Energy: It’s something we all want, especially as today’s fast-paced, high-tech society makes it seem more and more elusive.
Of course there’s caffeine. But many of us prefer to turn to fitness, nutrition, and psychology to find energy. These industries promise us that working out, eating right, and reducing stress are the solutions.
So why is it that those of us who exercise daily, fill up on fruits and vegetables, and have a regular meditation practice still feel tired? There’s another important piece to the energy puzzle.
“The elephant in the room is the body itself,” says Pete Egoscue, renowned anatomical physiologist and creator of the Egoscue Method, who also cofounded Sonima’s eight-minute home workout program Elev8d Fitness.
Imagine, for a moment, that your body was perfectly aligned both vertically and horizontally along your load-bearing joints—the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders. Your muscles would work effectively. You’d do away with bodily compensation. (Your shoulders wouldn’t be sore from a day at the computer, for example.) You’d feel your strongest.
When you align your body properly, all of your systems work in harmony, Egoscue says, and that means more energy.
A little physiology lesson to explain why: The human body both attracts energy (responding to our environment and the stimulus coming to it) and generates energy at the cellular level, Egoscue explains.
Cells absorb nutrients and give up waste, he says. The faster that exchange happens, the healthier your cells are. And the muscular skeletal system is what fuels this entire process, generating what’s often referred to as the metabolic rate. (The higher the metabolic rate, the healthier your body is.)
The more congruent and balanced you are in your muscular, skeletal, and neurological systems, the more energy you’re using, Egoscue notes. But the healthier the cells are, the more energy you’re generating too.
When your muscular skeletal system isn’t aligned, your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to process hard-to-digest foods, and you might wind up with bowel issues or inflammatory conditions such as diverticulitis, Egoscue explains. If you’re not structurally balanced, fitness might not feel good physiologically. Some exercises might even hurt. And if you don’t have a high energy rate, it’s all too easy to see the world in a negative light, he notes.
So body alignment proves imperative. It serves as the foundation for recruiting the right muscles to absorb nutrients, move through a workout, have enough energy for positive and uplifting thoughts, or sleep deeply through the night.
That’s why Egoscue cofounded Elev8d Fitness. The dynamic workouts (performed four times a week for only eight or 16 minutes a day) are rooted in eight core movements that ensure the load-bearing joints work their full range of motion. These foundational moves also align your joints and bring long-overdue oxygenated blood to areas that need it most, helping you feel energized.
“If you want energy all day, what you think and what you do and what you believe matter,” Egoscue says. “But the most important component of that is the body that’s coming to all of those things.”