First of all let me apologize to those of you who read my articles on a weekly basis. Over the last several weeks, I have been tied up with a pretty big project at my home in Edmond.
It seems turning a separate two car garage into a guest house is more of a project than I anticipated. The process of tearing down old and putting up new walls, removing garage doors, painting, trimming etc…has been quite a treat (sarcasm!). It seems all this additional work has drained my emotional and physical energy pulling me away from more important things (time with family, work, & writing). Anyway, this leads me to the subject at hand…Energy!
Do you have enough for all the things you would like to accomplish on a daily basis?
Or perhaps, as you’ve aged, you have gradually adjusted or limited what you do throughout the day to meet your declining energy levels?
Do you feel like you are sometimes running on stress alone only to later crash for days at a time?
The reality is… most of us modify what we do based on how we feel, whether we realize it or not. In fact, most of us remember a time when our energy was seemingly unlimited. So what happened?
Energy levels can be affected by several factors (mood, sleep quality, hydration, cellular nutrition, caloric intake, etc…). But, how do we improve our overall energy levels?
Before I answer that question, I want set up a little bit of a foundation which we can build upon later.
The true key to energy is a chemical called ATP or Adenosine Tri-phosphate (Stay with me here!). The more ATP we have, the more energy we have for cellular, tissue, and organ function. In non-science/nerd talk this translates into an extra round of golf, extended shopping, or additional quality time with the spouse (insert wink here).
Each one of our 75 or so Trillion cells has multiple manufacturers of ATP called mitochondria (you may remember from science class).
If these mitochondrial manufacturers of ATP are not producing enough (poor diet, high stress, hormonal decline, excessive alcohol consumption, excess weight) or if they are tied up with other activities (i.e. removal of environmental chemicals, fighting infection) … energy levels decline.
For example, when you’re sick with the flu, you have no energy because your entire system is tied up fighting off a virus (not to mention dehydration, decreased caloric intake, etc…).
Having an abundance of ATP also means:
> Having an efficient immune system for preventing cancer and fighting off infections.
> Metabolizing the food we eat more efficiently (i.e. using it to produce energy rather than storing it as fat!)
> Enhancing our natural detoxifying abilities (liver, GI, cellular)
> Optimizing our natural production of antioxidants (i.e. slowing down the aging process!)
> Maintaining better mood, energy, vitality, and sex drive!
Essentially, every aspect of life and living is related to our production of this simple chemical.
Later this week, I will send out the follow-up article Understanding your Energy: Part II where I will answer the two important questions posed earlier in this article…
1) What happens to our energy as we age?
2) How do we get our energy back?
Please continue to send me your feedback and questions!
Brian Lamkin, DO