• Certified Fitness Trainer

Energy is a natural resource in short supply, especially for the 100 million Americans who are suffering from a chronic or incurable illness. Just thinking of everyone who needs you can sap out what little energy you have left. Maybe you feel like you can't possibly get it all done. But you know you HAVE to. People depend on you every day. Your family. Your friends. Your coworkers. Your clients. Even your pets! To meet the demands of life today, you can't afford to have your energy depleted. So, here are some ways to easily boost those levels right away.

1. Aerocize. I was speaking with a friend yesterday who has Lyme disease. He is so ill he literally cannot exercise. He was depressed. I suggested he go out his door (get as bundled up as necessary) and close the door. Take in deep breaths for 10 minutes. He could not believe how much better he felt. If where you are is smoggy, or if there is no way you can get outside, get an air purifier, and you will have the benefits of the negative ions anyway.

3. Exercise is the energy creator. Move your body, no matter how little. If you cannot even move your ankle or wrist joints around in circles, imagine yourself doing it. You know you need it, so why fight it? Take a walk, even if it is winter. If you can't walk outside, walk in a mall. Stretch. Elongate those tight muscles. Dance! Put on your favorite music and move around (again if you cannot move even minimally, imagine yourself doing this.) It feels so good. If you cannot exercise today, at least visualize doing it in your mind. You all know the story of the P.O.W. from Vietnam who was imprisoned for 8 years, never exercising. Every day he visualized playing golf, stroke by stroke. The day he got home; he got the best score in golf in his life. The bottom line is we are meant to move. The nervous and endocrine systems need stimulation to release endorphins (those feel-good, energy-enhancing chemicals).

4. Pump up your energy in your attitude. Think of life as a school. When you quit learning, you begin dying. Open your mind; learn something new every day.

5. Clutter is the silent Energy Sucker. Are you surrounded by clutter? It has a real physical effect on your energy levels. Don't worry. I'm not asking you to clean out your garage or over-stuffed closet all at once. Set a timer and take 15 minutes a day to de-clutter your space. It is all about baby steps.

6. What goes in shows on the outside. Keep your water intake high! Studies show a lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or a printed page. Thirsty yet?

7. Let it go. There is a direct relationship between buried anger and energy levels. Holding onto guilty or not moving on in your life hurts you more than it hurts anyone else. It only helps you physically and energetically to acknowledge that people have their limitations. Forgiving and letting go is a selfish act you do to make yourself feel better. Be a little selfish!