Archive for February, 2011

Energy Booster #5: A Secret Hiding Inside Yoga

We continue our series of energy boosting tips by uncovering one of the secrets behind the practice of yoga. You can enjoy the benefits of this secret whether you take a formal yoga class or not.

The secret action we’re talking about in yoga is stretching. How does stretching relate to energy?

First of all, tight muscles and connective tissue restrict the flow of blood, lymph fluid, and qi (“chee” life energy). Blood carries oxygen to your cells. Lymph fluid carries nutrients to your bloodstream and waste away from your cells while also circulating immune system boosting lymphocytes to attack cellular pathogens. Qi is subtle life energy that circulates along pathways through your connective tissue. When any of these processes are restricted you feel lethargic because you are receiving less vital energy and you are clogging up with cellular toxins.

Stretching lengthens your muscles and connective tissue. It releases tension and facilitates the flow of blood, lymph, and qi. When these elements flow more freely you feel as if you are infused with new life.

To stretch effectively, it’s important that your muscles and connective tissue are warm from movement or exercise. Don’t stretch cold. It’s also important to include stretches for all major muscle groups so that you balance muscle tension around all joints. Stretch to the point of tension but not pain. To get the most out of stretching, imagine that you are breathing into the muscles that you are stretching. When you inhale, imagine that the muscles you are stretching are filling up with air. As you exhale, reach a bit farther into your stretch and imagine that your muscles are emptying out.

Make it a habit to stretch after any and all physical activities. Stretching initiates recovery and repair in your body by boosting circulation, inducing relaxation, and improving your immune response. It even boosts your brain function. To maximize your health and energy include aerobic exercise and stretching as part of your daily routine.

Enjoy!
Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

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Energy Booster #4: Love Those Endorphins

Let’s wrap up this week, with a well-known but often misunderstood energy booster—cardio exercise. Did you know this has been proven as effective as coffee, energy drinks, and anti-depressants without the side effects?

“Exercise! Really, that again?”

If you’re thinking that, consider the possibility that you could experience exercise differently.

On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with exercise, there may be a way to have a healthier relationship with it.

Here are some of the powerful benefits of daily cardio exercise:

*Boosts your memory, mental clarity, and brain function

*Initiates your body’s natural relaxation response, counters stress hormones, and lowers anxiety

*Improves your heart and lung function—promotes cardio-vascular health, lowers blood pressure, balances your cholesterol, and helps you breathe easier and get more oxygen and energy from your breathing

*Burns calories and metabolizes excess body weight

*Lubes your joints which relieves stiffness and increases comfort in your body

*Increases your energy and endurance for everything you want to do in life

*Initiates the release of good-feeling neuro-chemicals called endorphins that help your relax, feel positive, and more energized

O.K so you already knew it was good for you, but how much do you have to do and how hard will it be?

A daily dose of 15-20 minutes of continuous, whole-body, moderately paced activity will do the trick. You can do it at a level that you can feel yourself breathing a little harder, deeper, and more rapidly, but you can comfortably hold a conversation.

You don’t have to run a marathon, or make your way to the gym, or make a huge commitment. Just get out and move your body in whatever way you enjoy a little everyday. Whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, dancing, playing a game, or hiking in nature, do it with a relaxed present mind and enjoy the good feeling.

Some days it may be a challenge to get started. That’s O.K.—any little bit is to the good. Tell yourself you’ll just get moving for few minutes. Once you get going, your body will start feeling better, your brain will perk up, your mood will lift, and you’ll probably go longer.

Breathe deeply and enjoy the feeling!
Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

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Energy Boosting Tip #3: The Surprising Miracle of Water

Our third tip for this week is surprisingly simple and disguised as something quite mundane. Yet, when you read the thirteen surprising benefits below, you’ll never underestimate the importance of this again–especially when you read the information in the conclusion of this post.

What am I talking about? Get ready. Don’t shrug it off. This is absolutely important for your health and well-being, even for your energy, happiness, and motivation. Make this a daily ritual, make it a sacred ceremony. Realize its significance as you’re doing it and it can change your life for the better.

So, what is it?

Drinking water. Real water. Not vitamin-infused, or cherry-flavored, or artificially or naturally sweetened, just pure, plain water—in a glass (or other, non-disposable-plastic, container).

Really, that’s the advice?

Yes, and here’s why:

13 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Water
(from “Experience Life,” June 2010, p. 65)

1. Energy: water is necessary for the activity of enzymes responsible for cellular energy production.

2. Digestion: water is necessary for the production of the 7 liters of digestive juices that you need to metabolize your food on a daily basis.

3. Regularity: adequate water is required in your colon to insure the right consistency of stool that can pass through easily.

4. Blood Pressure: dehydration makes your blood thicker and more viscous, making it harder to move through your arteries and veins, which increases your blood pressure.

5. Stomach Health: water is needed for mucus production in the lining of your stomach to protect it from the high acidity of digestive juices.

6. Respiration: water moistens the mucus membranes lining your respiratory system which protect you from susceptibility to airborne pathogens.

7. Acid-Alkaline Balance: dehydration increases the acidity of your internal environment which creates chronic inflammation and promotes the growth of yeast and fungus.

8. Weight Management: thirst is often inaccurately sensed as hunger leading you to eat more than you need.

9. Skin Health: water provides elasticity to your skin and facilitates sweating which removes toxins through your skin.

10. Cholesterol: dehydration causes the body to remove water from cell membranes which the body tries to shore up by overproducing cholesterol, which can be a danger in the bloodstream.

11. Kidney and Urinary Health: when you are dehydrated your kidneys struggle to remove toxins from your system and the increased toxic concentration leaves you susceptible to germs and infection.

12. Joint Health: dehydrated cartilage and ligaments are more brittle and prone to damage. Dehydration also contributes to chronic inflammation, as mentioned above.

13. Aging: adequate water is necessary for cellular repair and rebuilding, which is what keeps your body young, vital, and highly functioning.

So how’s that for motivating information? Are you inspired to drink more water? I hope so.

How much water do you need? The traditional advice of drinking 64 ounces per day is a good ballpark. Keep in mind that you will get some water by eating fresh vegetables and fruits and from other liquids that you drink. Use the above information to inspire you to drink at least a few glasses of pure water every day. I suggest that you make this more than just a mindless repetitive act. Make it a sacred ritual. Here’s a bit more information to inspire that next step.

In Masaru Emoto’s fascinating book, “The Miracle of Water,” he shows us how water has an amazing ability to take on the thoughts and feelings around it. Water actually changes its molecular arrangement depending on the thoughts and feelings in its immediate environment. For example, water in the presence of love is arranged in beautiful, harmonious forms. Water in the presence of anger looks jagged and disjointed. Dr. Emoto has fascinating pictures of this in the book. Since your body is made of mostly water, how important are the thoughts and feelings that you keep in your inner environment?

So, as you are drinking your water every day, focus into thoughts and feelings of appreciation and gratitude for the miracle of life, of health, and of drinking water. Hold your glass in both hands, be thankful for it, bless it, and drink it reverently. Infuse your water with positive energy and then absorb it into every cell of your body as you drink. Combine this with daily conscious relaxation and your body will thank you. You may be surprised at how much better and more energized you feel.

Happy hydrating,
Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

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