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Health, Dr. Mao, Santa Monica, Columnist

Seven Natural Boosters For Summer Energy

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Posted Jun. 29, 2014, 8:59 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

Now that summer is here, match that burst of energy that that causes blossoms to form and flower. Feel ready and raring to tackle outdoor chores, plant gardens, and just be outside feeling invigorated.

1. Spring training

Mix up your exercise routine (or begin one!). Energy can come simply by breaking routine and doing something different. Get some friends onboard. Studies show that the energizing effect of exercise is boosted when done with others. The same goes for doing it outside. So break up the indoor gym routine! Practice tai chi under the trees. If you’re already fit, try boot camp, go for a hike, or take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. You’ll find exercising outside more enjoyable and possibly more effective.

2. Breathe

When you feel your energy level dropping, become aware of how you’re breathing. Pay attention to how the breath enters and leaves your body. By taking time to pause instead of rushing and worrying, you give yourself a chance to rest and recharge. Practice deep, slow, rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing and you will not only feel more energetic, you will reap the rewards of improved skin complexion, a clearer mind, and elevated mood. Mind-body disciplines such as tai chi, yoga, qigong, and meditation all incorporate breath work into their routines.

3. Drink more water

You may already know that it’s easy to think you are hungry when what you actually are is thirsty. But did you know that thirst could also masquerade as fatigue? Even being slightly dehydrated can make you feel tired. So drinking water throughout the day can do wonders for your energy levels. Whenever possible make sure your water is pure filtered water. Avoid water stored in plastic, as the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) leach into the water.

4. Air yourself out

Open the windows and let the sun shine in and the breeze fill your house with the unmistakable fragrance of spring! Find some time to soak up a little sun. Studies show that a mere 20 minutes of sunshine a day can do wonders to boost your energy and mood, not to mention absorb a full day’s worth of vitamin D.

5. Stand straight and tall

Poor posture puts uneven pressure on your spine, which causes some muscles to work harder than others, making them tight and tense. This leads to a drop in energy, depresses your mood, contributes to chronic back and neck pain, and restricts blood flow to the brain.

On top of all that it makes you look and feel older. The Chinese remedy for poor posture is simple: pull your chin inward and pretend there’s a string pulling straight upward from the top of your head.

6. Find alternatives to energy drinks

Energy drinks are often filled with sugar, chemicals, and caffeine that can make you feel even worse after the initial energy surge. Instead, why not try the gentle, yet effective energizers on your spice rack? Studies have found that compounds in everyday herbs and spices can increase mental and physical vitality. One compound in particular, cineole, has been found to enhance the ability of rats to navigate mazes. Of the herbs rich in cineole, cardamom tops the list, followed by eucalyptus, spearmint, rosemary, and ginger. So instead of an energy drink or a cup of coffee, make yourself a tea from any of these herbs to spice up your energy.

7. Energy smoothie

This smoothie from the Secrets of Longevity Cookbook is fantastic for promoting energy and is packed with nutrition! It’s high-protein, low-calorie, and delicious mainly because its base is antioxidant-rich blueberries and potassium-rich bananas mixed with almond milk, which not only adds flavor, but also essential fatty acids and calcium.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit

Post a comment


Jun. 29, 2014, 3:43:50 pm

John El-Amin said...

Dr. Mao - your advice and nutrition guides really work ! I always pass them on and use them. Thanks!

Aug. 14, 2014, 7:07:11 am

Billy Powell said...

Dr. Mao: Is a Great Doctor...

Aug. 15, 2014, 11:36:20 pm

zohhre said...

my son 30 years old........he has depresion and no sleep-..............he see some images in around and he /say that they r real.......i ask u?this,signs be good ?have u recepy,organic for symptom,......take acare dear me please

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