Increase Your Energy
by Matthew Powell
A Body Aware Specialist
Our energy levels are largely governed by how much sleep we get, the foods we eat, and the general level of physical and mental health we either enjoy or endure. But the experts section of Health and Fitness Travel is not meant to be an exercise in the obvious, and there is always more to health and exercise than headlines…
Getting more sleep is all well and good but the amount of sleep isn’t the whole story. It turns out that the old adage of “every hour before midnight is worth two afterwards” is true, and this is largely down to sunlight and the natural clock the body has. Indeed, your growth hormone (useful for you weights lifters too) is largely secreted between 11pm and 1am and being asleep at this point ensures the optimum use of it in the body. Lastly is the depth of sleep you enjoy. Avoid caffeinated drinks after 5pm if you are a light sleeper as the half-life of caffeine means that it is still doing its thing long after the perceived high is gone. A deeper sleep is a more restorative one.
Refined sugars, a highly acidic diet, a lack of magnesium, alcohol, low complete protein intake, skipping breakfast, missing your “top up” snacks and, as always, poor hydration all affect the pep in your step. Eat your greens like Popeye, drink less alcohol less of the time and enjoy good quality meats, fish and poultry. Leave off the fizzy drinks, get some nuts (without the rest of the snickers), eat something as soon as you possibly can after waking up and, for the 11 month in a row, drink more water!
Your body will respond in kind. Deriving its energy from wholesome, balanced foods with plenty of water, will see the organism that is you flourish, restore, repair and refuel better. With the body ticking along as it should be, the ails of the mind can start to be taken in isolation…
Stand up straighter, outer spiral your arms to flatten your shoulder blades, relax your shoulders to the floor and breathe, deeply, from the stomach. With proper posture, correct breathing and effective relaxation, your mind can de-clutter, your stress levels reduce, and your mind release some of the unnecessary burdens that weigh it, and in turn the body, down.
Spend some time, every day, doing something introspective, but keep it positive. 20 minutes a day to ponder what can be achieved, not what can’t; to figure out what is changeable and what needs to simply be accepted; and to find the path that needs to be taken to do all of this.
In the 16 years I have been training clients I would say that nothing has been more vague yet more impactful on energy levels and weight loss than the thyroid. Most of my clients have been 35+ and the thyroid gland is more likely to suffer the older we are so the correlation isn’t staggering, but what is clear from multiple specialists in different places all over the world is that there seems to be no golden rule. The levels that are deemed “acceptable” change from doctor to doctor and, therefore, so does the dosage for thyroxin. However, whilst it is a grey area when it comes to specifics, what is true is that thyroid function has a big effect on the ying to yang balance.
Get some sun
I guess when all is said and done, just be like a tree. With some good food, a healthy splash of water, the wind at your back with the sun on your face, it takes something big to dull your dash.
Keep your head up, smile, surround yourself with positive, can do people. Stay young. Think big. Eat well. Sleep deep. Breathe right. Stand straight. Train hard.
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