Most Mums (& Dads) are so busy looking after those around them they forget, or just don’t find time to look after themselves. It doesn’t take too long to work out if you don’t look after you, there is no-one else to do it! I could go on about how you need 8 hours sleep and to exercise 4-5 times a week, but I know that simply isn’t realistic for most of us! I have put together what I think are super simple, yet incredibly effective changes you can make to your daily routine that will increase your energy by 100% but won’t rob you of time. I hope you enjoy your ‘Tired Body's Guide to More Energy’...
I personally think that two of the cheapest and most effective super foods are chia seeds and cacao. They are also both readily available from your supermarket - usually in the health food aisle.
Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, essential for brain function that are important if you want more energy and not a fuzzy head! They also contain fibre, protein, calcium & numerous other minerals. It can be sprinkled raw onto yoghurt, in smoothies, on salads, or used in cooking muffins or muesli bars. Its versatility is a big reason it has made my list!
Cacao can be added instead of cocoa to whatever you are making. You could be forgiven if you think cacao is simply cocoa mis-spelt, like I originally did, but it is not!! All the processing when cacao is made is under 47°C, which minimises the loss of nutrients and antioxidants. Obviously, cacao is not intended to replace fresh fruit and vegetables, but handy to know and use all the same!
For an instant energy hit, so many people reach for a coffee. However, my suggestion is choosing Green Tea instead! Rather than the instant caffeine hit of coffee, green tea slowly releases energy into the body over a 6-8 hour period. This means you can avoid the caffeine slump experienced after drinking coffee, and experience a longer period of increased energy. (As a bonus, Green tea is also filled with antioxidants and vitamins which benefits the skin, immune system and helps to fight chronic diseases).
Also, get into the habit of carrying around a water bottle in your handbag. If you are feeling attracted to some naughty energy draining foods like donuts or hot chips then take a few sips of your water to help with those hunger pangs. (The more hydrated you are the more energy you will have so it’s a win win!)
For a great addition and pep up to any meal of the day, add some greens. To your morning juice or smoothie add baby spinach, to your lunchtime salad add some mixed green salad leaves and to your evening meal add or steam some broccoli. Greens contain B vitamins, as well as other great nutrients, which help convert the carbohydrates in food to glucose that the body can use as a fuel to produce more energy.
Natural sugars are obviously much better for you than refined sugars, plus refined sugars rob you of energy. (Not only cakes, lollies and chocolate bars contain refined sugar but one cup of Berri apple juice will add 61/2 teaspoons of sugar to your day and one 375ml can of Coke = 10 teaspoons of sugar). The fructose in fruit has a natural advantage over table sugar because fruit contains so many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. When you eat refined sugar, your body breaks it down differently than natural sugars, causing stress on your body and energy drain. A great way to reduce your refined sugar intake and increase your energy is to replace some of your favourite junk food with fresh fruits.
You probably know by now that even though exercise is hard work that it rewards you with energy in the long run (no pun intended). But if you are a busy mum, scheduling in 4 trips to the gym in a week probably sounds impossible. My suggestion is stairs. Yep you heard me stairs. Find one, maybe a laundry step or a front door step or find a flight. An inspirational soundtrack booming on the speakers is optional!
Stairs are great for a cardiovascular workout and great for your leg and butt muscles too (which in turn helps your pelvis and low back!) Work 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off - eight times in total. (This is called a tabata. Tabata apps are free on your phone. They will let you know when your 30 seconds are done.) Try for 2-3 times a week, and then see if you can increase that. (Do it in an ad break on Home & Away?!) Vary what you are doing from session to session to make it a bit more exciting and work your body differently; quick small step ups on your toes, slow step ups lifting your knee high and landing on your heel, lunges onto the step, heel raises together or separate, double footed jump ups and jump downs or step down… have fun with it and see what you can create. Just get started and you will notice your energy bank will be getting filled again soon!
When your head (neck) is out of alignment and forward from your shoulder, this may cause you to have less lung capacity. This means less effective breathing and thus less energy. Doesn’t sound good hey? You see, the weight of your head is more like a bowling ball than a golf ball, so when it’s forward and out of alignment it puts a strain on your neck, upper back muscles, ribcage and your nervous system. This abnormal position is often responsible for many tension headaches too. So, if you can’t naturally hold your neck so that your ear is over your shoulder, there is something not quite right. I suggest you have your spine checked for correct alignment. Over the years, we have rescued many spines and necks, especially ones where the head is forward and robbing you of the energy you need and deserve!
Being a Super Mum or Dad doesn’t need to be a chore. At House of Chiropractic, we understand the importance of everyday energy. Call Smiley Rylea (pronounced Rylee) on 6009 0999 to book in for an appointment. Stay Healthy and Happy!