We have all heard about the advantages of exercise so I will not go into the long list of benefits. However, I will highlight one. This is for all of the people who come to me looking to improve their energy levels: MOVEMENT = ENERGY. Living in a society that is becoming more stagnant, it is no surprise that we lack energy. Spending all day in front of a computer will do that to you. So why does exercise increase energy levels?
- Exercise boosts energy promoting neurotransmitters (i.e. dopamine, norepinephrine, & serotonin)
- Exercise = more muscles. Muscle building can increase the number of mitochondria. Mitochondria means more ATP (energy) because it increases more usable energy through the breakdown of nutrients.
- Along the same lines as above… Strong muscles become efficient in energy usage – using less and storing more. Hence, you have more energy for other activities.
1) Commit to 15 minutes of intentional movement a day. I am not kidding. This was a huge motivator for me. I knew I could make time in my day to do at least 15 minutes of continuous activity no matter how busy my day was. Like they say, only bite off how much you can chew – so why not start small?
2) Do something you enjoy! PLEASE for the love of all beings, don’t try to do a movement practice you don’t enjoy. You will not stick with it – PERIOD. Consistency is more important than intensity. If you don’t know what you enjoy, think back to what you use to do when you were young. As stated, I use to love to explore the forest near where I lived. So that’s what I do now? I go for walks and hikes in nature.
3) Think what is functional in your everyday life. What I mean by this, is how can you incorporate activity throughout the day that adds up to the same amount of activity that you would get from a 30-minute session at the gym. For example, maybe every time you go out to your car, you have to do 30 squats before getting in the driver seat. Or perhaps you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Another idea I have started doing is instead of sitting and having tea with a friend or a seated business chat –we go for a walk (you can also do this when chatting over the phone). Be creative. Check out this Podcast by The Minimalist (Ep. 174 – Minimalist Fitness) that discusses this concept in more detail. This podcast changed my outlook on exercise and promoted the idea that you can build habits that stimulate activity so that at the end of the day, you do not need to find the motivation to workout at a gym.
4) FINALLY, don’t wait for motivation. Doing = motivation.
One thing I want to note is I usually take one day a week where I don’t have to do any exercise at all. This is typically on a day that I have a really full schedule or when I am just in need of rest. Balance is key.
Free Awesome Fitness Apps (Not Sponsored):
- Nike Training (Or Running, if you decide to start running)
- HASfit (they also have a YouTube channel with free content)
- AllTrails - find local walking/hiking/biking trails in your area (app & website)
See full article here https://www.greensidewellness.com/blog/how-to-be-active-every-day