Featured image byMarion Michele.
Energy is a vital element of life. But it’s not something we really learn about or think about on a regular basis. I know for many years, I just woke up tired, knew I was doing some bad things for my body and lived with.
Then I noticed a lot of the people I’ve been studying, big name people like Tony Robbins, always seem full of energy. They always seem positive and going at a high level of intensity. And I know, I for one, can’t match that level of intensity. Not even at my best moments.
So I decided, it’s time to focus on energy and learn how to live in an energy rich state.
I want to live everyday feeling happy and full of energy. Up until recently, I never really thought about my daily condition. However, I learned that we can choose to be happy. Now my days are so much more positive and bright and cheery. Now I want to take my life to 10/10 happy. To do that I need to boost my energy so I can power through the day feeling really good.
Here’s How to Get More Energy
1. Get up early
I have always been a morning person. For me, the quote “Win the morning, win the day”, is simple accepted knowledge. Same as, “early to bed, early to rise, keeps you healthy wealthy and wise” and also, “the early bird gets the worm”.
My brain works best in the morning. I’m happy to get up and get moving before most people and use that time to set up for a good day. The results of this, is that I usually get set up for the day and have the time to prepare what I need so that my day runs smoothly and things go to plan.
Lately, it also means I have time to put in a bit extra into my own projects that I’m trying to accomplish.
I’ve always been a morning person and I know my brain is most alert in the morning. So for me it’s important to get up early and maximise this time. However, scientists seem to be divided about the best time for brain function, so I guess it depends on what works best for you.
Either way, I’m still a proponent of getting up early and preparing yourself to maximise the day.
Early morning routine
The other thing that’s great for boosting energy, and happiness, as I covered previously, is a good morning routine. To read all about my morning routine read, How to be a success: Live Happy. It’s based heavily on Tony Robbins’ hour of power, see here.
Essentially, I take the very first twenty minutes of the day to put my mind in a positive state. By doing this I feel happy and that gives me a good burst of energy to start the day and to carry me through. It also puts me in a positive, impassioned state that empowers me to face whatever comes my way. These positive emotions give me energy to have a great day.
2. Wake up your senses
The next thing I do to boost my energy is to start the day with movement and a quick shock to the senses.
I don’t have time in the morning for a whole workout – I’m slow to get prepared and I like to use this time to prepare thoroughly to make the day run smoothly. However, there are huge benefits to exercising in the morning. And I plan to keep improving my schedule to make time for more exercise early in the day. At the moment, however, I only find time to do a very little amount.
However, since I injured my back I’ve been forced to do stretches in the morning. Given the pain my back has put me through, I have to take them seriously – and I definitely feel the benefits.
Most of us just fall out of bed and roll on out into the world. By taking ten good minutes to stretch my legs, my hips, my back, my neck, I feel loose and I feel the energy start to flow. That simple awareness on the parts of my body makes me more aware of the sources and uses of energy. I feel more relaxed and the energy can flow.
A quick splash
Last part of my morning routine is a cold shower. Benefits of a cold shower include such healthy things as boosting your immune system and stimulating blood movement. It could also improve sex drive and produce a natural high. For move details, follow the link here.
I’m not so sure about all the science of it, but from my own experiments at home, I know that blast of cold water in the morning, or in the afternoon after work, really wakes me up. I feel revitalised and my body seems to feel more potent; I feel more active after a cold shower or jump in the pool.
However, I’m still a bit of a sook. I can’t go straight to the cold shower. I start with warm and then go down to cold. But I still definitely feel some benefit from the cold water blast in producing alertness and energy.
3. Water and Oxygen
Think about how much water you drink in a day. I used to not think about it at all. I used to think I drank enough, when a lot of my drinking was actually coke, or diet coke. These do not count as water. Now I monitor my water levels and on average I drink close to three litres of water a day. I’ve cut out nearly all the other substitutes and I make sure I maintain a good level of hydration.
Your body is water, it runs on water and it needs water to be healthy and to produce energy.
I think the health benefits are fairly self explanatory. If you are dehydrated, your body can not function properly. If you don’t have enough water your body will suffer. So to feel good and to keep your body operating in a healthy energetic state you need to make sure you have adequate hydration for your cells to operate well.
If you don’t already do it, start to monitor your water levels and begin drinking water like it’s going out of fashion.
The other thing your body must have is oxygen. But how many of us really think about our oxygen levels. I know, I for one, have never really been conscious of my breathing. Well maybe in the gym, but outside of that my breathing is on autopilot.
