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Readers' Energy Secrets

Between juggling work, family, friends and personal time, what woman doesn't need an energy boost once in a while? "We all have tricks to help us get energized," says Santa Monica, Calif.-based life coach Beth Rothenberg. Since not every tip works for everyone, though, you may need to try different strategies until you find what works for you, Rothenberg notes. From exercise to snack ideas -- to ways to recoup -- we asked you, our readers, for your secrets, and the ideas rolled in. See if any of the following tips rev you up too.

Get physical When your energy levels are waning, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing. But next time you hit a slump, get moving! "Your brain may be tired, but just a little activity can energize you physically and emotionally," says personal trainer Kent Burden, co-author of Yin Yang Fitness: The Whole Package of Health (Amberwood Press, 2003). The following readers agree:

  • When Bridget Posluszny of Redondo Beach, Calif., finds herself in need of a boost, she takes a dip in the Pacific Ocean. "The cool ocean breeze is refreshing, and the salty air stimulates my senses," she tells us.
  • To avoid a midafternoon energy slump, Jennay Oliver of Westbank, British Columbia, Canada, takes a 10- to 20-minute walk during her lunch break. "Not only am I recharged, but it helps make the rest of the afternoon fly by," she attests.

    Get fueled For optimum energy, it's essential to make sensible choices when you eat, whether it's a meal or a snack, says New York City-based nutritionist Caren Feingold, R.D. "See [eating] as an opportunity to add more nutrients to your diet and maximize your energy stores," she suggests. How do SHAPE readers do that?

  • Darlene Yvonne Grimaldo, from North Hollywood, Calif., eats assorted fruits and vegetables (celery, carrots, melons and pears), hard-boiled eggs and lowfat cheese to stave off late-afternoon energy dips. "Having healthful snacks on hand is key to not caving in to junk-food temptations," she notes.
  • Along with a nutritious breakfast, Roxanne Salditos of Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., starts each day in the Air Force with a glass of orange juice. "I'm not a coffee drinker, so an 8-ounce glass of OJ gives me the kick I need to get going in the morning," she says.

    Get refreshed "Everyone needs a little time off from everyday stresses," says life coach Rothenberg. "If you give your mind a break, you'll come back to your task with more clarity and a better perspective." Here are some options:

  • Alix Shutello of Vienna, Va., elevates her feet at work. "Taking a load off re-energizes me," she says. "I'm on my feet a lot, and putting them up is great for my circulation."
  • A 20-minute nap helps Amy Schuler of Fairfax, Va., keep up with her toddler. "I wake up full of the energy I need to continue with my busy day," she says.
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