3 Steps to Creating More Energy

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For years I so desperately wanted to be one of those perky exercise people. You know, the ones who wake up at 6AM and go for a run before their day starts and they barely even break a sweat (rolls eyes dramatically). They say things like “it’s the best way to start the day” and “I love to run, it’s so therapeutic”.

I can barely make it out of bed in the morning, let alone work up the enthusiasm for any kind of exercise! What’s the difference between me and the perky 6AM running lady? Well, first off, energy, of course. Some people are born with a natural excess of energy - the ones who can work 60 hour weeks and still go out partying all night on Friday. And some of us have a deeply engrained sense of chill; we prefer slow and sleepy. We are the sloths. All hail the sloths! And when I accepted that I just didn’t have the natural energy, the “pre-natal jing” if I may, that 6am running lady has, I could have thrown my hands up in the air and just said, “oh well, life’s just not fair.” But I didn’t. I used this an opportunity for learning. I’m sharing this with you because it worked for me, and I believe it will work for a lot people. It worked so well, in fact, that these days I exercise 3/4 times a week and do yoga. I’m basically an athlete ;)

Okay, here we go…

STEP 1: MONITOR YOUR ENERGY

And do this without judgement (this is very important) - journal it too, if that helps. Take note of when you feel most energized during the day (even if the difference is only slight) and also make a note of your energy through the week.; if there are days where you find yourself naturally wanting to be more active. Even if it’s just a walk that makes you feel good. And monitor your energy through the month too. I found (and every one will be different!) that I had the most amount of energy late morning - around 11AM and late afternoon - around 5PM. During the week I felt depleted on Sundays and Mondays, and I also discovered that my energy levels are 100% linked to my cycle. Just before my period I was a slob, just after it I was ready to summit all the mountains!

STEP 2: USE YOUR ENERGY TO CREATE MORE ENERGY

Now that you know when your energy peaks - even if it’s only a slight peak - start to use that to your advantage. The more energy you create, the more you will have. Duh. But really; energy creates energy. So get started. I started by walking the dog at my peak energy times. Then I began to pop to the gym for 30 minutes over lunch occasionally, or I’d do a HIIT work out or yoga after work at 5 when I could. I never pushed myself to do something that I really did not want to do, or to an intensity I wasn’t ready for. The more I did, the more I want to do and these days I find that I am happy to exercise on Mondays sometimes too, or even in the early morning. Energy is circular :)

STEP 3: NO GUILT

Do the exercise that agrees with you and your body with NO guilt. I realised that I don’t like running - so why on earth would I subject myself to that? A study published in “The Blue Zones” identified that the people who live the longest and are the happiest don’t undertake any kind of forced exercise. So do what feels right and that way you won’t end up resenting it and pushing it aside because you hate it so much. And on the days/weeks where your energy is low, let it be. Use this time for meditation, reading, see your friends! Energy ebbs and flows and you just have to learn to ride the wave.

Kathrine MacLeod