Does exercise boost your energy levels? You bet it does! Getting moving does so much for your health. It helps with digestion, improves sleep, and increases energy levels. Exercise is one of those free things that we can do to improve our health on our own time. There is no need to go to a doctor or spend a ton of money on an expensive therapy. Exercise and improve your focus, concentration, memory and mood. It truly is amazing.
Unfortunately, not everyone is reaping the benefits of exercise that I am getting because they are missing out on a few key elements. When you exercise and don’t feel more energized and craving more exercise and activity, you are probably doing it wrong.
Get Hydrated Before You Exercise
Exercise that is tough enough to trigger perspiration will dehydrate you. It is essential to be hydrated when you exercise so that you don’t put your health at risk. Slight dehydration can cause lethargy and headaches. It can intensify the symptoms of asthma and autoimmune conditions.
Hydrating your cells as you work out and throughout the day ensures that they have the water that they need to help detoxify your body through sweating. Water assists your body in the detoxification process. It helps with digestion. Every organ of your body needs water, so before you start stressing your body with exercise, make sure you are giving it enough water!
There are some basic guidelines for hydration. You should be taking in half an ounce of water for every pound of body fat that you have. This will ensure that you are consuming enough water to suport your body’s functions. In addition to the water, you will want to make sure that you ar ereplensihing the electrolytes that your body needs as well. You should also take 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt for every 16 ounces of water that you drink. Take the salt and let it dissolve on your tongue and then drink the water. Break up your water consumption into 5 doses per day.
Nasal Breathe ONLY
This is one that many people get wrong. In fact, during elementary school, I remember my gym teacher telling me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. I was out of shape and had asthma. In the end, I was gasping air in and out of my mouth. There is a huge disadvantage to breathing in and out of your mouth. It throws off the time that the body needs for gaseous exchange. It bypasses the cilia in the nasal cavity that filters and warms the incoming air. This leaves you at greater risk for catching the latest flu or virus that is going around.
I learned the Buteyko breathing method as a way to eliminate my seizures and achieve optimal health. It sounded too simple, but I have been able to eliminate my seizure medication and be seizure free with this simple form of breathing. If you are like me, you have probably been breathing through your nose and mouth your entire life. Focus on trying to breathe through your nose 24/7, including during exercise. At first, it may feel a bit uncomfortable, but you’ll start to notice that the benefits of exercise are greater when you breathe through your nose while you exercise. You’ll notice that you get fewer colds, have more energy and sleep better at night.
Increase the Amount of Exercise
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Yikes! That is no where near enough! If you have a busy lifestyle and are only getting an hour or two of exercise in a week, you aren’t going to feel much benefit from the exercise. The Buteyko method recommends that you get at least 1-2 hours of vigorous exercise per day and if you are interested in states of super health, then you should be doing even more!
This year, I have made a goal to achieve a state of super health. I have increased my workout time to two and a half hours per day. (Many of you may be wondering where I get all that extra time. I have a treadmill desk and do two things at once. I also have a dog that needs walks and I tend to squeeze in some squats while cooking. I definitely slip in more movement throughout my day than most people.)
Exercise is something that is available to you and getting more of it helps prevent diseases, saves you money on doctor visits, gives you energy to accomplish what you need to throughout the day. Running and exercising at home is one of the least costly and most effective methods to take care of your health, yet so few people do enough of it to make a difference. Tap into this source of free energy. It is not as damaging to your health as the energy drinks you can buy and it improves your body’s own ability to fight disease. As health costs are rising rapidly, take some time to get your health in check with exercise. You’ll be able to avoid some of those medical preventative costs!