If you’ve been working all day, whether it’s at your job or business, working in your garden, or keeping up with the housework, you may find yourself pretty tired at the end of the day. And if you typically ride after work, you’re likely to be wiped out long before you put a foot in the stirrup.
I’ve been there and it’s no fun! I don’t know about you, but I want to feel calm because I’m centered and grounded, not because I’m so fatigued I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.
There are thousands of ways to revive your energy – (just type a “how to get energy” in the Google search bar. I came up with about 2,450,000,000 results (0.79 seconds). Don’t feel like scrolling through several thousand articles? You’re in luck! I’ve done some of the searching for you.
The three types of exercises I chose are quick, simple, and free, (and none of them involve heading through the Starbucks drive-through on the way to the barn!)
You might think I talk about breathing a lot, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s because I do. Using your breath in a mindful way can help you feel energized, calm, confident, or peaceful. The value of breathing exercises can’t be overstated – it goes with us wherever we go, and it’s even free!
Why it works: Deep breathing, which is also called belly breathing or abdominal breathing, brings more oxygen into your body. According to an article by Dr. Mehmet Oz on sharecare.com, Nitric oxide is drawn into your lungs when you practice deep breathing. Nitric oxide opens up airways and blood vessels in and around your lungs. Put better breathing in, and you’ll see improvements in your energy and overall health.
The links below take you to a few different sites with breathing exercises. I usually recommend that my students and clients try out a few different exercises. Try to remember to do the exercise 2 or 3 times a day for at least a few days. That will allow you to decide if you like the exercise and if you feel like it’s helping. If you try an exercise you absolutely hate, move on to the next one. (I’m sure you’ll find something that works in the 54,600,000 results that Google pulled up for me ( in 0.65 seconds) when I searched “deep breathing for energy”.
Gaiam, a well-respected wellness site, suggests a one-minute breathing exercise that’s based on yogic principles. Very effective, and it can be done simply, easily, and quickly!
A quick explanation of Integrative Medicine given by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Integrated medicine (or integrative medicine as it is referred to in the United States) is practicing medicine in a way that selectively incorporates elements of complementary and alternative medicine into comprehensive treatment plans alongside solidly orthodox methods of diagnosis and treatment.
“Integrated medicine is not simply a synonym for complementary medicine. Complementary medicine refers to treatments that may be used as adjuncts to conventional treatment and are not usually taught in medical schools. Integrated medicine has a larger meaning and mission, its focus being on health and healing rather than disease and treatment. It views patients as whole people with minds and spirits as well as bodies and includes these dimensions into diagnosis and treatment. It also involves patients and doctors working to maintain health by paying attention to lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, quality of rest and sleep, and the nature of relationships.”
Integrated Health is becoming more mainstream in the United States as patients and doctors seek ways to treat the person as a whole entity, rather than dozens of specific parts. Deep breathing is good for the whole body, not just your brain, or lungs, or heart.
Not the “hire a U-Haul truck, pack up all of your furniture and head across the country” sort of move, more like the “let’s go for a walk, or dance in the kitchen (or clean stalls, groom, ride, etc).
Paradoxically, we’re often dealing with pain that limits the very thing that will make us feel energized – movement.
I am not, I repeat, I am NOT a doctor or other medical professional. You need to speak with your health care provider before you embark on any new exercise program. Be ready with specific questions on what exercises would be beneficial, and which to avoid to keep you strong, keep you healthy, reduce your pain, and ramp up your energy. You can speak with your doctor or physical therapist about what exercises can actually improve your pain while they give your energy a boost.
I don’t know about you, but when it’s hot like it is here in Virginia at the moment, I drink a LOT of water. I have 2 quart-size water bottles as well as a 20-ounce one. They’re stainless steel and double-walled so they don’t leave damp rings on my desk as I work. They also go with me when I go to the barn, work in the garden, or take any drive that’s more than 15 minutes.
According to an article in cnet, water can make you more energized.
“Drinking more water gives you more energy to do anything from strenuous physical feats to staying awake at your desk after lunch. Many studies have shown that dehydration lowers athletic performance, making you feel sluggish and off your game. It can also cause you to feel tired or sleepy, so if you’re getting enough sleep but can’t keep your eyes open, you may need to just up your water intake.
One study suggested that being dehydrated hurts physical performance for any activity longer than thirty seconds. Even if you don’t work out for hours on end, short flights of stairs or walking around the city you live in will feel much easier if you’re hydrated.”
I tend to sweat a lot, so it’s important for me to stay hydrated. I keep track of how many bottles I’ve consumed during the day by putting colored elastic bands around my bottle – 1 for each bottle I’d like to drink during the day. So if I want to drink 4 quarts, I’ll put 2 elastic bands on the lower section of each quart-sized bottle. When I finish a quart, I just roll the elastic higher on the bottle. When all of my bands are near the top of the bottles, I know how much water I’ve had during the day.
So now you have a few things to do during the day that can help your energy levels, and also improve your overall health – helping you be the owner your horse deserves for many years to come.
Until next time, Love Your Horse, Love Your Life, Love Your Self