10 Ways to Feel Good Every Day
Exercise Less (But More Intensely)
Easy tips and tricks to feel great all the time.
Don't have a full hour to spend at the gym? Don't sweat it. "A short, high-intensity workout is easy to stick with and just as beneficial," says Lisa Wheeler of Equinox gyms. Instead of a 40-minute run, do intervals: Jog 2 minutes and sprint 1 minute, for a total of 20 minutes.
Go On a No-Deprivation Diet
"Food has a huge impact on your mood," says nutritionist Keri Glassman, "so when certain treats are off limits, it's like an awful, unending downer diet." Can you eat five cupcakes a day? No. But if you are craving a cookie, allow yourself one and really enjoy it.
Surround Yourself with Flowers
Brush up on your flower-arranging skills because there's a very compelling reason to have beautiful blooms around at all times: In a study by Nancy Etcoff of Harvard Medical School, 27 women were sent colorful stems; another group received home décor items. Within a week, Etcoff found that the flower group reported feeling more enthusiastic about their daily activities.
It's simple enough: Dehydration makes you feel lethargic, and water restores energy. Two 8-ounce glasses of water are a good antidote for morning drag.
For a quick boost of your B's--the vitamins that help metabolize carbohydrates and give instant energy--take a swig of E3 Live (e3live.com). The liquid supplement is made from fresh-frozen algae (and, no surprise here, it tastes a little like the ocean, so have a chaser at the ready).
Pick a Smarter Sweet
Sometimes, having a candy bar seems like the best way to make it through the day, but that sugar will make you feel better for only about 30 minutes--and then way worse. Instead, choose Sweet Riot cacao nibs (sweetriot.com), which taste just as good but have half the calories and less sugar, so you don't crash later.
Take a Walk Before Lunch
Even if it's just a quick stroll around the block, here's why you should head outdoors: "Around 1 P.M. there's a natural lull in your circadian rhythm that signals the body to release melatonin, which makes you drowsy," says sleep expert Michael Breus. "You can prevent that dip by exposing your body to 10 minutes of sunlight at noon."
Eat the Same Breakfast Every Morning
When you know exactly what you are going to eat, you are less likely to skip a meal--or make a bad decision. (And, no, a cup of coffee won't cut it.) Start your day with protein-packed hard-boiled eggs or a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and sesame seeds, which are loaded with iron and calcium.
Talk to Strangers
And, of course, say something nice. Tell the woman on the train that you like her shoes. The compliment will make her smile. "She's happy, you're happy," says Blissology founder Eoin Finn. "It creates a mini endorphin explosion."
Pack a Happier Gym Bag
Approved by fitness guru Tracy Anderson, these cheery essentials (including a post-Pilates sweet treat!) may actually make you look forward to working up a sweat.
Donatienne Barbie bag, $475; donatiennedesigns.com.
Visual Changes gly-sal pads, $31; amazon.com.
Amazon Chocolate Bliss Bar, $4; theblissbar.org.
Cooler Cleanse coconut water, $9; coolercleanse.com.
Nike bra, $25; nike.com.
American Apparel tank, $20; americanapparel.net.
S'well water bottle, $35; swellbottle.com.
Undrest leggings, $148; undrest.com.