Learning How To Get More Energy
We live in a fast passed modern world with a mentality that it’s all about work hard or go home and that hustle is required if you are to get anywhere. While elements of this are important it shouldn’t be done at the expense of our health. You see energy is the currency of health and health is the currency of wealth.
There is no doubt that we are in a chosen sport that is expensive and working to fund this sport we are in, is a vital part of the equation. However if we constantly run our lives without the equilibrium in check, we wont have the energy to work, let alone ride and then it is then very likely to be at some point a tipping over of the balance and its so much harder to build that energy back up again when its bottomed out and you are dealing with fatigue.
Energy is everything!
I have been right at the bottom with chronic fatigue and exhaustion and it’s not fun, it all takes its toll. Takes time to climb back up and can be easy to return to. It’s not done with just a few nights of sleep and some magic potion. You see energy is health and health is energy. Life without a full tank of gas is hard. Riding the thing we enjoy so very much is hard. Work is hard. Having fun is even hard.
Now before you think I am some crazy person, I want to share a simply analogy with you to help you understand energy. Think of your body and your energy as a peace sign, with yin and yang. Then think of the things in your day to day life that use energy (yang) and things that give you energy or up lift you (yin). Now, these things can differ from person to person depending on your personality type.
For an introverted personality group settings can be very yang and be draining, but for a yin person group settings can be very energizing. Create two lists and write down the things that are yang in your day and things that are yin in your day.
As odd as this may sound to some of you it’s incredibly valuable to understand what your environment does to you each day and for many people, you may not be able to change this right away, but you can do your best to balance it. Nature is an amazing tool and this is why horses are so amazing but do make sure you think bigger than just using your rides.
Its super important to make time for your yin, to put things into your life that build more energy. This is everything from a good nights sleep, through to reading, walking in nature, laughter, gentle yoga, a phone call to a close friend and cooking a nutritious meal. It’s more often than not it’s our yin side that gets left behind when we are to busy being busy. But it’s this side that helps us be more productive, present and focused in our days. It’s this side that helps us ride better because we are energized, healthy, fit and able to be the best rider we can be.
Now to begin with it can all seem really overwhelming, but the best place to start is sleep. The average person needs 7-9 hours and 1% of the population can do well with less, most of us need more. Your body does all of its physical repair and recovery while you sleep. It improves your moods, emotions, focus, and productivity. 1 hour lost sleep, can lose you up to 2-3 hours productivity the next day. Sleep is your most underestimated tool that can make a huge dramatic shift in your energy. So the key is to value it and protect it. When we lack sleep, we eat more, we crave more carbohydrates, it increases inflammation and can create havoc in our immune system.
Sleep deserves to be treasured.
Sleep deprivation is everywhere and so too is weight gain and exhaustion. You see sleep deprivation effects our hormones leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones are involved in energy balance. Ghrelin acts fast on a meal to meal basis. And influences appetite. Simply stated ghrelin is the hunger hormone. Too much ghrelin makes your body crave fatty and sugary foods.
Leptin is the long term and it affects how your body taps into its fat stores and how it uses fuel for energy. So the lack of sleep is the perfect hormonal chaos that causes your body to struggle with energy and using energy.
I know the peace sign analogy is a bit out there, but I have found with my clients that it helps make sense of energy. You see our body needs balance, its a system of system and this means you need to ensure you are creating this balance in your days by doing things that take energy and by doing things that give you energy. These are all very dependent person to person, so start two lists and get clear on what helps you create more balance. By paying attention to this you will then have more energy to do more of the things you love.