7 Ways to
Boost Your Energy
By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS
Fatigue is one of the biggest problems of modern
life, but we're trying to fix that problem in all the
Trying to "get" or "find" energy is like trying to
grab a fistful of water. If you want water (energy) to
sit in your hand, you have to first create the
conditions under which it's possible -- in the case of
water, keeping your fingers tightly together and your
hand cupped while open will do the trick -- but trying
to grab the water will not. It's the same thing
Energy isn't something you get or grab, but rather
the by-product of certain conditions that allow
it to show up in your life. If your health and attitude
and body and mind are all aligned in the right way,
there's nothing else for you to do but to feel
energized. It's the natural "side-effect" of a healthy
life -- it just comes with the territory.
Let's say you were a swimmer wearing a weight belt
and you wanted to increase your time in the 50-yard
freestyle. You could spend a lot of effort researching
the latest titanium high-tech bathing suit -- which
might add a second or two to your time -- but
wouldn't it be a lot more effective to simply drop
the weight belt?
Most of us are carrying around weight belts and
looking to increase our energy with coffee and
stimulants when in fact if we just dropped the weight
belt we'd automatically go faster.
Some of the items on our weight belt are: too little
sleep, disorganization, toxic relationships, high-carb
diets, undetected food sensitivities, and all sorts of
other facts of modern life that I discuss in detail in
my book, The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your
Energy. In this article I'm going to suggest seven
ways to help drop the weight belt from your energy tank.
Do them and you may be surprised at what a boost in
energy they give you.
- Support your liver. You can
help your liver do its job more effectively -- and
boost your energy in the bargain -- by taking a
daily dose of an herb called milk thistle.
I consider the liver to be the most misunderstood
and under-appreciated organ in the human body,
because when it's not working right, the first thing
to suffer is your energy. Giving the liver all the
nutrients it needs to perform its daily tasks is one
of the most important things you can do to boost
- Get ten minutes of sun every day.
"The sun gives you strength, lifts your spirits and
is a source of energy", says my friend Al Sears, MD,
Your Best Health Under the Sun. Like a
growing body of health experts, Sears thinks we've
become so sun phobic that we're missing out on the
myriad mood-boosting and energy-enhancing benefits
that vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin has to offer.
- Disconnect for a day. One of
the great energy drainers of the 21st century is
information overload. We're deluged with stuff
coming at us from emails, RSS feeds, blogs, social
networking sites, TV, magazines, radio, fax
machines, Blackberries... you get the picture.
Knowledge may be power, but information overload is
just... well, noise. Try a media-free day and feel
your own energy accumulate -- rather than dissipate
as you attend to millions of distractions. Most of
the chatter, when you think about it, won't make
much difference in the long run anyway. (If you find
the idea of disconnecting for a day a frightening
thought, you are exactly the person who needs to do
it the most!)
- Try the "No-Frills, No-Excuses,
Anytime-Anywhere" workout. We all know
that exercise helps with energy -- at least I hope
we do -- but when it comes to working out, time
remains a big obstacle for many people. Here's my
own "no excuses" lo-tech workout that you can do
just about anywhere in as little as 15 or 20 minutes
for an amazing boost in energy: 1) run a mile, 2) do
some squats, 3) do some push-ups, 4) do some
crunches. Stretch and go about your business
refreshed and energized. And if you can't go out
and run the mile, do some jumping jacks in your
office, or run the stairs.
- Revive your "qi". Acupuncture
is based on the precepts of traditional Chinese
Medicine that says the body and mind are
inextricably linked; that vital energy, or qi,
regulates a person's spiritual, mental and physical
health; that each of us is a delicate balance of
opposing and inseparable forces called yin and yang
-- and when that balance is disrupted, vital energy
becomes blocked or weakened. When our qi (energy) is
at optimal levels and flowing smoothly, we're ready
to take on the world. Spiritually, emotionally,
mentally and physically we're strong, healthy and
energized. One terrific way to balance that energy
is through acupuncture.
- De-clutter and deep-six the energy drain.
Here's a rule I've found to be a universal truth:
your energy has a perfect inverse relationship to
the accumulation of stuff you don't need. The more
unwanted, unused, unneeded stuff you have cluttering
up your life, the less energy you have. Believe it
or not, the condition of your desk (and desktop) and
office and living space actually reflects a lot of
what's going on in your head. If you take time to
organize and de-clutter, you'll actually be freeing
up a lot of psychic space, and that can really
turbo-charge your energy.
- Take the right supplements.
While supplements don't really "give" you energy,
they can correct metabolic issues that are draining
it. They can also speed along certain pathways that
are nutrient-dependent and that get sluggish (and
energy draining) when those nutrients are in short
supply. One terrific energizing nutrient is coenzyme
Q10. It helps transform fats and sugars into energy
and is a potent antioxidant.
To find out more about essential supplements, please
sign up for my free audio by clicking the link below.
[Ed. note: Dr. Bowden is a
nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and