Take a group of youngsters to a retirement village and you’ll hear the residents wistfully remark how they wished they had “their” energy. Indeed, when we have energy to burn we feel great and are empowered with a zest for life. So how can we get (and enjoy) more of it?
Ironically, the best way to attain more energy is to use what we already possess. Exercise physiologists refer to it as the “overload principle”—when your body is taken beyond what it is accustomed to (within reason), it responds by improving itself. So when you are physically active and expend a lot of energy, your body boosts its reserves and vitality.
It is recommended that adults have 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity a day to participate in the benefit. The good news for those who are time-poor is that it need not be continuous. Three 10-minute stints through the day are just as effective for boosting wellbeing.
Here are some ideas for achieving your daily tally:
- Walk the dog in the morning.
- Take a 10-minute break mid-morning or mid-afternoon to walk around the office block (taking the stairs) or lift some weights.
- Have a “walk-while-we-talk” meeting instead of sitting down in the office. It will be easier to concentrate too.
- Take a walk after lunch to help your food settle and avoid the 2 p.m. stupor.
- Kick or bounce a ball around with your kids after work (it will also help them get the 60 minutes a day of physical activity that their growing bodies need).
There is no denying the fact that we are made to move. Thirty minutes of physical activity a day—even broken down into segments—will help you rediscover the energy of your youth.