Feeling sluggish, but have a big date tonight? Don’t cancel! Instead, try one of these no-fail fast fixes to get you pumped! By match.com’s relationship expert, Kate Taylor
You know how uplifted and energised you feel after the gym? Most of that effect comes from being out of breath. When you breathe faster, oxygen is sent racing round your body and invigorates your cells, perking you up. If you can fit in a pre-date workout, do it! If you can’t, then create tiny bursts of intense movement within your normal routine. Just five minutes of fast-breathing is enough to wake you up. Try: running up the stairs at work; jogging on the spot; a five-minute workout video on YouTube; walking briskly to the date; dancing to two songs; or making the actual date active by going skating, or playing DanceMove games at an arcade.
2. Protein Power
Don’t reach for carbs to give you a lift. Protein gives you more of a boost, because it contains tyrosine, an amino acid that raises levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. The result is a feeling of alertness and energy. Skip the sandwich at lunch and try hard-boiled eggs, a chicken breast, or a salad loaded with nuts and quinoa. On the date, swerve carbs again and order an energy-loaded dinner like fish or steak, with loads of veg. Remember alcohol is pure carbs, so switch to lighter drinks like vodka and soda rather than wheat-laden beer.
3. Smoothie operator
An energising smoothie is a rapid way to raise your “oomph”. Grab your blender and whizz up fruit, seeds, nuts and ice. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C for instant energy, bananas deliver a longer-lasting punch. The magnesium content of nuts keeps you going long-term, while seeds help to regulate your blood-sugar and stop you crashing later. If you add a handful of green leafy veg, you’ll be loading your smoothie with vitamin K and Iron too.
4. Do Good
Research into volunteering has revealed that doing good deeds causes a “helper’s high”, caused by a surge of endorphins. You don’t have to volunteer – any good deed creates this effect. So, give money to a homeless person, let a car into the traffic, make a colleague a cup of tea, chat to a lonely neighbour, help a Mum onto the bus with her pram, buy a Big Issue or pay for a stranger’s coffee in Starbucks! Fit small, lovely actions into your day right now, and you’ll feel the lift.
5. Pump up the volume
Music is the fastest way to raise your energy levels. Create a pre-date playlist that you can play while you’re getting ready, or travelling to your date so that you can instantly raise your mood. No time? No problem – Match.com has put together the perfect “Get Ready” playlist here. Download it for free, whack up the volume, and watch your tiredness vanish.