05/24/2013 07:00 am ET

Midday Energy Boost: 7 Ways To Perk Up From An Afternoon Slump

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Once you hit the age of 50, as I recently have, it becomes increasingly hard to keep your energy level up all day. Due to hormone imbalances that occur as you age, it's tough to stay in peak form from morning to night. I know by midday I often find myself yawning excessively while my eyelids droop and my face slumps closer and closer to my keyboard. But it doesn't have to be like this. It doesn't have to be chalked up to "we're just getting older," as many of my friends contend.

Au contraire, there actually are a number of ways post 50s can boost their energy level -- even midday -- with the help of various lifestyle and dietary choices. Here are just seven of them that I personally like. Have your own tips? Let us know in the comments.

1. Eat an energy-boosting snack.
Forget the doughnut and cup of coffee and instead grab a chunk of dark chocolate, which energizes by providing you with a great source of iron and magnesium. Another good choice is a banana, which keeps your blood sugar levels stable.

2. Sleep on the job.
The Huffington Post is just one company that provides nap rooms for its workers with an eye towards making employees more productive and less stressed. A recent National Sleep Foundation poll found that 43 percent of Americans claim they don't get enough sleep. To make the most of your nap, experts say you should limit it to 20 or 30 minutes.

3. Have sex.
This might be a better early morning energy booster than a midday one. Whatever the time, sex can improve cognitive function, burn calories, increase oxygenation and relieve stress. Not bad!

4. Do deep breathing exercises.
Shallow breathing keeps you from getting enough oxygen, which will make you feel sluggish. Do simple breathing exercises twice a day or whenever you feel you need a boost. Try this: sit down and inhale slowly for four seconds and then exhale slowly for four seconds through your nose and mouth. Repeat five to 10 times.

5. Get some sun.
Just 10 minutes of sun a day will make you feel more energetic. Sun helps the body produce vitamin D and also lifts serotonin levels, which help you sleep better at night and put you in a better mood.

6. Make sure you eat breakfast.
A breakfast high in protein -- try two eggs and a small bowl of oatmeal -- can stimulate your metabolism for over 24 hours, according to one study. Just don't overdo it with toast and potatoes and a pastry.

7. Get up and stretch.
Experts say you should get up out of your chair every 20 minutes or so and stretch. And go out for a stroll during lunch. You can greatly boost your metabolism, and lift your spirits at the same time, if you walk 10,000 steps every day.



Post 50 Metabolism Boosters