However, since I started trying yoga and I started studying about energy, it’s clear breathing is something we should be mindful of. It’s something we should practice and get good at, so we have lots of energy.
Now when I find myself out of energy, I start looking at my breathing. Actually, now I’ve started to become more mindful of breathing throughout the day and I try different breathing exercises throughout the day.
For example, explosive breathing to get powered up in the morning. Box breathing to calm before a stressful moment. Belly breathing for yoga and meditation. (Simply google breathing techniques and you’ll be surprised at how many different programs and techniques there are.)
I’m definitely not an expert on all forms of breathing and I’m not sure that I will be trying to learn them all. However, I do believe that maintaining oxygen levels and being mindful of our breathing is a great way to get more energy.
4. Food and Diet
The major part of my study into energy has concerned diet and food. So often, we eat the way we have been taught to eat from childhood and we don’t even think about how this affects our wellbeing.
Or we do, and we make excuses anyway. We admit that ‘drinking alcohol is bad for us, but … But I’m stressed, or a little is good for you’, and so on. When the truth is that alcohol is poison and the reaction you have is your body reeling to compensate from being hit with toxic chemicals. And still, even while I admit this, I’m still trying to convince myself that a little in moderation is still good for me.
We make up arguments for why the way we eat is really good, without ever doing a study of it. I was like this. I’d argue that protein is good for you. Eat lots of meat because it’s good for your muscles. Low fat protein doesn’t add fat, you need iron and so on. But now I’m starting to change my diet and look into the effects of eating excessive meat. I’ve cut right down on meat and I feel like my body is thanking me.
Acid vs Alkali
Anyway, I decided it was time to find more energy and diet seems to be the biggest contributor to the level of energy we have. As usual these days, I turned first to Tony. He’s a great model for me. He is a teacher, he’s positive, he’s happy, full of energy and is converting all this into great wealth that he’s using to enrich his life and the lives of others. This is what I want to achieve, so I’m trying to follow his example.
The first lesson about health he gives is the distinction between acid and alkali. According to Tony, it’s acid that causes all the problem in our body. Due to the way we live and eat, we have an excess of acid in our bodies and that causes all the trouble. The acid literally is eating away at our bodies.
The other side of the equation is alkalinity. If we alkalise our bodies we virtually turn our body into an alkali battery. The balance of being slightly more alkali works to keep the body producing energy. Also, by reducing the agents of acidification, we are reducing the bad toxins in our bodies and therefore feeling much cleaner, healthier and better.
I have to admit, I’m not a scientist. Logically, it all made some sense to me. I mean, I’ve heard of an alkali battery and I know acid eats things and is terribly corrosive. But beyond that, I’m taking Tony at his word. Though by this stage, that’s something I’m happy to do. So, I’ve decided to try it.
Essentially, what he promotes is nothing radical and it seems to just be good healthy eating. Here is my basic translation of the process, it may not be perfectly what Tony recommends, so if you want to see his regime, follow the link here.
The Alkali Diet
(Before going on, I should mention that everything here should be considered as a general study. It’s what I’m studying and experimenting with. I’m sharing in the hope that my example will lead you to question your own health and begin your own study of life. Lastly, if you are looking to make a change, consider this but be careful and form your own judgements. If in doubt consult a health care professional.)
1) Eat green
To alkalise your body, you want to bombard it with healthy, fresh, green vegetables. They are full of chlorophyll and all the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to process acid and to stimulate alkalinity. Eat good foods like almonds, avocados etc. all those good things you already know about.
2) Reduce your intake of dead food.
Which means reduce your intake of meat, eggs, dairy, sugar and processed carbohydrates. You don’t need to cut them out altogether, but if you eat a lot you should reduce your intake. And when you do eat things like meat, you should look to balance it with a healthy intake of green leafy vegetables, in a ratio of 30% meat: 70% vegetables.
3) Add lemon to your water.
Start the day with a big glass of lemon water. Don’t ask me how it works, but apparently the lemon will activate your body to be alkali and prepare it for your day.
4) Try to add some excitement to your day.
Live happy and find a way to reduce stress and monotony. Find some relaxation and learn how to unleash yourself from the boring box life that feeds you a regime of acid forming foods and activities. And get moving, use your body the way it was meant for – we were born to hunt, gather, make love, not to sit, drive and tune out to television.
This is very basically the alkali diet. I decided to try it. I have no evidence to back it up, but from my observations, I’m feeling great. My body feels cleaner and lighter and I’m feeling a bit more energetic. I have also started to lose weight after a few days and my body feels cleaner. I’m only a week into it, but for now I feel it’s worth it to keep going.
