Listen to your body to become fully energised.
There has been a lot of talk and information recently about how to cope with the changing world that surrounds us. It has been a tough few months and there will be a hard few more yet to come. But regardless of what has happened with the Covid-19 pandemic, or whatever challenges us in times to come I wanted to prepare you in a way that can deal with optimal energy to anything that comes your way.
We have all had that feeling from time to time of utter exhaustion. I had it this week…. I did a long run which left me completely and utterly depleted of energy. I thought this strange as I have kept my fitness levels high during lockdown, and then I realised the time of day- it was nearly time for dinner, and my body was calling out to be fed.
Our bodies rely on food to fuel us and sustain our energy levels. Quite simply without food, we don’t have the energy to function to our normal levels, let alone help us get the most out of life.
Bodies love regularity as well. Our live revolves around a big cycle called the circadian rhythm. We get tired and sleep at similar times each day, we get hungry and eat at regular times, and we often go to the toilet at a similar time- consistency is the way our bodies like to rock.
Our bodies’ have a remarkable way of signalling to us to feed it, but unfortunately, we simply think we know better than our bodies and choose to ignore those indicators. The human body is a remarkable machine and have been around for thousands of years. Our lives are short in comparison, I am 40 next year, therefore it is impossible for me to know better than the evolution of human beings in my short time here on earth.
If we are too absorbed in other things and forget to eat, our bodies’ often signal to us to stop what we are doing and eat. This might be a sly tummy rumble, or it may progress into a full on ‘hangry’ outbreak, where we act adversely to situations simply because we are ravenous.
We need to listen to our bodies, not just pick up a quick snack when our tummy rumbles, but really listen. Think about what demands you are placing on yourself and try to anticipate what it will need, and then respond accordingly.
To be fully energised this July you will need to fuel your body with optimal foods. The old analogy ‘you are what you eat’ is certainly true. The human digestive system has been designed to digest foods that are in their raw form. Our cave men ancestors didn’t have access to take ways and processed foods, they had to hunt and gather what was available to them.
Therefore, human bodies don’t tolerate chemicals very well. Additives and preservatives that are now inserted into processed foods to make them taste better and last longer do nothing for our energy levels. In fact cause and adverse reaction, sending us on an energy roller coaster, initially sending our energy levels soaring, only to rapidly crash down not long after.
To get the most out of life this month, the recommendation is that you eat a variety of foods cooked from its natural state. That is, you recognise what the food is before you prepare it to eat. Our bodies love colourful plant-based foods, so by eating the rainbow every day (something red, green, orange, yellow, blue/purple and white) your body will reward you by giving you lots of energy. You will also need protein, healthy fat and carbohydrate in order to keep your energy levels sustained until the next meal, and a mixture of micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to help boost your immune system and create essential hormones and natural chemicals in your body to help other functions operate best. Therefore, a balanced diet is essential.
Drinking water is also vital for energy levels. Our bodies are made up of between 60-70% water, and even a 2% reduction in hydration levels can reduce our physical and mental output by up to 25%. Drinking water is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your health, enhance your energy levels and optimise your output both physically and mentally (there is a reason professional sports people and academics always have a glass of water to hand). The recommended amount is 1.2 litres per day, but this is only a guide as it depends on your size, the climate in which you live, and how physically active you are.
We need to listen to our bodies more. Feed yourself before you get hangry, eat foods that will fully optimise energy output (fresh food in its natural state), and drink water regularly throughout the day. If we do these things you will be rewarded with more energy, allowing you to flourish in all walks of life.