We cannot operate correctly without energy. Although it may not feel like it, as you are sitting there, your bodies are generating energy in our trillions of cells: they absorb oxygen from our bloodstream along with glucose and nutrients from the food we eat. Through a complex biochemical process they extract and transfer energy. How well we breathe (exercise helps this), what foods we eat and what rest we get all contribute, holistically, to our ability to effectively manage our energy.... or NOT!!!
Have a think about it! Are you often tired? Some part of the equation may be unbalanced.
Maybe if we eat better quality food and become more knowledgeable about how and when to eat then that may help improve our energy levels. Further if we can breathe more effectively and if our bodies are more able to transport oxygen around our bodies to our cells then again we are likely to enjoy greater energy levels.
One habit that we can develop without realising is incorrect breathing. Watching a baby breathe provides a clue to how we should breathe when relaxed – through our stomach movement. You will see the stomach of a baby gently rising and falling when asleep – it has not yet forgotten how to breathe. As we get older we can develop the habit of breathing in short waves through our chest.
Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Now take a deep breath – if your hand on your chest was moving more than your hand on your stomach then the chances are you are not breathing as effectively as you could.
You may notice that during times of anxiety or panic that you take short shallow breaths – this is because you are using your chest to try and breath; but as you use your chest you are actually reducing the amount of space that your lungs can expand into. So one way of reducing that feeling of anxiety is to practice deep breathing using your stomach.
So if we improve the quality of what we eat and when we eat (see Nutrition section for more detail on how) and improve our breathing (with better technique and more exercise) then we should improve our ability to generate more energy. If we add a third factor in – the importance of proper rest and recovery then we can not only improve our energy levels but manage them more effectively as well.
The problem for us is one of discipline – can we build some small amounts of time into our routines to help us rest and recover. Women, in particular, need to be careful of putting themselves under a lot of pressure if they are developing careers and trying to be a mother and housewife. Proper rest and recovery or “me time” is critical to your health and well-being. No-one is any good to their children, husbands / wives / partners or colleagues if they are ill in hospital.
Whilst this helps focus on the importance of understanding some general principles of managing our energy it is also helpful to have a look at what happens on a cellular level. As we have trillions of cells it may be that the health of our cells contributes significantly to our overall health.
Inside our cells there are many biological and chemical processes taking place both whilst we are awake and whilst we sleep. We don’t need to understand the detail of what happens there but there are some interesting activities taking place that may influence our thinking about our diets etc.
Inside our cells we have tiny batteries – mitochondria – producing energy from the oxygen and glucose our cells absorb from the blood supply. As energy is created the toxic material left behind comprise of free radicals which contribute to degenerative conditions and certain cancers.
A diet rich in antioxidants (quick and easy guide to this is simply that brightly coloured fruit and vegetables tend to be high in antioxidants) can help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals and may slow down the ageing process when combined with exercise and proper relaxation and recovery from stress. So it is the holistic management of our diet, our exercise, our breathing, our rest, our sleep and even our work that will determine the good or bad energy levels we experience. There is little to be gained by blaming external factors (people, events, circumstances etc.) for how we feel because there is almost always something we can do to improve how we manage our energy levels. Typically, what happens to many people is that they experience a degree of suffering in some area of their life for so long they reach a threshold where they are really fed up with themselves and then they do something positive to change an emotional (often a regular pattern of negative thinking) or physical habit that is damaging their energy. Why suffer? Why not make positive changes today?
click here for more information about the importance of mitochondria:
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© 2012 7Futures Ltd. Please note that, at 7Futures, our role is to help educate and encourage our clients to take positive responsibility for their wellbeing. We are not medical doctors and are not able to offer individual medical advice. We always recommend you should discuss with your GP or other medical professional before making any changes you hope will impact your wellbeing, or that of your current/future family. 7Futures Ltd offers generic information which is for educational purposes only. The information we provided is not a prescription system and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. As such our materials, videos products and communications are for general information purposes only and should not be read as a personal recommendation for specific changes in lifestyle behaviour, nutrition, or exercise. Please click here for a clear description of our services and the relationship with you as a client. You should not participate in any of our services until you have studied this link...it is for your benefit.