headshot-ianhartEveryone needs a little R&R, but it seems that many people don’t realize how much, or how it will benefit them. One of the biggest things that always comes up when someone is seeking weight loss is, “I also want more energy,” or “I want to feel better.” A large percentage of the population has no idea how to do those things, so I am going to explain how to increase your energy in four simple steps.

Your body has all the natural systems in place to make you feel great and energized, so if you don’t feel that way, then you are not listening to your body or honoring those natural systems for renewal. For example, our bodies have what is called the ultradian rhythm – a regular recurring oscillation of energy within a 24-hour period, which lasts about 60-120 minutes, depending on the individual. Basically, you have periods of high energy, let’s say for an hour and a half, then you feel low energy for 5-10 minutes. And herein lies the problem. Although this low energy is a natural part of recovery, most people feel it is unnatural and that they should just push through it by drinking coffee, having an energy drink, eating a high-sugar snack to raise their energy, or doing something else that is not allowing the natural recovery process to occur. When these unnatural energizers are added to the system, they prevent the natural system of renewal from occurring. So here are a few tips:

1) Take a mental break: Every 60-120 minutes, take a 10 minute break and don’t do anything. No email, no Facebook, nothing. Just remove yourself from your current environment and relax the mind and muscles.

2) Drink a cup of water every 2 hours: Our bodies are roughly 60-80% water, and for any natural system to occur optimally, water is an extremely important component; it also prevents fatigue.

3) Deep breathing: This simple technique can change your health and energy instantly. People’s breathing patterns are all screwed up because they are hunched over at a desk, are busy sucking their stomachs in, or only breathing into their chest. You want to breath deep into your belly – when you breathe in, your belly should move out. This will allow more oxygen to the brain creating more focus and less fatigue. When people are stressed and feel anxious they tend to take shallower breaths.

4) Exercise: The body is made to move. If you take a close look at our bodies and the way they are designed, you will find that they were made to move and be used frequently. So move your body at least 30-60 minutes a day the way it was designed. The cardiovascular system’s main component is to remove waste from the body. Therefore cleaning it, and also making yourself breath deeper, will add instant energy. (Quick note: Things like gardening and walking should be a natural daily occurrence and are not to be considered as exercise. Sorry.)

Bonus: The price for being energized is being disciplined to take time off (each day, each week, each quarter), to relax when the body needs it. Also: consistently exercise; focus on one thing instead of being distracted by a million; don’t drink in excess; get 7-8 hours of sleep; allow no negative influences or energy-suckers in your life (the news, gossip magazines, negative people who complain all the time); and don’t try to stop your recovery with unnatural energy boosters, because you are just screwing yourself over for the long-run. Those are the simple techniques for life-long R&R. Take heed and feel energized!

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