Energy: It’s something we all want, yet it’s also something that—in today’s fast-paced, high-tech society—seems to be growing more and more elusive.
Of course, there’s caffeine. But often, we turn to the fields of fitness, nutrition, and psychology to find energy. These industries promise us that if we want to maintain energy, working out, eating right, and reducing stress are the solutions.
Yet, for those of you who exercise daily, fill up on fruits and vegetables, and have a regular meditation practice—why are you still feeling 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 new 8-minute home workout program Elev8d Fitness.
The secret to Energizer Bunny levels, he says, lies within.
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, explains Egoscue.
Cells both 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 digest hard-to-digest foods (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 thought, or sleep deeply through the night.
That’s why Egoscue cofounded Elev8d Fitness. The dynamic workouts (performed four times a week for only 8 or 16 minutes a day) are all rooted in 8 core movements that ensure the load-bearing joints work their full range of motion, explains Egoscue. These foundational moves align your joints and bring long-overdue oxygenated blood to areas that need it most, helping you feel energized—not exhausted.
“If you want energy all day then it’s, of course, what you think and what you do and what you believe,” he says. “But the most important component of that is the body that’s coming to all of those things.”
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