"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

The Three Keys to Having More Energy All Day Long!

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, November 30, 1999

There are loads of things that will affect your energy levels and there are many things you can do to improve them.  I have simplified things for you by choosing three of the most important.  I believe they are key to having boundless energy, all day long!  There are of course other important things, but improving just one of these has the power to dramatically increase your energy levels, so I thought we would start here.  If you can do all three, well then…WOW, you will literally be unstoppable!


Energising Principle Number One

(First because it’s possibly the most important!)


What are you telling yourself about your energy levels?


If you are thinking… “What does what I think have to do with anything?”  Or, “She obviously doesn’t get it, I have no energy to be positive!” then this is especially important for you.


The truth is:  the thoughts that you have through your day, definitely impact on your life, and they definitely affect your ENERGY levels, so try to be aware of them.


Thoughts like: “I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m not coping, I’ve got no energy!” will make you feel more tired, more stressed, have less energy and be less able to cope!


Things will go wrong in life, there won’t always be smooth sailing but whatever you do, try to always stay mindful (or be aware) or your thoughts, they will affect how you feel.


First thing in the morning when you wake up is the time you can make the greatest impression on your mind; your brain is extremely receptive right then… so take advantage of it!  If your first thought of the day is: “Oh no, there goes the alarm, I haven’t slept a wink, I am exhausted, how am I going to get through the day!” you are setting yourself up for a day destined for low energy levels.


Instead, try to make your first thought an energized one!

“Fantastic, it’s morning, I feel full of energy!” or even: “I am ready to prepare for the day ahead, I am going to be strategic to reduce stress, I feel confident in my ability to do what needs to be done, I will ask for help if I need it.  I know what I can do to keep my energy levels up.”  


Energising Principle Number Two:


Increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (or your metabolism)


The best way to do this is by exercising.  Regular exercise will increase your lean muscle mass.   The greater your muscle to fat ratio in your body, the higher your metabolism.  So more muscles literally equal more energy.


You need to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.  That may sound like a lot but if you think about it there are 24 hours in a day.  That’s 1440 minutes in a day, so 30 minutes is about 2%!  Not much!  You don’t have to do it all at once and you don’t have to do a specific type of exercise.  You could break it up into three 10 minute sessions.  You could find ways to exercise through your day if you still believe you are short of time.  Stand up to answer the phone, stand up to change the channel on the television, walk up the stairs rather than taking the lift.  Make it fun, exercise with a friend, do something you enjoy, join up for dance classes, socialize and exercise at the same time!


Extra tip: First thing in the morning is the best time to exercise in terms of increasing your Basal Metabolic Rate, but be sure to have something before you exercise, like breakfast or at least a glass of fresh fruit juice.


By now you have your mind and your thoughts under control, so you know you can do it, don’t self-sabotage, make up your mind, do it and get the benefits!


Energising Principle Number 3:

Control your “blood sugar” levels


Keeping “blood sugar” levels stable is fundamental in managing energy levels (and your weight).  It’s the way your body uses energy!  It is absolutely possible to control your energy levels with good eating habits.  Your body needs a constant supply of energy to function.  It manages this energy supply with certain hormones; the type and amount of food you eat can affect the amount of available “energy” for your body to use.


The strategy to managing your “blood sugar” levels involves six key points:


  1. Always eat breakfast.  Your body will have used up its available energy during the night and will require sustenance in the form of food to replenish its stores and get going for the day.  Failure to eat breakfast sabotages point number 2 (negatively affecting your metabolic rate!).   Eating breakfast is important for your metabolism!  If you skip breakfast your body will start to break down muscle to get energy NOT FAT.  Less muscle, we now know means lower metabolism and less energy! 
  2. Eat regularly, 3 to 5 times a day (don’t skip meals) (Same principle as above!)
  3. Eat low glycaemic index foods or low glycaemic load meals. Choose whole grains and limit refined carbohydrates.  Combine proteins and carbohydrates at meals (This will lower the total glycaemic load of the meal).  This means the food is digested slower and used slower, and provides a more steady supply of fuel (glucose into the blood stream).  The result is a more even supply of energy.
  4. Drink enough water.  Dehydration affects performance substantially, mental and physical performance!
  5. Avoid or limit stimulants (caffeine and sugar).  Stimulants trigger a set of reactions that raise blood sugar levels very quickly, will cause them to spike then drop, which wreaks havoc for your energy levels.

Choose just one thing to start with, do it until you feel comfortable and you start to notice an increase in your energy levels and then build on it...

You don't have to do everything all at once, but do something.  You will love the results!

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