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10 Ways to Boost Your Energy in 10 Minutes or Less

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6. Suck on a cinnamon stick. Cinnamon isn't just for sprinkling into your apple pie. Research finds that just a whiff of this scented spice can reduce fatigue and make you feel more alert. No cinnamon handy? Grab a mint from your bag. Peppermint's sweet aroma is another fatigue fighter.

7. Take the stairs. Exercise is a natural energy booster because whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges through your body to your heart, muscles, and brain. Regularly squeezing a workout into your day -- even if you can only spare 10 minutes at a time -- will help keep your energy levels at their peak. Get up and move every chance you get, even if it's just to pace around in circles while you're talking on the phone.

8. Let the sunshine in. When you go outside on a sunny day, it’s amazing how quickly your outlook starts to change and your energy level improves. Research confirms that just a few minutes of walking outside on a warm, clear day enhances mood, memory, and the ability to absorb new information. Going outside can even improve your self-esteem. If you absolutely can't get out, open the shades and let some of that bright sunshine in.

9. Have a bite. Your brain needs fuel (otherwise known as glucose) to function at its best. When your blood sugar level drops, your mind will start running on fumes and not be as sharp as usual. So if you're getting a little shaky and your head is starting to droop, eat a snack that will give you enough energy to take you through the rest of the afternoon. Snacks that combine protein with slow-burning carbs are best for maintaining your blood sugar levels over the long-term. Good examples of energy boosters are a banana spread with peanut butter or granola with fresh berries.

10. Hang out with upbeat friends. Emotions are surprisingly contagious. People who are constantly negative and down can sap your energy, while those who are always up and excited can give you a real lift. Stay away from energy vampires. Instead, surround yourself with friends who share similar goals and interests.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on February 10, 2014

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