Energy--That's the Key!
by Ruby Bayan
There are 24 hours in a day for everyone and everything on this planet. So why do some humans manage to finish more tasks than others? ENERGY. These doers have the energy to take on more activities, put in a little more effort, and go that extra mile after everyone else has quit. So, are you a doer? Do you have the energy to accomplish your goals? Do you have the stamina to fulfill your commitments? Do you even have the vitality to simply stay alive all day?
Here's how you get rid of that tired, rundown feeling...
Regular Exercise. I can't say this too often. Regular exercise. Keep that blood circulation in top form. Whether you prefer aerobics, strength training, sports, ballroom dancing, or just brisk walking, do it. And do it regularly. Thrice a week for at least 20 minutes per session. Raise the heart rate. Sweat out the fats and toxins. Wake up the system!
Oxygen. Get enough oxygen into your blood. Notice that many of us have acquired the bad habit of breathing shallow. We spend most of our day doing paperwork. Or we have to do routine tasks where the only real deep breathing we do is yawning. When things get dull and boring, stand up, stretch those stiff muscles, and take several deep breaths. Do this as often in the day as necessary. A good supply of oxygen in the blood will help you stay awake.
Food. The right food, of course. And at the right time. Never skip breakfast. Breakfast foods (like cereal, fruit juice, cheeses, and eggs), aside from being ideal health foods, are what will jumpstart your day. Missing breakfast is like inviting lethargy and poor performance for the rest of the morning. For lunch, take a good protein boost. For the mid-afternoon when most people experience a drop in blood sugar, take a light snack. And don't skip dinner either. A balanced dinner gives you the necessary nutrients to finish your day and lead you to restful sleep. Remember: fruits and vegetables, grain or starch, protein, and plenty of water. Stay clear of fatty dishes and processed food. Minimize sugar and salt - enjoy herbs and spices, instead. And by the way, if you must take coffee, stay at 2 to 3 cups a day.
Sleep. Rest. The only way to recharge after all the activity of the day is to get a good night's sleep. Many people can wake up fresh after only 5 hours of sleep. Most of us need at least 7. Growing kids need 8 to 9 hours. You will know if you have enough sleep when you can wake up ready and eager to face the day. A number of us have bodies that demand a mid-day nap in order to stay productive for the second half of the day. If circumstances allow, indulge.
Favorites. That's everything you enjoy doing. Getting engrossed in your hobby, sport, or pastime. Spending time with your favorite person or favored pet. Being in your "happy place" or special location. Even brief breaks to call a friend, solve a puzzle, or daydream about a coming vacation, are welcome waker-uppers when energy runs low.
Love and Laughter. But undoubtedly, the best energizers are still love and laughter. Take this cardinal rule: spend ten minutes of laughter a day. Laughter generates chemicals in the blood that boosts well-being and an over-all feeling of relief. No better way to kick yourself out of tiredness than indulging in a good, hearty laugh. Actually, if you have a good sense of humor, you've got it made.
And finally, in case you haven't noticed, aren't we all so prone to bursts of laughter when we're in love? Not only to laughter, but to the energy of life itself. When we're in love we smile and talk more. We feel light, and we move about faster and more enthusiastically. We are always on our toes, wanting to accomplish more, for that special person we love. By magically pumping adrenaline into our bloodstream, love brings out the best in us. So the trick is, stay in love, and remain energized for the whole day...and the rest of your life.
[Also published in PowerHouseGym.com, 2001]