Identifying the energy boosters and drainers in your life
Despite where your client is in their training, or where you are in your own, you’ll find you’ll go through peaks and troughs of feeling energised and drained. What’s important is that we identify what our triggers are and either eliminate them or make them work for us.
Even while success in training is at an all-time high, motivation may very well be at a low. As our body works harder to burn fat stores there will be days where you need that little extra pickup.
Fit Futures’ Head Tutor and Personal Trainer Emma Courtney has some quick and simple techniques you can use to decrease stress and boost and sustain your energy levels.
The energy drainers
- Too much social media
While it is great to stay in touch, we can spend too long flicking through our newsfeeds and not engaging with the people around us. The tip here? Limit yourself to one or two ‘sessions’ on social media a day and stay away from screens before bed. Also ensure the articles and posts you’re engaging with are ones that will ‘add’ something.
- Negative thought patterns
Negative thinking puts a huge physical and mental drain on ourselves. It can be very easy to be negative and critical especially when we are feeling tired. The solution? Practice gratefulness! Gratefulness is the simple practice of ‘giving thanks’ and appreciating what you have in your life. While it may seem a little eccentric, gratefulness is a practice used extensively by successful people. There are books/apps available for this practice and the great thing about it is that it can be at any time. Start small by reciting one thing for which you are grateful for every morning.
- Office environments
Unfortunately, the modern workplace is a bit of a trap when it comes to health and fitness. Artificial light, air conditioning, work station setup, long periods of sitting/inactivity all effect our health negatively. Some simple steps you can take – regular eye breaks, heading outside on your break and simply the addition of plant life to the office. If you are in a position where you can get a stand-up desk – I highly recommend.
The energy boosters
No doubt you and/or your client are on a training program, but exercise in other forms can be a good energy booster during rest days, especially if it means getting outside. Walks or swimming in between gym sessions are a recommendation.
Water intake recommendations change dependent on your activity level, but at least two litres is a must. Caffeine dehydrates you, so don’t count that. Herbal teas and sparkling water are good alternatives.
- Regular sleep
Get enough of it! You’ll know the optimum amount of sleep you need – usually between six and eight hours per night. The quality of those hours is particularly important – make sure you have a wind-down routine before bed and limit screen time before sleep.
- Regular mealtimes
Eating every two to three hours is the best option and eating at the same times every day help creates good routines.
- Re-visit your goals
We often lose sight of how important our goals are for us and this is when we start to move away from our good habits. To regain energy, think about the end goal and how great you are going to feel when you hit your targets.
As well as gratitude, practice mindfulness. It’s about being in the moment. A favourite of tennis star Novak Djokovic, mindfulness is a great stress buster as it takes the thought away from the past or the future and lets you be connected with the now. Meditation is a great tool and you can start by using an app like Calm to guide you.
- Afternoon naps
Napping use to be frowned upon, but we now know how great it is as a hormone booster, as well as a way to gain mental clarity. The ideal nap time is no longer than 30 minutes.
- Emma Courtney is Fit Futures Learning Institute’s Head Tutor. She is a Personal Trainer, Sport and Exercise Nutrition Coach, Group Fitness Instructor and Dentist.