EXERCISING FOR ENERGY (WHEN YOU HAVE NONE)
Posted by Nicola Elliott
NEOM chats with Kelly Morgan. Our own NEOM expert of wellbeing and fitness, AND the woman in the know about….exercising for energy (when you have none). We all have had that feeling right?
You're tired, it's cold, we’ve just had Blue Monday and you feel like your energy banks have hit a brick wall. (Sigh). So surely doing a workout will make it worse?
Well, not necessarily...
Q It's a conundrum we hear all the time - I need to work out but I don't have the energy. Talk to us about that, is it common? Why?
A Totally common and even more so this time of year. It feels tough to move your body when all you feel like doing is curling up and hibernating.
The thing is, exercise can really help our body release and create more energy into our cells, and so even though it can feel counter-intuitive, exercise can actually help us feel more energised.
So a little bit of biology...at the cellular level, there are tiny organs called mitochondria and they work like tiny power plants to produce energy. So the more mitochondria you have, the more able you are to produce energy. And the more you get your body, the more mitochondria your body makes giving you, more energy!
The key is to start small, make that difference to you and then keep going.
Q Are there certain exercises that are better to do if you feel low on energy?
A I'm a huge fan of stretching when you wake-up in the morning to re-energise the body to get everything working. Release stuck energy by stretching outside (if you can) outside the back door, terrace, in your garden or on a rooftop! (Mmm we wish). Just 10mins a day is fine - this increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to the muscles and releases tension in the muscles from the previous day or a tight sleeping position.
If you are over-fatigued start small. A low intensity walk in the park is much more conducive than a quick workout in the gym. Research has shown exercising regularly you enhance blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients to the body so that they can be converted to energy more efficiently. More oxygen and nutrients to the brain helps you feel more awake and alert.
Want a little more than this? A quick Tabata-style (HIIT) workout which are short but high intensity. You can do them outside doing a mixture of jogging and running or at the gym on any cardio machine. Start off with 5min warm up, then do 40secs fast and 20secs rest - repeat 8 times then cool down for 5 mins. This takes a total of 18mins. Or try just 20min swimming at a vigorous pace.
Q Quick tips for getting motivated?
A Think about your end goal of exercising well - what will it feel like, what will it look like? Really connect to this vision.
If you are procrastinating about going to do exercise, imagine yourself 15mins after finishing the workout - how will you feel? Will you be grateful? I can't think of a time when I have ever regretted a workout.
Measure your workouts and give your treats when you've hit your targets - maybe a new workout kit, beautiful Neom oils to make you feel amazing. Celebrate the little successes on the way to your goals.
Q When did you feel most energised and YOUR powerful self? Is that directly linked to exercise?
A I always feel most energised and powerful when I’m outside (having run retreats in Ibiza and in Cornwall), there's something about the fresh air and nature that really stimulates me to keep going. Although I’m not necessarily ‘exercising’ I am moving my body, getting air in my lungs and I feel so alive doing this. So I get outside as much as possible - it's so important in winter as well as we are lacking in Vitamin D levels!
Also, don’t forget to do stuff which makes you feel great - so whether it’s taking a long bath, going for a run in nature or chilling on the sofa with your favourite mag, do what feels good.
Q Have you used any of the NEOM energising products? Would you incorporate them into your advice/ other practises? Tips on how/ when to use these for optimum energy?
A I love the NEOM energy products in the morning to get myself going to start the day. Wash, lotion and shower drops – what a trio when used together for real ooompf! Breathing in the oils, first thing, help me feel refreshed, and ready to go, especially when you might not have slept so well (happens to us all.) Use these after your morning stretch and you will feel SO invigorated.
Also, I always recommend the Nourish, Breathe & Energise Hand Balm to everyone to carry around. It’s so fabulous for the pick-me-up in the late afternoon – following the 7/11 technique is also key (breathe in for 7 out for 11 – repeat 3 times) the essential oils literally have you feeling more energised within minutes, instead of going for the normal sugar-hit or cuppa coffee.
Q Any other advice?
A Get your heart rate up, feel a little out of breath – I promise you will increase the energy levels too. A little each day is miles better than loads only once or twice a week. There’s lots of really great small steps in the NEOM campaign you do to get you going. Enjoy, feel good and energised.