The Energy Equation

Do you have as much energy as you would like?

Have you ever thought that if only you had a little more energy, your life would be different? Do you find that you can’t wake up in the morning without a cup of coffee? Do you work during the day and by the time you get off work you feel like something sucked all the energy right out of you, just when you finally have time to go do things you enjoy? Do you wish you had more energy to spend quality time with your kids, or riding your horse, or even working out? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, listen up! I’m going to give you 3 tips to help you maximize and keep your energy high, no matter what!

Tip #1: Get Plenty of SleepSleep with hound

We all have the same number of hours in the day. Some of us prioritize sleep down on our list of things we should really do, but don’t. We put everything else ahead of sleep, but we are just shooting ourselves in the foot by doing so. Lack of sufficient sleep actually impairs our brains, slows down our metabolisms, and is just as dangerous as one drink of alcohol when we get behind the wheel. It goes without saying that lack of sleep and horses are a very bad combination!

But wait, what if you suffer from insomnia? Many people would give anything for a good night’s sleep, but the reality is that no matter what they seem to do, their mind and body seem bent on preventing healthy sleep. There are many reasons for insomnia, from simple dietary indiscretions to serious medical conditions, so determining your underlying cause will be a critical first step if you suffer from insomnia and would like to have more energy by getting enough restful sleep. As a health coach, this is something I can often help with.

For those of you that don’t suffer from insomnia, but simply don’t get enough sleep or feel that you have so many things to do that you can’t get enough sleep, I encourage you to take a step back and see what it is that you are doing instead. Do you stay up and watch TV? Perhaps having more energy during the day would make it worth skipping the late night show. These days, you can watch almost any TV show online, at your leisure, anyway, so you won’t be missing out if you watch SNL on Sunday, instead of Saturday night… Do your kids keep you up late? Perhaps they need an earlier bedtime. They need to have good sleep habits too, so the younger you establish those for them, and set a good example, the better off they will be. Maybe you have trouble falling asleep, or are a light sleeper and wake up at the smallest noise. Well, there are plenty of safe and effective sleep aids out there, some of them completely natural, such as chamomile tea, melatonin supplements, and even meditation music that can help you fall asleep. If you wake easily, try wearing one earplug (we want you to be able to hear if the horses get cast in the barn, or the kids wake up from a nightmare, but one earplug will filter out the smaller noises that might otherwise wake you unnecessarily).

Tip #2: Eat Energy Enhancing Foods

People often hear that carbohydrates are for energy, but there are limits to that. Too many carbs (which is a large part of the Standard American Diet) will actually deplete energy in a big way. So, what are energy enhancing foods? Fresh vegetables and fruits. Dietary recommendations for fresh vegetables and fruits are as many as 10 servings per day. And yet, many Americans don’t even get a single serving in a day. A diet without these foods is an energy sucking diet, because they have nutrients and enzymes that are required for healthy cellular development and energy production, that proteins, starches and fats simply don’t contain.

SmoothiesIf you are one of the millions of people that don’t get enough fresh foods, there are many ways that you can get those things into your diet in easy and convenient ways. Smoothies are my go-to favorite. I have developed a fresh fruit and veggie smoothie that I call the Revolution Smoothie (click for the recipe), which supplies all the nutrients of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables, in one delicious glass! It does take advantage of a couple of power-packed whole food supplements, which are concentrated and nutrient dense, as well as including fresh fruits and dark leafy greens in the form of kale. It tastes fresh and delicious and will give you a serious energy kick, as well as supplying enough protein for a whole meal. Add one of these to your diet each day, and you will notice the difference immediately!

Tip #3: Exercise!Runner Lunge Image

You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? And you may be saying, “But Tammy, I don’t have enough ENERGY to exercise! Exercise makes me more tired. This is no solution! What are you smoking?!” Bear with me here, there is a VERY GOOD reason you MUST exercise if you want more energy. In the simplest terms possible, muscle tissue produces usable energy, so the more muscle tissue you have in your body, the more energy your body will produce.

Now, for the longer explanation… Our bodies literally have the “potential” energy to power an entire town for a week. But, that energy is produced through “catabolism” – one of the two types of metabolism that occur within the body’s cells. Catabolism happens when calories are converted from food into heat. While this metabolism does take place in nearly every cell in the body, it is more concentrated in the muscle tissue. This is why diets that don’t include building lean muscle mass as the foundation to fat loss, are so damaging to the overall metabolic function of the body – because simply eating less will reduce the entire body weight – muscle mass included, which actually reduces the rate of energy production (and thus fat-burning potential).

Just like with any other thing that you do in life, you start small, push your limits a little, and the potential grows. Same applies with energy. Spend more energy in the form of exercise, and your body’s capacity to produce energy grows! This does require greater muscle mass, however, so it’s not just enough to do cardio, you must do some amount of strength building in order to enjoy these benefits. But, enjoy the benefits, you will!

We can’t increase the hours in the day, but if you are serious about getting more energy, applying these three tips could change your life. And, as always, we are here to support you in whatever way we can. We’d love to hear from you. Post your comments and suggestions below and share what works for you, as well as ask any questions you like!

Until next time, Ride fit!

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