The Window of food
Another idea I came across in my study was the idea of a window of food. Follow this link to see the original explanation here.
They did a study to see if the time frame for eating has an effect on our body. By a timeframe, I mean how many hours of the day are we eating.
Are we eating from 6am until 10pm – a window, or time frame of 16 hours?
Or are we eating from 6 until 6 – a window of 12 hours?
Or 6 – 4, a window of 10 hours, and so on?
The finding of the research, apparently, showed that the smaller the window of food, the better for the body. In terms of weight loss and in terms of giving the body time to process food and eliminate toxins and so on. Therefore, if we want our body to operate at a more efficient and optimal level, hopefully leading to more energy and feeling healthier, we need to limit our window of food.
Given my current timetable, the best I can do is start at 5.30 and end at 6.30. With work hours and all the things I’m trying to pack in, this is the best I can do. However, I’ve made an improvement. I’m now being strict with my final meal – once I finish dinner, around 6.30 or 7, that’s the last meal of the day and I’m fasting from then until breakfast.
So far, it’s hard to say whether this is having a huge effect. Though I have found that my appetite has become more disciplined. I don’t feel so hungry at strange times and I’m eating less this week. However, I’ll need to keep monitoring and one day try to push the experiment a little further and shorten my window to see if it has an effect.
Eat Three Times a Day
The other insight that I learned was that the longer time we give our body to process food and then to rest and relax, the better. When the body has time to stop, our chemical levels go down and our organs have time to repair and work on detoxifying the body.
The study argues that we should eat as few times as possible. This goes against the previous advice I got about having smaller meals and eating more often.
I’m not sure which is right. I kind of tried the regular, smaller meals diet and I didn’t feel a great difference. So, I will try to eat only three times a day and see if there is a change.
So far, I’ve done a week. I haven’t been really strict. Given the timetable at work, I find it hard to be really rigid, but I’m working towards only three meals a day. At this stage, I can’t offer any huge comment on the benefits. However, as above, this change in combination with the food window change, seems to have helped to discipline my appetite. I’m less hungry and my stomach seems to fill much quicker. This is obviously helping in terms of weight loss and my body is starting to feel lighter and perhaps a bit cleaner. So, again, I will continue to try it and track the progress.
Another concept that came up a bit in my study of food for energy, was fasting. Coming from a very ‘modern’, Western context, fasting is not a very common practice. However, according to the studies I saw, among other cultural contexts fasting is widely practiced as part of their normal life practices.
Building on these experiences, looking at some of the health benefits they claim, a number of studies were conducted to see if there were indeed benefits to fasting.
At this stage, I haven’t gone into it much, but there seems to be some indication that fasting is very good for the body. By stopping eating for a brief time, or by radically reducing consumption, we give the body time to relax and to start to repair itself. Once the body has stopped having to deal with regular processes for dealing with food, it starts to regenerate new cells and discard old cells and it starts to work to remove waste that has built up in the body.
This process effectively detoxifies and rejuvenates the body on a cellular level. This would therefore be a great process for a diet looking to cleans or fight the effects of aging.
At the moment, I’m not in a position to experiment straight away. I feel I need to be able to maintain a level or normalcy to work effectively. However, I have a week off work coming up soon and I’m seriously contemplating doing a three day detox fast. So for the moment I can’t comment on the effectiveness of fasting, but I do see there may be some good benefits.
Superfoods to detox and make you feel healthy and boost energy production
As we’ve just mentioned detoxing, it seems to be a good topic to move on to. When the body is clean and healthy and working in an optimal way, it seems obvious that we will have more energy and feel much better.
So aside from doing a full fast or a detox, I’ve looked into some of the foods that are great for detoxifying the body and producing energy.
The list so far: (For scientific explanation, follow the link here.)
Some of the food I learned about and have started to try include:
1. Apple cider vinegar
I try to drink a spoon full of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water every morning before breakfast. Promoters of this, say the vinegar works to cut through the toxins in your body and flush them out. It’s also meant to be a good practice for weight loss.
2. Protein and fiber
Following advice online, I’ve changed my breakfast to one of protein and fiber. Many of the superfood experts promote oatmeal as a great source of fiber which is good for stomach and heart health. I also add eggs to get some protein, which is apparently good for long lasting energy production throughout the day.
Many health influences recommend limiting fruit intake to one-two servings per day. So I don’t have to much fruit. But I’ve started with an apple a day. I feel when I have my apple a day, my body works more regularly and my stomach feels more balanced.
