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How to Supercharge your Energy Levels

Your energy levels will depend on several factors, including
genetics, nutrition, sleep habits, and emotional stress. Some of
these you have no control over But there is one VERY important
factor that you do have control over and that is your ability to
take part in physical exercise.

Need a source of vast power and energy?

Look no further than your gym.

The link between physical fitness and energy is so strong, that
doctors have lately been prescribing exercise as treatment for
chronic fatigue, depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD),
and insomnia, for instance.

If sufferers of the most stubborn kind of fatigue can be
energized with exercise, imagine what can do for those of us who
experience ordinary, every-day fatigue.

* Feel Great At Mid-Afternoon *

Your brain thrives on oxygen. Blood transports oxygen to the
brain, so the greater blood flow to the brain, the greater the
oxygen supply the brain has. As you increase your heartbeat with
a vigorous workout, more blood surges through the brain, more
oxygen gets absorbed by your brain cells, and you feel more
mentally alert and energetic.

Experts point out another long-term cause-and-effect
relationship between exercise and blood flow to the brain: as
you continue exercising, the number of capillaries (small blood
vessels between your arteries and veins) throughout your body
will grow. More blood flow through your "pipes" means more
oxygen will be supplied where you need it.

Regular exercise also keeps the pipes clear and circulation
healthy by preventing atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque).
Regular exercise can actually REVERSE atherosclerosis when
combined with a healthy nutrition plan. When you have
atherosclerosis in check, your brain is virtually guaranteed for
the rest of your life.

Blood also carries glucose, the simple sugar that's the primary
fuel source for your entire nervous system of which the brain is
the command center. Glucose's production starts the metabolism
of carbohydrates. Various enzymes, plus your body's ability to
use glucose to produce ATP, the more important energy chemical
in the body, control this production. When you exercise, you
increase the level of those enzymes and their activity.

In other words, when you exercise regularly, you boost your
enzymes, resulting in more glucose, and your body is more
efficient in using the glucose. You get a larger supply of ATP,
which helps fight off the mid-afternoon energy drop-off.

* Increase Metabolism *

It's no secret that strength trainers are firmer and stronger
than sedentary folks. How could it be otherwise?

Resistance exercise builds muscle, pure and simple. The more
muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more
calories you burn even at rest.

So why does "strong and toned" equate to more energy?

For starters, heavy people have to lug around more weight all
day long. When the overweight climbs a flight of stairs, do yard
work, or even just carrying the garbage can to the curb, they're
also carrying that excess weight, making almost everything they
do more exhausting.

Better-conditioned muscles make every task that much easier,
regardless of body weight. When you exercise, your ability to
use muscle fibers is increased. So you require less effort to
perform any physical task.

A strong body also has a stronger immune system. Being sick
drains us of energy, and exercise, by boosting immunity, staves
off illness. Recent research has shed light on why the strong
may get sick less often and recuperate faster when they do get
sick: exercise increases the activity of natural killer cells in
the bloodstream.

* Less Stress *

A great deal of research supports that weight lifting is one of
the most effective means of battling depression and stress. One
of the main fatiguing factors of depression and stress is lack
of sleep. In a recent Stanford University study, formerly
sedentary insomniacs who began to exercise fell asleep 15
minutes faster and were able to sleep an hour longer than they
had before becoming active.

* Boost Brain Fitness *

To this point, we've been talking about the benefit of exercise
on mental energy. But is it possible that being in shape might
translate to even greater mental benefits, such as increased
intelligence, creativity, memory, or reasoning ability? It's
very possible.

Studies show that both factors of mental stimulation and
exercise were contributing to the increase of the brain's
learning centers in different ways. Mental stimulation results
in more synapses (the little gaps between brain nerve cells that
enable them to communicate with one another), while exercise
increases the number of capillaries in the cerebellum and
cerebral cortex (two areas of the brain crucial to intelligence.)

* Take a Walk *

Medical research results could hardly be clearer: Taking a walk
is one of the best ways to take charge of your health. A study
in the Journal of the American Medical Association (February 11,
1998) showed that walking briskly for half an hour just six
times a month cut the risk of premature death in men and women
by 44 percent. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine
(January 8, 1997) reported that men 61 to 81 years old sharply
reduced their risk of death from all causes, including cancer
and heart disease, by walking two miles a day. Other research
has shown similar results for women.

Recent studies have concluded that moderate amounts of exercise
- including walking, jogging or using a treadmill for one hour,
four to five times a week - can turn back the aging clock 30
years for middle aged men.

Consistency is probably the most important part of your workout.
The more committed you are to walking all or most days of the
week, the healthier you'll be. Remember that short walks are
better then none at all. Health, like life, is a journey. All
you have to do is take the first step.

 

 

 

About the author:
Paul Reeve is a Personal Trainer responsible for training
individuals one-on-one and assisting them in achieving their
health and fitness goals and providing them with guidance,
support and motivation. Presenter and lecturer for Fitness
Professionals, Sports Organizations, Sport Coaches, Corporate
and Community Organizations. Webmaster for
http://www.treadmilladviser.com - providing informed advice on
exercise treadmills.

 


 

 

 

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