Experts are now telling us that it is possible to keep up our energy levels for a longer period of time IF we spend a little time as we go along, doing a few simple things. Here's what they suggest.
1. Abandon your sedentary habits. For many, that's easier said than done. But physical activity benefits the body; the more you exercise the more your body has to gain. The biggest issue is convincing yourself to get off the couch and start moving. Of course, if you have health issues, you always need to contact your doctor before beginning any exercise routine, no matter how basic it might seem! If you're not a gym rat, and playing sports isn't your thing, there are still ways you can get physical activity and have a bit of fun at the same time. Walking, hiking, doing yoga, dancing, and just moving in general. If you spend a great deal of time in front of the computer or TV, set your Fit Bit or alarm to go off every hour, Then, get up and just move. dance around, do some yoga poses, walk outside and get your mail...anything works. The point is to move for 10 minutes. This activates messages to your brain that you are no longer at rest.
2. Try new and fun exercise routines. Personally, I hate exercising. But I do like to hop and swim. If the exercises you used to do just don't do it for you any longer, then it's time to find something new and fresh. If you're older, you may not be able to do the exercises of your past. The internet is full of ideas and videos of exercises for people of all ages and physical conditions. Many don't require any special equipment. Still need a boost? Don't forget your portable music player; iPod, MP3 player, etc. If you're using a treadmill, try listening to an audiobook in place of watching TV.
3. Build psychological resilience. According to Dr. Chopra, "Human beings are coal-fired engines. Feeding you more fuel doesn't lead to more energy, and often produces just the opposite, since the digestive process takes energy away from your muscles. Human beings move around to work, play, explore, and express ourselves. These things are psychological and having a relish for them during an entire lifetime requires psychological resistance." Here's what that means. Even the most active and engaged among us have setbacks and daily frustrations. What makes them different? They know how to bounce back. They don't give up, plop down in front of the TV, and quit trying. So, really, resilience means not getting stuck in a rut. Life cannot unfold in any meaningful way when we're stuck in old grievances, self-judgement, bad jobs, and unhappy relationships. We must all keep moving...both in body and in mind.
4. Dedicate yourself to consciousness. Life is a flow and in order for that flow to continue we must stay focused in the present. We cannot count on tomorrow and we cannot change yesterday. So why not live in the here and now? That's all we really have. And Dr. Chopra tells us that we cannot "work on flow; we allow it (to happen)." That process comes from within and meditation can be a big help with that. it can sound a bit odd, but sitting still, closing our eyes, and going within can actually give us MORE energy! That's pretty cool!. From that foundation, Dr. Chopra believes, we can naturally find our personal flow that will lead us to play, explore, and create; all ways that are necessary for humans and frogs alike to express ourselves. Creativity and exuberance are what make life worth worth living. And when life is worth living, we have...you guesses it...more energy!
I hope you've learned a little today about staying fit, healthy, and active for many years. We can all have something to gain from having extra energy. And the beauty is, it's never too late to start.
See you tomorrow I hope, when my teacher The Dharma Frog will stop by for my weekly lesson. Until then,