4. Protein and leafy greens.
For lunch I’m very strict about lean protein and vegetables. One thing I’ve been mindful of recently is that I was eating too much meat for lunches. Now I’ve cut back to the alkali diet recommendation and am eating much less meat and a lot more greens. Mostly spinach type leafy greens and broccoli.
I try to limit any snacks I have over the day, but we make sure we have plenty of ‘superfoods’ around, to add to meals or as a healthy snack. Foods such as, avocados, almonds, figs and blueberries or grapes, are great to have around and seem to be really good for the body.
6. Another thing I’ve started to try in the aim of detoxification is ginger, lemon tea. We boil up a big pot of ginger, lemon, honey and lemongrass tea. I have a big glass of it in the afternoon. It seems to be a good afternoon energy booster and hopefully it’s working to clean my body.
7. Less meat
I have seriously cut down on meat. This last week I think I had meat for dinner twice. The rest of the week was fish, including salmon which is great for you, and tofu. I feel this has been a great improvement. My body feels much lighter. My stomach feels better. My bodily functions are more regular and I feel like I’m losing weight and feeling cleaner.
8. Others I try to fit in.
There’s a lot more I want to try to get into my diet, – walnuts, carrots, beets and so on are also great for energy and detoxification.
Results so far:
At the start of this new diet, I feel I have experienced a burst of clean energy and I’m starting to feel great. Now, I still feel really good, but perhaps need to balance diet and add a little more carbohydrates. I will monitor, and if I do, I’ll look to add something natural and energy producing.
Exercise is obvious. Our bodies are made to work. But our lives have changed so much that our bodies hardly ever work.
Recently, I hurt my back. This I took as a sign that I needed to start taking care of myself better.
It wasn’t that I didn’t care about myself before. I would go to the gym nearly everyday. However, when I went to the gym I was there out of fear of my weight. This drove me to run excessively and to do sporadic weights. Then I stopped the weights and just pushed myself to run every day.
What I realise now is that I was hurting my body.
Now I also know that this was not the key to weight loss.
The Key to Weight loss
After I hurt my back I was unable to run anymore. So I had to change my diet to compensate. Far from gaining weight, because I wasn’t exercising, my new diet was all I needed for the weight to fall off me.
Once the weight fell off, and I started to feel a bit better I thought about what exercise I could do. Immediately, I wanted to jog, so I started walking. But as I thought about it – all that running and walking, wasn’t really taking care of my body. It was actually doing damage, because my core had not developed any strength and there was no stability. This was probably a big factor in why my disc slipped out of place. I should have been building strength in my back to support it, but I wasn’t.
I had to do stretches given to me by the physio to help align my back and strengthen my core to prevent misalignment again. So I decided I needed to take these more seriously.
It’s strange, but I started to realise how inflexible I was and a lot people who I know are as well. We don’t tend to move our whole body anymore – we don’t prepare our body for the day and we don’t wind down at the end of the day. These exercises now help my body to feel much better.
I decided to do some more yoga. I added a small yoga routine. The extra stretches and the breathing routines have also started to shape my body and release tension. After I do a session, I feel more relaxed, de-stressed and more energetic.
Now I’m feeling more confident about my back, I’ve added swimming. Swimming is great; it’s low impact, it stretches and works the muscle, as well as focusses breathing and wakes the senses when you jump into a cold pool.
Swimming is also a full body work out, so it keeps the whole body balanced and promotes core development and good posture.
I want to keep building on this basis to improve my body and enjoy more energy. Before I was burning myself out running and not really getting any advantage. Now I’m skinner than ever and my body feels more stable, more flexible, more confident and more energetic.
In future, I will look to add more resistance activities that I enjoy. I do enjoy running, but I will do a lot less. Hopefully, I can still jog. At the moment, my back still scares me off from running. But I hope I can return to it.
6. Emotional health
Another area that is often neglected, especially by Western males, is emotional health. And I have to admit, I will be the last one to sit around and talk about my feelings. And although some people will probably think I could use a visit to the psychiatrist (or some other touchy feely specialist), I’m just not comfortable with that.
However, lucky for me, I have discovered the benefits of yoga.
For a long time, I had heard of the benefits of yoga but I always resisted. I thought it was just sitting in uncomfortable positions and stretching. And as the most inflexible person in the world, the idea of an exercise all about stretching seemed challenging, and so I didn’t do. Ironic, given that it was probably the thing I needed to do most of all. But lucky for me I was dragged into it.
