Do you train hard, but find yourself feeling burnt out and lacking the energy to do the things you love?
I've been in this place and I know it's not that fun. I used to love lifting heavy things and feeling strong, but over time I realised I was spending most of my energy on only physical training. The time came when I asked myself, what about having enough energy in the tank for the rest of life?
You may be fit as a fiddle, but how do you feel out of 10 when you wake up in the morning? Are you Sluggish? Or, are you ready with an abundance of energy for the day?
If you constantly feel low on energy, you may be experiencing ‘workout burnout.’ It doesn’t have to be this way though...
In today’s article I’ll share some strategies to help you get more energy in your body and help you fill up your cup, instead of pouring it out all over the place during every physical training session.
Today it's common for the latest fitness 'guru' to tell you: "Only do high intensity training if you want to:
And that low intensity training is the devil."
Doesn't this feel a bit one sided to you?
In today’s ‘busy’ world we’re often looking to get things done as efficiently as possible, so I can understand the purpose of intense training, as it works to create specific outcomes. However, all the intensity can come at a cost.
If your training is all about the intensity, then I have a question for you:
If the time you spend improving your physical health / function / appearance is mostly focused on energy going out, what’s left for you to live and do the things you love (like making love), and how will you fill yourself back up?
Imagine for a moment that your body is like a cup of water... Each time you expend energy it's like pouring water out.
Do this long enough and what do you have? That's right, your cup can become empty.
To me, focusing only on training with intensity is a very un-balanced way of looking at health and fitness, and completely ignores the natural laws of Yin and Yang that are intertwined with everything.
So does that mean you should opt for low intensity exercise over high intensity?
Not exactly. Both have their place, you just need to understand your intention behind them.
Beyond high and low intensity I find it’s important to think about balancing your working-out with some working-in.
It seems we're in a time where many are focused on maximum results in minimum time; but taking care of your body is a life long game, right?
Taking care of your body shouldn’t just be some fleeting moment to fulfil a resolution, look good on the beach, or at your wedding. The physical wellbeing you carry in your body is an asset you take with you every day, every moment, through your entire life.
In understanding the long term nature of your physical health, it brings the importance to be present with how you feel in this moment and to respond to the signals your body tells you.
If you're feeling low and need to get more energy, it makes sense to have a strategy to fill yourself back up by ‘working in.'
If you're feeling high in energy, this can be a good time to amp up the intensity (sensibly) in your work out and utilise some of that pent up energy.
The lesson here is to listen to yourself.
No one knows your body like you, so you don't have to just do what the latest 'guru' tells you is good.
Take a moment, check in with your heart, and trust that's it's what you need (despite what the small voice in your head might say).
Here’s a short video that will share some more insights about how you can approach your physical training to be more balanced and sustainable.
In the event you've checked in with yourself and the message is clear to fill yourself back up, here's a few tips you can practice today ...
Beneath it all we are deeply connected to nature, and deep down we all know this to be true. You've likely been to the beach, or sat under a tee, or walked on the grass before. How did you feel after that? Pretty good right?
Remember to be human is to be part of nature, so connect back to it and recharge yourself.
Spend at least 15 mins - 5 hours (if you choose) immersing yourself in nature. The more the better.
I know you're busy, but I believe if you really need something you can make it happen.
Take a moment (preferably while you're in nature), to breathe deeply into your stomach and your lower back. Imagine you have gills on your back... Now fill up your whole body with nourishing air.
Breathe in through your nose, gently, deeply and silently to a count of 4 and breathe out gently to a count of 8.
Do this for at least a minute. Feel good? Then do some more! Fill that cup back up.
This is all about gentle movement that sits somewhere in between stillness and activity.
Some powerful examples of moving meditation are Shaolin Qi-Gong and Tai Chi. Notice the use of the term chi (qi) in both. Chi or Qi loosely translates to energy.
Qi-gong and Tai Chi both involve a harmonious balance of strength, flexibility and breath work. When you combine and practice these elements, it helps you open your meridians and build inner strength to get more energy in your body.
Here’s an example to give you a visual:
This one's very simple.
It's a short enough time to help restore your energy, but not too long that you'll wake up in a fog.
In time your body gets used to it and learns to sleep more deeply in a shorter time. This helps rejuvenate you even faster.
This may sound a little weird, but let's start small with a quick exercise.
Massage your arm for a moment until you get a sense of your internal flows of energy in that area. It may feel a little warm or tingly.
This practice has a twofold benefit:
This helps to improve circulation in your body's largest organ - your skin.
Massage the skin around your body for 10-15 minutes. You may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but in time you'll really amp up that energy of yours.
Pay close attention to any areas of your body where you experience a lack of energy flow and simply give them some more attention.
*Special note - Remember this is simply a general recommendation. It’s important to apply your own discernment to this practice and if in doubt seek qualified medical advice.
You should now understand the importance to go beyond just working out to take care of your health and fitness.
To support this you’ve also got some powerful strategies to ‘work in’ and begin to create a more balanced body from the inside and out.
The 5 tips we covered to fill your body back up with energy are:
If you’d like to be guided through the process of nourishing your body from within and improving your energy levels (without burning yourself out), the first step we'd recommend is to assess your mind-body connection and identify your highest areas of need to focus on.
You can do that with our Physical Freedom Challenge.