Boost Your Energy!
Are you one of the 31 percent of adults suffering from ongoing fatigue? Tired of being hooked on coffee and "loan shark" energy drinks? Here’s how you can get long-lasting, healthy energy — and feel great every day.
Step 1: Dr. T's Energy Analysis Program
The Energy Analysis Program is a free online tool that analyzes key factors that impact your energy level. It pinpoints probable factors that may be contributing to your fatigue, and then gives you lifestyle, dietary and other recommendations on how you may improve your energy and feel greater well-being. The recommendations it makes are based on algorithms I derived from my 35 years as a medical practitioner and leading researcher in the fields of CFS, fibromyalgia, sleep and pain. It takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. When you complete it, you'll be provided a detailed analysis of your overall health and energy needs, along with specific recommendations on where you can improve!
Step 2: Remember the Word S.H.I.N.E.
S.H.I.N.E. is an acronym I use to summarize the five areas of physical health that need to be tended to for optimum energy. Though I developed this treatment for patients who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia — two huge energy zappers — it is just as effective for anyone looking to maintain healthy energy on a daily basis. S.H.I.N.E. stands for:
- Nutrition, and
- Exercise (as able)
You need to get adequate sleep, preferably eight to nine hours a night. Sleep replenishes the body's energy and heals its muscles. Inadequate sleep will leave you exhausted and in pain, and can lead to a dysfunctional immune system, leaving you less able to fend off viral and other infections that can deplete your energy stores even further.
Did you know that labs miss the large majority of people who need hormonal support, particularly for thyroid (your gas pedal) and adrenal (your stress handler) systems. It's better to go by symptoms. Feeling tired, achy, experiencing unusual weight gain, and/or being intolerant to cold temperatures suggests a low thyroid. Irritability when hungry — what I call "Feed me now or I'll kill you!" syndrome — suggests you need adrenal support.
Exhausted adrenal glands can be improved through nutritional supplements. In addition, you should cut out excess sugar, but do not restrict salt. Another helpful trick for decreasing adrenal stress is a special "tai chi move." When watching the news (which is meant more to scare you to death than to inform you) and it starts feeling bad, stretch your arm far to your side, pick up the remote control, point it at the TV and click "Off." The amazing surge of relief this provides will amaze you!
For thyroid support, a mix of thyroid glandulars, tyrosine and iodine can be very helpful.
When your immune system is working poorly, you become more prone to energy-draining infections. To keep your immune system in great shape, get 8 hours of sleep each night, avoid eating too many sweets (like sodas and fruit juices), stay well hydrated, and take a good multivitamin powder each day.
Healthy nutrition is essential to keep your energy levels high. With half of our calories coming from sugar, white flour and added fats, and with modern food processing methods that strip ingredients of their nutrients (resulting in foods with "empty calories"), we are seeing the unusual phenomena of people who are malnourished while obese for the first time in human history. Widespread nutritional deficiencies are common, and many people lack dozens of important nutrients in their daily diets. So here are a few tips:
- Reduce your sugar consumption by cutting back on foods and drinks like soda and fruit juice. An interesting exception to this is chocolate. Chocolate (in moderation) is a health food. Having a bedtime routine of a glass of red wine, a square or two of dark chocolate and some berries can actually be beneficial to heart health!
- Eat whole foods when convenient.
- Start switching your diet to eating whole grain foods. This is an acquired taste (much like beer), so do it gradually over time.
- Take a good daily multivitamin powder.
- Eat fish (not fast food fried fish — that doesn't count!) at least 3 times a week.
- Supercharge your vitality with 2 remarkable energy nutrients: Ribose and coenzyme Q10. Our recently published study showed that taking ribose each day increased energy in participants an astounding average of 61% in just 3 weeks of use! Coenzyme Q10 fuels the thousands of mitochondria responsible for your heart's energy production, helps maintain energy levels, and promotes sharp brain function.
My morning regimen? A scoop of the vitamin powder with ribose mixed in water plus 200 mg of CoQ10 each morning. Try it, and prepare to see your energy go turbo charged!
(E) Exercise as Able
Preferably outside in the sun. The current advice to avoid sunshine is dangerous and leads to widespread vitamin D deficiency. Better advice? Avoid sunburn — not sunshine! The best habit is to find something to do outdoors that you enjoy and do it with a friend. That way you'll stick with it.
One More Key
Although S.H.I.N.E. supplies your body with what it physically needs to promote healthy energy, don't forget the psycho-spiritual component! If you're expending too much of your energy doing things you hate, don't be surprised if your body becomes reluctant to recharge again. Instead, make a list of the areas where you spend your most time, and put them in 2 columns: things you enjoy and things you don't. Start focusing more on those things that you do enjoy. For those things you don't like, consider letting them go (like sitting on too many volunteer committees) — at least for the time being. My e-book 3 Steps to Happiness can show you how to get from a "less happy place" to a life you love!