First my friend dragged me along to Bikram, or hot yoga. At first I was nervous about the whole thing. Afterwards, I felt totally useless at it. I was completely soaked in sweat. But, in spite of that, I had an amazing feeling of being reborn. It felt great. However, I fell out of practice. I guess it had become familiar.
Back to it
However, later my wife ‘nagged’ me into it again, as she is a regular practitioner. I started again with basic yoga on youtube. (Follow the link here to see what I’ve started with.)
This was very simple, but I definitely felt the benefits. When you stretch your muscles feel bigger, they become relaxed and energy can flow more easily. But then again, I fell out of practice.
Now I’ve injured my back again and I’m taking it as a real sign that I need to be taking better care of myself. So I’m back into stretching every morning and night. I feel these practices are very good for improving my health and for producing energy. Though I need to be mindful not to let them slip away again. I have to stay dedicated to working on my body.
Something that I just stumbled across was meditation.
Now I’m not going to act like a true devotee. I’m not completely sold, and I’ve only done it for a week, but I have to say, I think there’s something to it.
I used to do it on school retreats and thought it was stupid, just sitting around and thinking nothing or looking at the inside of my head and trying to feel … something.
But then I heard of great people getting a lot of benefits from it. For example, Ray Dalio.
Billionaire Ray Dalio, the founder of $160 billion hedge-fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates, says that Transcendental Meditation has been “the single biggest influence” on his life.
So I looked into it and found something that seemed to be a bit more functional, instructive about the human condition and human energy.
Again, I’m no expert, I barely know anything about it, but the benefit I’ve received so far is an awareness of the different areas of energy in the body. There’s a certain energy related to understanding our connection to the earth, sexual energy, energy of health, emotional energy, energy of love, energy of self-actualisation, our connection to others, to life and to the universe.
This knowledge, combined with breathing exercises and actualisation has allowed me to stimulate a really positive energy. I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but I can definitely feel access to energy when I need it. I can move it through my body and I transmute it into a feeling of joy, love and confidence.
I’m not sure how far this practice will go in the future, but I feel at the moment it is having a positive effect on my emotions and my energy level, so I will be continuing at least a casual practice in meditation.
7. Sleep, Sunlight and Sex
A strange combination, but these are the three things I don’t get enough of. And these are three things that naturally give us a lot of energy.
When we sleep our body repairs itself. We need to get a certain amount of sleep every night. Now there are plenty of different theories about how much, so I think it’s probably down to a personal preference for how your body works.
I do actually get enough sleep, but my sleep is often divided. I have a window of about 2-3 hours of very deep sleep followed by a wake up call of nature. Then I have a longer period that usually involves a lot of dreaming.
I generally get the right number of hours, but I don’t usually wake up feeling particularly rejuvenated. So this is something I need to look into further in the future.
I know sunlight gives me energy. But I, like so many professionals, start the day with the rising sun and leave work as the sun’s waning. We don’t get enough sunlight and therefore we probably have a deficiency in Vitamin D.
This week I have been mindful to find some time and purposefully go outside and get some sun.
I did this on the weekend and I felt great.
I think we all know this. I’m going to look into getting some vitamin D supplements also.
We are sexual beings. And sexual energy drives a lot of our lives. It’s not good when that energy is supressed. For us to feel great, we need to be positive about our sexuality and express our sexuality. And hopefully, we can release that sexual drive and get a boost of energy. Which often leads to better and even more sleep.
At the moment, my wife is in the late stages of pregnancy and it’s getting close to the final countdown. So, I’m going to have to wait it out. But this has been a very good time to realise the importance of sexuality and sex for our energy production.
Lots of changes; I’m looking to maintain my new diet and exercise, as well as fine-tune and meditate on what’s working and what is not.
After one week results
Feeling better – My body is slimmer and feeling better. I’m not bouncing off the walls, but my general level of energy feels much better.
To live a great life, we don’t need millions of dollars. We need to live happy. To be happy we need to have our needs met. When we feel satisfied and fulfilled we will feel happy. But to totally feel happy, we need to live in a state of positive energy. We need to work on our mind, body and soul, so we are operating in a state of abundant energy and possibility.
I want to live a life were I have all the energy I need to look after my needs, my families needs and to go on and do the great things that inspire me. To live a life like that, a 10/10 life of happiness and contribution, I need to find as much energy as I can.
Energy is a key element in any search for success. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to start really looking after your health and seeking to live a life of full happiness and energy.
As yet, I haven’t worked it all out yet, but this is my journey to success. I will keep searching for new ways to find success and I hope you do too.
Thanks for allowing me to share.
If you found this interesting, please find more on health and happiness at How to Achieve Success – Get Healthy.