I never thought I would write a blog entry that’s somewhat vain and personal, but someone reached out to me last week and it made me think that this could actually help some people. They came up to me after a meeting where I was presenting and said, "You have such great energy; where do you get it?” I wasn't sure if they were asking me if I had a "magic pill" or was taking HGH or something, but I actually get asked that a lot. So it got me thinking, maybe if I shared a few tips, it might help some folks. (Again, I apologize for the vanity!)
A lot of these suggestions are really obvious and are just about diet and exercise, so I’m clearly not breaking any new ground here. I think the point is, if I can do it, anyone can.
So, here it goes ...
First, some background information. I am fast approaching 50 and don't consider myself a health nut or in great shape physically. However, I do a few things that actually make a huge difference in my life. I honestly rarely get tired, don’t get much sleep and yet I feel like I’m half my age energy wise. I take nothing. No supplements, no pills, nada. Just FYI, I didn’t always feel like this until about 10 years ago after my kids were born and I decided to make a few changes. I didn’t want to be thought of as their grandfather on the playground :)
Three primary categories my suggestions fall under:
I exercise about 6 days a week. I am not the fastest runner and don’t do crazy intense workouts, but every day I try to run at least 5 miles. Some days I can get a run in early in the morning but others, I can only do it late at night, which sucks but no excuses.
As my friends know oh too well, I am pretty much a freak when it comes to diet. I don't eat meat, chicken or pork but do eat fish. I do eat tons and tons of veggies, nuts and fruit all day. For me, once I gave up meat, my energy level went through the roof. I also avoid carbs like white bread and white pasta. Of course, once in a while I break my discipline, but this is the exception. Another rule that I live by is that I don't eat past 8 p.m.
I think it’s also important to rarely eat until I’m full. If I’m hungry an hour or two after a meal, that means I ate well. Then, I will just pile up on fruit and nuts when hunger strikes and I feel great.
Maybe as important as anything, I love, love what I do for a living. I didn’t always and so I made a huge career change. It was risky, still is, and there was huge financial risk involved in making this change. But, I can’t wait to go to work every day and even though I work insane hours, I love my job. I think if you’re miserable at what you do, it will zap all of your energy. Find something you love to do, life is too short to be miserable at your job.
Now don't get me wrong, I still love my vices -- as my friends can attest to J -- but I just found that making some of these small changes had a huge impact on my energy level.
Hope this helps. I’d love to hear ideas from others too!