Where does my Energy come from? And 6 GREAT Ways to get it BACK!
Claire - Posted July 3, 2014
Most people when asked will tell you that they wished they had more energy. But have you ever thought about where energy actually comes from. We often think we know the answer, but do we really?
Does energy come from the food we eat? Or the sleep we get? Does it come from doing what we love?
Before we can even come close to answering these, we have an even more pertinent question and that is what exactly is “energy”? If you think in terms of modern day appliances, the answer is easy – electricity of course. Or if you want to get more complicated, it is the movement of electrons. In this way our bodies are much the same, we move electrons around and… voila! Energy! This movement of electrons powers every process in every single cell of our bodies as well as every organ and system – our immune system, digestive system, cardio-vascular system and central nervous system just to name a few. If you really think about it, that is a LOT of electrons doing a whole lot of moving around. In other words, it take a LOT of energy to power a human.
Luckily our bodies have a few built in strategies to conserve energy when necessary. Many of our high energy using functions will only work when the others have the power turned down. Some examples are healing and growth happen when we sleep and aren’t really moving too much, or how food is not appealing at all when you have a fever because digestion is turned down, the same can happen when doing ultra-endurance exercise.
On the flip side of this some big processes that require loads of energy actually help to power other systems of the body and in many ways this seems to almost defy the laws of physics. One way this happens is something we see in children, often when a child is sick and burning a fever it triggers a growth spurt, either physically or developmentally. Coincidently, this would also be a time in which they wouldn’t eat very much. Both burning a fever and growing require vast amounts of energy, yet in these circumstances they happen simultaneously while there is a greatly reduced caloric intake.
What we get taught at school and through media is energy comes from the food we eat. This is seen in calorie counting diets, food labeling and even Facebook memes (how many burpees does it take to burn off that doughnut?). It is all calories in vs. calories out. What you take in gives you the energy to all that you need to do in the day. But it is not that simple, just ask someone who has struggled with a weight issue and done countless calorie restricted diets. They often don’t work, no matter how many calories they burn. Mostly because obesity is a dis-ease of too little energy, not one of too much.
So, if energy doesn’t actually come from food how do we power these energy hungry bodies of ours and feel like we could run a couple of marathons in a row?
Increase your Leptin sensitivity.
Leptin is a hormone we produce in our white fat cells. When it binds with the brain it acts as a fuel gauge, telling your brain how much energy you can spend. When we lose Leptin sensitivity we can’t read the gauge anymore, so our bodies go into fuel conserving mode. We feel sluggish and exhausted. Toddlers are the perfect example of being Leptin sensitive. They have the two modes; on and off. And they can run rings around almost any adult because of this easy access to their energy stores.
Moving, particularly yoga as it uses every joint a muscle in the body can greatly improve your energy levels through a number of mechanisms. Firstly, it helps to improve Leptin sensitivity as well as insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to take up more energy. Secondly, it releases a cocktail of feel good hormones that help to energise both body and mind. Thirdly, 90% of stimulation and nutrition to the brain occurs through movement of the spine. Although our brain is only about 2% of our
body mass, it requires between 20-25% of our energy intake to function and for it to get that, you need to move your spine!
Getting cold, like really cold can be a huge boost on your energy levels. There are a number of biological mechanisms that occur when you get cold but I will simplify it to make it easier. Getting cold makes you more efficient at sleeping, which means you heal faster, your brain gets better down time and you wake up with much, much more energy.
Seeing a Chiropractor has some great health benefits, but in terms of energy the results are amazing. As I mentioned earlier, 90% of your brain’s stimulation and nutrition come through movement of the spine, but if you only have partial movement through some of those joints then all the exercise in the world will not fully charge your brain battery. This effect is highly apparent in the case of issues with movement through the neck.
Spend time in energetic company
Have you ever walked away from someone and suddenly felt like you could conquer the world? People pay thousands of dollars to listen to inspirational speakers because just being around someone who is enthusiastic and inspired can make you feel like a completely different person. Energy breeds energy and when that is happy positive loving energy, you can’t help but be wrapped up in it. Your body responds with a release of feel good hormones and you can suddenly do anything.
Do what you love
Like spending time with energetic people, doing what you love and working on your life’s purpose can give you more energy than seems humanly possible. When you feel good about what you do and do it with authentic passion your body releases all that stored energy.
Take your shoes off/spend time on the ground or in the ocean
Connection with the earth is not just some sort of hippie way of soaking up some universal energy. Without getting into the complicated quantum physics, when you get time to connect with the earth without the encumbrance of shoes or carpet etc. you take advantage of the earths natural electromagnetic fields (you know the ones that make compasses work). What happens is the same as when you put a fork in the toaster, although a lot safer and less dramatic, you equalise out the electric fields. With the example of the toaster, there are more electrons in the live wires of the toaster, so they travel to where there are less electrons, which is the earth, through your body. When your body touches the earth and you are in a state of exhaustion (low energy=low number of electrons) the same process draws electrons from the earth and into your body, rejuvenating and re energising your cells.
So, next time you get that 3pm slump, rather than go for a Mars bar or a cuppa-soup, try taking a walk outside with bare feet.