Energy is the spark of life. Eastern health practices teach that it comes from Qi (pronounced “chee”) — from food, air, water and movement. Science tells us that it comes from our cells making adenosine triphosphate, or ATP (remember that from biology class)? When you don’t have it, you can’t imagine ever feeling good again. When you do have it, you’re healthy, creative, driven, excited about life and enjoy a great sense of well-being. How can you make more energy? And more importantly, when you do have it, how can you prevent yourself from squandering it?
Here are five ways to put the back back in your step, from both an Eastern and Western perspective:
1. Get outside where all the Qi is. Air carries not only oxygen, but vital energy, according to Chinese medicine. If you always exercise indoors in a gym, change up your routine and head outside to walk, run, swim, bike or hike. This is where all the vital force is!
2. Eat foods that are alive. Eat at least three cups of raw vegetables and fruits every day. These foods still possess their vital force because they aren’t cooked, and when you eat them, that Qi goes directly into your body.
3. Build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more energy-producing factories, or mitochondria, there are in your muscle cells. This means you will make more ATP, which is energy.
4. Get enough sleep and sleep well. Sleep is the time that your body resets your nervous system and your whole body. It provides not only a shift in your brain chemistry, but also gives your body time to heal. When you really allow your body to rest, you also allow your body to recharge.
5. Take Eastern and Western herbs that promote energy. Adrenal-supportive herbs such as Siberian ginseng can help to support not only Qi in Chinese health practices, but also energy as it’s known in the West. Other herbs to consider include rhodiola, Chinese ginseng, American ginseng, ashwagandha and licorice root. There are many naturally supportive products to choose from. Do some research, consult with a herbal expert and discover which ones are right for you.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.