Here is the second of my two-part Blog series on the seven simple ways to boost your energy level, increase your lifespan and improve your general outlook on life.
The first three steps I elaborated on in my last blog were:
1. Liberating yourself from sugar addiction
2. Drinking good water
3. Eating less and eating good, seasonal local foods
- Moderate exercise
There is a wonder cure out there and it is so glaringly obvious that most people are simply not seeing it. You can significantly improve your health, boost your life-span, reduce your stress level, improve your mood, reduce high blood pressure and improve your bone density by simply getting more exercise.
All the latest medical research pinpoints lack of exercise as one of the major causes of many of our modern-day diseases. Even such psychological illnesses as depression are at least partly linked to lack of exercise.
Only a generation or two ago most of us humans had exercise equivalent to a brisk 20 kilometre run per day. Since the 1950s most jobs have moved from agriculture and heavy labour on the factory floor to sitting in the office.
Our anatomy and our body metabolism are not designed to sit in a chair for eight hours a day. Taking a break does not mean having your lunch in front of the computer and multi-tasking at the same time. Why not take a walk around the block for at least 20 minutes? You will feel much, much better and have more energy to cope with the typical “early afternoon energy sink-hole.”
But when you decide to get more exercise, it would be wise to do it right. Doing heavy workouts in the gym or going for long, exhausting jogging runs with no prior preparation or only periodically, will do you more harm than good. If you have to catch your breath and can hear your heartbeat “bursting from your eardrums” you are overdoing it. Give your body time to adjust, the energies to regulate themselves, before continuing at a more moderate pace.
One of my course participants, who had trouble fitting in an exercise schedule during her busy working day, chose to cycle to work by bicycle, triggering a major shift in her sense of well-being and personal health. You could also choose to climb the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Another way of tricking out the inner monster telling you it is nicer to slump down on the coach than going for a walk, would be to park the car further down the road
Some of the most successful people in the world, had a habit of taking a short afternoon nap to rejuvenate. To name a few: Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and John F. Kennedy. Here are some tips on good power napping: http://www.wikihow.com/Power-Nap
Most of us are not getting enough sleep. Research (Read: The science of power naps: http://goo.gl/CDQi0L) indicates that power naps lasting no more than 10-15 minutes can boost our brains, including improvements to creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. Naps also improve our mood and feelings of sleepiness and fatigue.
- Avoiding vampires
We all have vampires around us. These are the folk that are so angry and upset with life that they are preoccupied in finding the first person in the vicinity to throw their verbal garbage of negativity at you. You want to be polite and aren’t getting in a word edgewise at this person who is telling you the world has gone mad and is going downhill because all the young people are on drugs and too lazy to work. The government is controlled by a secret organisation manipulating us and isn’t it so terrible what is just happening in Timbuktu. True there are bad things happening in the world. But at the same time a lot of good things are happening at the same time. Why not shift the focus. The art of happiness is in dealing with the normal yin and yang cycle, the ups and downs, the darkness and the light of what is life. We are co-creators of our reality. Reframing and shifting the mindset to a positive spin, immediately opens the gate to a warm flow of energy.
- Getting into sync with nature
For the past couple of years, I’ve made it a personal ritual to take at least a two-week time-out in nature on a hike. Luckily my wife has found just as much joy in the activity. Initially you take a few days to get accustomed. The body detoxes, muscles ache and your back is hurting from lugging a backpack all day. But after walking for a couple of days many of the basic senses return. You find your natural rhythm. You smell the fresh mountain air, the grasses and herbs, hear the different bird songs, the rushing waters of a creek and feel the rain and the sun on your skin. For months after the hike, I’ve felt myself surging on a much higher energy level. It need not be a hike. You can get your hands dirty by digging in the garden, planting a tree or flower and reconnecting with the natural forces.
I am convinced there is a universal truth surrounding us from which we have been disconnected by living in concrete jungles.
Nature is a source for solace and regeneration, a way of reconnecting to your soul’s purpose by sensing your part as a human in the bigger play of things.