“The key to having more energy is, of course, having the desired 8 hours of sleep. But on the flip side, we also acquire energy by exercising.”
The motivation to keep active varies depending on who you’re talking to; more often than not, people want to maintain or reach a certain self-image or exercise because they’re a part of a team sport, and others do it because they want to be healthy. So much of our well-being and energy levels are actually situated around how active we are.
So what are the benefits of exercise?
When we exercise, our brains release chemicals called dopamine and endorphins…AKA “the happy chemicals” that make you feel good for free (seriously get on that!). It also aids in relieving your body from chemicals that make you feel stressed or anxious – why don’t we do this more!?
It seems that when you’re a kid you have endless amounts of energy. Just have a look at any primary school playground at lunchtime – they eat their lunch and it’s ‘go time’. You’ll see the wild, fun, fast and furious activity of children playing in a way that moves their whole body. Now, we also know that this kind of energy requires more rest. I love that children know how to run and how to rest – if only we could all konk out wherever we are whenever we hit empty and have someone chaperone us to bed!
Exercise gives you energy
However, as we get older, we seem to be staying awake for longer periods of time, drinking more coffee to keep the eyes open to do the work we need to get done and have time and energy for all the other amazing things outside of work life. The key to having more energy is, of course, having the desired 8 hours of sleep. But on the flip side, we also acquire energy by exercising. Even if you haven’t had that dreamy 8 hours, if you can get out for a jog or choice of physical activity, it will go a long way. It doesn’t have to be a chore that you don’t actually want to do but have to do. Go do something fun like attending salsa dancing nights, no lights no lycra (seriously that is fun and my goodness it’s a workout!), surf, swim…the list is endless. But be like those kids in the playground and know that you can have a good relationship with moving your body.
Another fun fact – when we exercise, it increases the number of mitochondria (which transforms energy from food into cellular energy), which improves our body’s ability to produce energy. So in other words, the more mitochondria you have, the more energy you can generate during exercise and the faster and longer you can exercise.
Fuel your Body
If only we could have our portions of breakfast, lunch and dinner times prepared and cut out as children do…wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well, in the grown-up world, we get to choose what we fuel our bodies with (and that doesn’t mean we can’t have pancakes for dinner once in a blue moon). The more we move, the more our appetite grows and needs nutritious food.
So, be kind to your body, give it the fuel it needs, the rest it needs, and move that body, body!