10 Handy Hints for a Mid-afternoon Energy Boost
Often late in the day, a person may start to feel drained of energy. This can pose as a hurdle when that person is due to attend karate that evening because, should this pattern become frequent, it causes a student to continually have to fight their will-power to get to training. Despite the fact that they may feel great after class, and that they know once they arrive they will feel energised, it doesn’t change the fact that they have to literally fight with themselves each week just to get to training. You see, when we are tired we are also unmotivated. Have you ever had a lazy Sunday when you couldn’t even be bothered to get up off the couch to get a drink?
Now at first, because our training is so new and exciting we tend to fight this fatigue rather easily because we are so looking forward to training. But over time, as we become more familiar with our training and it becomes more a case or mastering what we have learnt, this fatigue and lack of motivation caused by it, become bigger and bigger hurdles. This may cause a person all sorts of grief each day they are due to train.
So if you commonly find yourself having to fight fatigue to get to class, keep these handy hints close by.
1. Practise Some Karate At Work or Home
You know once you get to class and get your body moving you will be awake, so why wait? Why not start right now. When you feel that mid-afternoon fatigue coming on, hop up and do some training. It does not have to be much. You might lift yourself slightly from your chair and work in sumo stance briefly. You might sit at your desk practising Uchi-uke block. If you have some private space, try hopping up and going through kata slowly. According to health experts and ‘Parents Magazine’, martial arts practice, even if done for a few minutes is a great way to: clear your mind, cause your brain to release endorphins, increase circulation, relieve muscle tension (which heightens fatigue), increase your oxygen intake and fire up your metabolism; all of which give you more energy.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
The most common cause of daytime fatigue is dehydration. Keep a large bottle of water at your desk, or wherever you may be, all day. Aim to finish it and fill it up again.
3. Snack Healthy
A snack that contains both car- bohydrates and protein is a great combination to give you sustained energy. This will not only help you fight daytime fatigue but will help you through class that evening. Snacks that are high in sugar will give you a quick energy boost but leave you feeling even more fatigued a short time later.
4. Breathe Properly
When you breathe properly you pro- vide your entire body with oxygen to keep it fully powered. Full breath enhances the blood flow to our muscles and this blood supplies our muscles with the required nu- trients they need for activity. As our lungs work as a pump for the lymph system, proper deep breathing helps our lungs pump out toxins via the lymph system. The less toxins that are in our body, the less energy our immune system needs to operate. Most people do not realise that half our energy each day goes to motor- ing our immune system. In fact, research shows many people feel tired mid-morn- ing because the immune system in their stomach is working overtime due to their unhealthy breakfast.
5. Laugh Out Loud
This also causes your brain to release endorphins – chemicals that help you feel awake and refreshed. Have a funny radio station on or go and visit a work desk nearby briefly of someone who can make you laugh. If these are not options, think of some scenes from your favorite comedies or visit www.free- jokes.co.uk.
6. Listen to Music
The beat and rhythm will stimulate your brain, making you feel more alert. Music is a fantastic way to psych yourself up for an upcoming workout. If you can, have a CD player or Walkman with your favourite pick me up tunes as opposed to easy listening radio stations. Also moving to the beat will have the added bonus for your circulation. Listening to music is also recommended for home training.
7. Smell Something Good
Certain scents are proven to increase your attention span and help you to focus. Some suggestions to invigorate the senses: lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, mint, rosemary and peppermint tea. So keep some good scents (even if artificial) around your workspace.
8. Get a Massage or Give Yourself One
Massages stimulate nerve endings, which increase blood flow, which in turn increase energy. It is great for your training to occasionally get to a professional masseuse. Easier methods include taking your shoes off when possible and rubbing them on a foot massager or buy a cheap back massager.
9. Get Up and Stretch
If you get the opportunity to take a break for a few minutes, try stretching. The great thing about stretching is that you can engage in a conversation, drink, eat, whatever while you stretch. Stretching will improve circulation and relieve tension. Plus of course, over time it will make you more flexible for your karate training.
10. Stand Up for Phone Calls
Make it a habit to stand up every time you are on the phone. This simple act will stretch tight muscles, allow us to breathe better, get the blood flowing again and gets us away from staring at a computer screen while talking. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end causes our eyes to overwork leaving us feeling tired. Standing up and even moving around for phone calls breaks the pattern of sitting and staring.
NOW you may not be able to adopt all of these, but the more you can engage in, the better. And these habits should not only go for the days on which you train. Fatigue also causes irritability and detachment. No-one likes a person coming home to share a house with someone who is irritable and wants to sit in front of the TV without interruption. An energetic person will not only have an easier time getting themselves to training but will have a happier and more fulfilled home life.
By Robert Nizic