Workout in the morning
An early morning workout wakes up your whole body – including your brain. Your heart, lungs, joints and muscles are warmed up ready for the challenges of daily life. Best of all there is a boost in metabolism that keeps you energetic and burning more calories all day.
Post workout snack
A healthy snack of carbs and protein within 15 minutes of finishing your workout takes advantage of the ‘glycogen window’. This is when your body is most efficient at storing glycogen for energy and least efficient at storing fat. It will also help prevent a physical lull later that tempts you to reach for a high calorie snack.
It’s tempting to go for the sugar hit when you feel lacking in energy. It does temporarily make you feel uplifted. But what goes up must come down – and unfortunately goes lower than before, leading to more sugar cravings. Keeping your sugar levels even throughout the day is better for energy than a rollercoaster ride. Go for low GI or protein based snacks.
The intense intervals of HIIT training means lung tissue that usually sits dormant in daily life and moderate exercise is forced into action. HIIT cardio is great for increasing your fitness and controlling your blood sugars. You also experience the energising mental buzz of your achievement.
Exercising with weights increases your lean muscle tissue and strength. This both increases metabolism and makes physical tasks less demanding on your body, so you have more energy. Research shows women feel a sense of confidence and wellbeing from weight training that also increases energy levels.
A large meal floods your blood stream with sugars stimulating a huge insulin response. Whilst your body uses oxygen to help digest food, less is sent to other working muscles. Both these effects leave you feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. Food intake should be little and often for energy.
Breathe like a baby! This means breathe from deep in your stomach, rather than up in your rib cage. On your ‘in breath’ your belly should distend and on your ‘out breath’ draw in. Most people do the opposite or breath very shallow. Yoga and meditation can help you learn to breathe better for life and energy.
Avoid processed foods and additives
The more natural food is, the easier it is for your body to use it for energy and other body functions. The additives and preservatives in processed foods are synthetic and hard for your body to process. By taking longer to break and down and building up in your body they interfere with the optimal workings of your body. Keep it natural.
Move throughout the day
The human body is designed to move. Sitting still for long periods makes your body feel stiff and lethargic. Even if you only roll your shoulders and ankles, stretch your arms above your head and walk around the office every hour your body will thank you for it. Movement makes you more energetic.
Staying hydrated means your blood system can efficiently deliver oxygen and nutrients around the body keeping it energised. Your body is also better able to perform all the metabolic process requiring water, including generating energy. It’s simple – drink enough to keep your pee clear.
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub www.healthhub.net.au
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