www.mindfullsuccess.com Valerie

    Wow, great ideas…now if I can just get out of the sack an hour earlier it would be terrific! That’s the hardest part for me. I also, hit the shower first thing just to wake up, but while I’m in there I do some stretching. The hot water makes it easier to get stretched first thing and get my blood circulating! I am going to try the morning routine with some brisk walking. I can’t make the gym that early, but I can get out for a walk. Who knows, maybe hitting the fresh air that early will inspire me to run a little too! Ok… going to set the alarm for 5:00am! Look out morning…here I come!

  • Pingback: links for 2007-07-17 at DeStructUred Blog

  • Pingback: A 3 Step Routine for Creating Energy that Lasts All Day | Remember, don't forget...

  • Pingback: Scripta manent » Personal Development Links: week 29

  • Pingback: Surgexperiences 102: Barbers « monash medical student

  • http://www.freewebs.com/dragonwaregames JL

    Thanks John! I’ve struggled with the problem of lack of energy for almost two years. Finally the answer has arrived! For the past few weeks I’ve been getting right out of bed at 6:30 every morning and feel great, but often I don’t have the self-disicipline to exercise, today was the first day I got myself to do it.

    What was interesting was that it took 30 minutes to go for a jog around the block, but because I did it in the morning instead of the afternoon in the hot sun as usual, it actually felt like it gave me a lot more energy than when I exercise in the afternoon. It’s also very peaceful in the morning and is a great time to think about what I want to do that day. After breakfast I went to the computer and finished all the work I wanted to get done that day and more before it was even noon! Now deciding which features I want to write for my computer games and programs is a bigger job than actually writing them because I have a lot more energy and can focus better.

  • Pingback: 6 Powerful Ways to Stop Being Tired » Achieve IT! - Goal Setting Blog

  • Pingback: Kolz Blog » Blog Archive » 6 Powerful Ways to Stop Being Tired

  • http://LK NICE STEPS, BUT WE NEED SLEEP TOO!

    if you feel you don’t get enough sleep and sleep for over 5 hours a day as an adult, chances are you actually are sleeping long enough, just not good enough.
    your problem isn’t the quantity, it’s the quality.
    brain entrainment software (google: ‘brain sync: deep sleep’) is a good way to put your brainwaves into the delta state and keep them there throughout the night. that way, you will have more hours of rem sleep and be less likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

  • Pingback: Life Changing Tools | Energy

  • Pingback: Life Is Easy / 6 Powerful Ways to Stop Being Tired

  • Sirpingalot

    I’ve only recently started reading this blog and am already loving it. One question on this post. You said that this routine has helped you improve your energy levels during the day (which you used to be groggy during). I’m planning to start out trying this, do you have a ballpark figure from when you can see it start taking effect? (a month/2 months/3 months?) I know it differs from person to person, so how long did it take for you for it to kick in?

  • Pingback: Triple Your Productivity Tomorrow | PickTheBrain

  • Pingback: How to Make Exercise Last | PickTheBrain

  • Pingback: Mark’s Daily Apple » Blog Archive » Top 10 Natural Energy Elevators

  • Pingback: Frustrated Over High Veterinarian Bills? | Self Help Station

  • Pingback: Fitness Trainer: Boredom Busters | Self Help Station

  • Pingback: Herbs For Protection | Self Help Station

  • Pingback: Surviving One Day at a Time « stephentrepreneur

  • Pingback: The 5 Big Reasons Why You Fall Off The Productivity Wagon - Practical advice on personal development, productivity and GTD

  • Pingback: Optimize Your Sleep For Better Health and More Free Time | cuinlalaland

  • http://www.shop216.com cinsel ürün

    I ran across search engines and find this blog that fulfill my needs

  • Aspy Dadabhoy

    Thanks for the tips..but i really do need to put myself in shape..i lose energy i get depressed..and ive hit the failure button too many times in my life…and im only 23..i need to use these tips..put them in action..and i feel i can

  • Candace

    I have a lot of trouble with the idea of exercising in the morning, even though I want to. I hate having to put on my exercise clothes, get sweaty, try to make time for a shower (because that means I have to make time to dry and do my hair), and still get dressed in what I’m actually going to wear to work… All that on top of just getting ready in the morning.

    I don’t have any problems with getting out of bed, having breakfast, making lunch… I can even get up earlier. I just can’t seem to motivate myself to go through the whole exercise, shower, hair routine. (Don’t even get me started on makeup…)

  • Sudheerkandampully

    These are the golden rules to be healthy and more energetic always 

  • Mindy Thorburne

    It reads well, makes sense.  I can barley get up in the morning.  I have never been so tired in my life as in the past 3 years. I’m so hungry all the time, have put on 80 pounds and all I want to do is eat.  I exercise daily as I teach exercise classes.  Now it’s a joke since I look awful, can barley do the exercise & motivate no one.  A 3 year slump is horrible.  I was tested for low thyroid function & was told it was not the problem.  I like the ideas but I’m too exhausted to practice any of them.  I teach exercise classes in the p.m., so tired when I make it home I do nothing.  On days I don’t teach but work, I make it home & basically do nothing.  Boyfriend broke up with me cause I’m an ugly tank.  No one wants a friend or girlfriend that is an ugly tank.  Worst part is that I’m so ashamed of how I look I isolate myself from people as much as I can.  a horrible way to live.

    • Peaceable Jovanie

      To be frank, surfeit amount of people suffer from depression which is much likely to decrease self esteem alongside motivation. I have not a clue toward your possible appearance although we as humans need desirable compassion leading to daily life routes. I am age seventeen, high school I attend demonstrates few groups of over weight others and this truly depresses me, i’ve offered to provide a fellow peer lose weight and she constantly passed on excuses..

      “be ugly happy or active fit happy.” Does this quote seem farmiliar? This quote has been located in four different motivation books.. You must gain confidence and take this world by storm.

  • Pingback: Using Your Leisure Time Wisely - Choose Wisely with JoppelChoose Wisely with Joppel

  • Alex_olvera00

    i will try it and get back to you.

  • Annette Montoya

    Thanks for the advice this is goung to be a challenge for me. Due to the fact that I am a night person, I like to got o the gym at night then go home and get into bed. Appearantly not good. But I am a 27 year survivor first time kidney transplant patient. Stay tuned…