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       Gain a head start in your quest for fitness and good health!

Lee is an accomplished freelance writer specialising in health and fitness.

  

His vast background knowledge within the industry helps provide an in-depth, readable and enjoyable article. 

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Boost Your Energy

Lee Ashford

How many of us wake up to the same series of events every single morning? The alarm goes off; we slowly drag ourselves out of bed, draw the curtains open and briefly watch the sun rise before embarking on another hectic, stressful day at the office. A distinct lack of enthusiasm and get-up-and-go usually compliments our daily routine.

Waking with a hangover, skipping breakfast, and consuming several cups of coffee before a gruelling eight hour shift is pretty much the norm for many in today’s Western society. By 10am, the caffeine effects are starting to wear off and hunger cravings take over. A quick fix of chocolate and crisps washed down by another caffeinated beverage allow the body to hold out for another hour. For those who feel too tired to move from the sofa after a hard day’s slog, a takeaway is just a phone call away. This high in fat, low in fibre meal is, in some cases, accompanied by several units of alcohol. Late nights and early mornings are the icing on the cake. This is a typical lifestyle for a number of individuals who may all have something in common – a lack of energy.

So, how do we break this vicious circle of sedentary living, bad eating habits and feelings of lethargy? Firstly, eating a healthy, well balanced diet is probably the safest and most efficient way of increasing energy levels. Eating a proper whole food diet at regular intervals allows your body to provide you with sustained energy that lasts throughout the day. High fibre foods give a slow release of energy and regulate your blood glucose levels, cutting out the need for “snacking”. Limit your consumption of High-glycaemic index foods, such as chocolate, sweets, white bread, white rice and full sugar soft drinks. These foods are low in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Unless you need a quick energy fix after exercise they will play havoc with your blood sugar levels if eaten too often.

Depending on your profession, your ADL’S (activities of daily living) and your lifestyle habits the total calorific intake from one person to another will be different. Individuals with high stress or physically demanding jobs will require more carbohydrates within each meal than for somebody who has a sedentary job or lifestyle. This should be taken into account when trying to find the right nutritional energy balance within one’s diet.

Energy boosting supplements in the form of pills provide an alternative to food stuffs especially when time restraints inhibit a quick snack. Energy pills contain different forms of stimulants which have an enhancing effect on your metabolism and your adrenal glands. When your body produces adrenalin, you get a boost of energy. The energy pills will cause the same effect on your body leaving you feeling energised. For the sweet toothed with chocolate cravings why not try energy bars? Quick and convenient, these bars are usually fortified with vitamins, minerals and protein. With numerous brands available from the high street, choices are endless, but beware, many of these will be somewhat lacking in taste and appeal.

Exercising to boost energy levels isn’t always the first idea that comes to mind when looking to beat the effects of tiredness and fatigue. How often do we hear the same excuse? “I feel too tired to exercise. Maybe when I have more energy”. Regular exercise will actually help increase your energy and endurance levels. If you are not physically active, your body becomes lethargic, making you want to sleep all the time. It’s easy to slip into the world of the couch potato. Instead of vegging out on the sofa after a hard day’s graft try heading straight for the gym for a good, honest workout.

Exercising will make you feel tired at some stage of the workout however; this is a small price to pay when comparing it to feeling fatigued and “sloth like”. Regular, steady and structured workout sessions will soon help you spring back into your old self – full of life and vitality. Remember, your body releases endorphins during exercise. These “happy hormones” can make you feel less stressed, recharged and full of the “fitness bug”.

When we think of exercising it doesn’t always have to involve hours of pounding on a treadmill or lifting heavy dumbbells at the gym with the sound of grunting and heaving from the muscle-bound hulk next to you. Walking or cycling to work instead of driving or taking the bus and even using stairs and avoiding lifts are easy ways to increase activity levels. These small lifestyle changes go a long way when performed regularly.

Alternative ideas to help boost your zest and vigour include yoga, martial arts (such as Tai Chi) and energy healing. Whilst yoga concentrates on combining breathing and physically stretching muscles, it also works on releasing negative energy and replacing it with positive energy. Not only does yoga relieve tired muscles, it also revitalizes body and soul, providing the means to deal with daily stress. Energy healing also aids the reduction of stress and anxiety, expanding your sense of well-being. With so many choices on hand to help us boost our energy levels, reduce stress and improve our quality of life we cannot possibly feel lethargic again, can we?

Here is my list of top tips on how to boost your energy;

Take part in Boot Camp Fitness.

Get in shape in four weeks! Boot Camp Fitness is a great way of losing body fat and increasing fitness levels. Its fun, varied and effective. All fitness levels aged 18-65 can take part.  

Get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is important for our minds and bodies to function properly. It is something our bodies need to do; it is not an option. Inadequate sleep can have a powerful effect on your daily routine causing decreases in performance, concentration and reaction times. Most adults need approximately 8 hours of sleep a night.

Eat a banana.

Packed with potassium and fibre, bananas are a great alternative to the mid-morning junk food snack. They release energy, fill you up and are a great snack on the go.

Drink water.

Dehydration by as little as 5% can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness and loss of performance. Drink at least 1 litre of water per day for every 1000 calories consumed.

Hire a personal trainer.

However your best intentions to eat healthily and to exercise more often, motivation could be a barrier. Personal trainers who specialise in home tuition ensure that you don’t even have to step outside your front door to enjoy the benefits of exercise.

Try Pilates.

Pilates is a form of yoga that works the entire body. It focuses on proper breathing and continuous motion to tone your muscles, improve your posture and regain vitality.

Eat breakfast.

Eating breakfast helps kick-start your metabolism. Choose a high fibre cereal with added fruit. This should help keep a regular energy balance and cut out the snack cravings.

Gain a head start in your quest for fitness and good health!

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