by Dr. Linda Khoshaba
Need a boost of energy? Here are 3 simple and quick exercises that will increase your energy levels:
When you are feeling tired, the last thing you probably think about doing is exercising. However, exercising can actually increase your energy levels. Walking is a very simple and powerful way to stimulate energy production at the cellular level. The mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of the cell, and aerobic exercise increases energy production. Most people find that an early morning walk or a walk during a lunch break gives them a boost of mental clarity. A late evening walk, perhaps, helps to calm and regulate energy. There are many technical devices that can help you track and calculate your walking throughout the day. Having these visual tools not only helps you get moving, but also motivates you to have walking goals!
2. Downward Facing Dog
If you practice yoga, you know this is one of the most recognized poses. Downward facing dog is a forward bend and inversion stretch in which your palms and feet touch the floor and hips are shifted toward the ceiling. This position is excellent for helping to stretch the back, hips, arms and legs. It helps to relieve any muscle tension and to move blood and oxygen throughout the body. The easiest way to perform this stretch is to get into a kneeling position with palms touching the floor. The palms should be beneath the shoulders and the knees beneath the hips. Next, stretch the hips towards the ceiling, making a V-shape with your body. Move the chest toward the knees and make the feet flat on the floor. Now you are in downward facing dog, and hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. You can repeat this stretch as needed throughout the day, and you will notice your energy, productivity and muscle tension improve!
3. Qigong (pronounced Chi-gong)
This is an ancient, Chinese practice that means “life energy cultivation.” Qigong is a mind-body therapy in which gentle movements and breaths are used to regulate the body’s qi (vital energy). Qi is composed of two elements, yin and yang, and is responsible for our natural energy within. There are physical, mental and spiritual benefits to practicing qigong. The slow, gentle movements are adaptable to even those who are physically challenged. To start, try an exercise commonly known as “shaking the tree,” and begin to rhythmically bounce up and down in any way that feels comfortable to you for 60 seconds. Next, swing your arms side to side and twist at the level of your waist, known as “swinging hands.” Use your body’s momentum to help swing your arms from side to side for another 60 seconds. This helps to make the body feel loose and free, to increase and circulate good energy and cleanse the body of bad energy. End by closing your eyes and tapping your fingers on your face, forehead and down your arms to your hands. Open your eyes, and take three, deep breaths. This exercise can help pick up your energy level and boost your levels for the rest of the day.
Dr. Linda Khoshaba received her Doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her main areas of focus include women's health, pediatric medicine, diabetes management, and prolotherapy. She completed her Master's Degree in Health Promotion and Public Health where she focused mainly on patient self management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. She attended the University of Western Ontario, Canada where she was awarded an Honors Degree in Health Sciences.
Dr. Khoshaba can be reached at www.MyIntegrativeHealth.com and 480-657-0003