29 Dec The Secret to Unlocking Natural Physical Energy
“I’m soooo tired…”
“Man, I just have NO energy today…”
“I’d kill for a cup of coffee right now…”
How many times have you heard somebody say these exact words? Even worse…
How many times have you said something along these lines yourself?
If you find yourself dragging some days more than others, you’re probably neglecting one or more of the three aspects to healthy living – I call them the “Three S’s”…
Sleep, Stress and Sustenance.
It’s not hard to manage the Three S’s – with just a little bit of discipline and due diligence – you could unlock your body’s own store of boundless natural energy and wake up with the ability to feel alert and energetic and sustain that feeling throughout the day!
Let’s take a look at how we can start the unlocking process by starting with one of the easiest pillars to identifying and manage…
Both the quantity and quality of sleep you get at night will directly affect how energetic you feel the next day.
We all know that we should be shooting for a solid 8 hours, right?
Well, that USED to be the target we needed to shoot for in the past – but we’re learning more about the human body than we’ve ever known before, and more and more, research seems to be point to the fact that the optimal target is closer to seven hours of solid sleep every night.
If you have to, make an effort to cut time away from some of the non-essential areas to get all 7 hours – maybe that means an hour less of television, less time on our smart devices or eating dinner a little earlier.
Another way to improve the quality of your sleep is to create an environment that is relaxing and restful: try to keep your bedroom cool, make sure light sources are blocked by shades and make sure to turn off electronics at least one hour before bedtime.
I know that’s hard, as some of us read before we turn out the lights, and in today’s age of tablets and smartphones – we tend to use these as our vehicles.
Well, you may want to back to the real thing, as research is now showing that just having the bright screens in front of our eyes may effect our sleep as much as if we were watching youtube videos before hitting the hay.
The important thing here is to find a way to chill before drifting off to la-la land in order to get your mind and body in the right state of relaxation – relaxation is a big key to a great night’s sleep.
The second “S” we’re going to focus on – is the one that many people seem to have the biggest problem getting under control…
And that’s stress.
Do you know that we feel mental fatigue the same way as we feel physical fatigue? Feeling mentally drained is no different than running 10 miles…
And while daily stressors like work or family can’t always be eliminated – they can be managed with effective stress-reducing strategies.
Communication is a great tool – talking through a problem with a friend, family member or a therapist could go a long way to easing our minds than anything else we can do. Attacking a problem as a team can help ease our minds and allow us to breathe easier.
Another helpful tool? Spring cleaning…
It’s true, sometimes just de-cluttering the home or work environment can help put us at ease. A little “new age” theory never hurt anybody!
However, the best stress manager there is? Exercise. Regular exercise can help reduce cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) significantly. The higher the intensity – the better.
Have a rough day? Hit the gym immediately after work. Don’t wait. For two reasons…
- You need a few hours to let your body relax after the exercise. Going to bed too soon after a gym session will greatly effect your sleep.
- The longer you wait the more likely you are not to go. Just get it done – and hit it hard.
Don’t have time to hit the gym? No problem…
You can also look for a quick energy boost by giving your head a 5 minute mini-massage by rubbing your temples or practice a 5 minute meditative breathing break.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
The last “S” is both easy and hard to keep straight, but again, with just a few little tweaks, it could become one of your strongest areas – Sustenance.
Most of our energy can be directly attributed to our diets, so it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at both WHAT and WHEN you’re eating.
The science of nutrition is changing. The old way of “never skip a meal, get your nutrition in every 4 hours” is going the way of the Dodo…
More and more, people are discovering the benefits of fasting, or intermittent fasting, to be exact…
Weight loss, increased energy and better gut health are just some of the effects of this kind of eating – but keep in mind – everybody’s different. What may work for you may not work for everybody – so may need to experiment a little before finding what works best.
For some, intermittent fasting is the key, for others, getting 5-6 well balanced and nutritious meals in daily works best – you have to find what works for you!
However, even more important than your food intake is staying hydrated.
Make sure you’re drinking water! Even slight dehydration can make you feel lethargic. Without the right water balance for cells – the body does not perform well.
You know you’re drinking enough when your urine is pale yellow to clear in color. That is, unless you start taking certain vitamins…
Such as B complex vitamins (in particular B12). This vitamin is important for so many of your body’s functions.
Some of B12’s biggest jobs are…
- It is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body – leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body.
- It helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
- It helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Vitamin B12 also protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure.
- It is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.
- Vitamin B 12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
Besides your water intake – your vitamin B intake shouldn’t be far behind.
Now that you know about the Three S’s – it should be a lot easier to pay attention to which one you’re slacking on.
With a little bit of tweaking, a little bit of discipline and a little bit of motivation – you could have your energy levels at peak in no time.
However, if you’ve tried adjusting your diet, sleep and stress consistently and are still feeling tired, it may be time to visit your doctor.
Low energy can be indicative of more serious medical issues –including undiagnosed heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or anemia…
So get in tune with you body! It could be the best thing you do for your over all health and wellness.
Until next week, take care my friends!