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How to Energize Your Brain and Body

Renowned Healthy Aging Educator Miranda Esmonde-White Shares Some Effective Exercises

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Miranda Esmonde-White
Miranda Esmonde-White

The Body

Gentle, full body exercise is one of the most efficient ways to boost your energy and make you feel vibrant and well-balanced in your body. Having low energy makes us feel drained and discouraged—with little motivation to get up and move. The best way to prevent this is to understand where energy comes from in the first place and know how to keep it at a consistent level so that we don’t lose it as we age.  

The human body houses energy-producing factories, known as Mitochondria. These cells are found throughout the body and both burn energy (like a furnace) and produce new energy (like a factory) to keep us in motion. The majority of mitochondria are found in our muscles and in the brain, as these are the places that consume the most of our energy. 

There are two actions we must take that will trigger these furnaces and factories to burn fuel and produce energy. One is to nourish our bodies with healthy food (eating a well-balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables; less processed foods). The other is to move our body with the correct kind of exercise. It’s important to note that not all food or exercise programs are healthy and beneficial when it comes to boosting our energy; in fact, certain food robs us of our energy, as do many fitness regimes. 

Correct exercise should give us energy – not take it away! It should prevent injury and pain, not create it. The fitness industry is still in its infancy and we are just realizing that extreme workouts can decrease our energy level, exhaust us, and lead to chronic pain, injury, and rapid aging. Thankfully, there is a happy medium between being sedentary or pushing ourselves to our limits! That being full body, complex movements that are safe enough to prevent injury—while still challenging enough to strengthen all our 650 muscles. 

To create energy in the body, we must activate the mitochondria in each and every muscle in the body. We can safely do that by moving the entire body on all planes using large complex movements, which is the fundamental basics of Essentrics and Tai Chi workouts. When every cell and muscle is activated and engaged with 20-30 minutes of exercise, most people feel revitalized with plenty of energy to spare. 

Try this 90 second workout sequence to improve your energy!

The Brain

The other part of the body we need to energize is the brain, which contains a large percentage of the body’s mitochondria. Being the control center of our body, the brain requires an enormous amount of energy to function properly. The best way to produce energy for the brain—is to use it! The more we use our brain, the more mitochondria are required to both produce and burn energy. This is why brain activity leaves us feeling awake, energized, and stimulated. Exercise has been scientifically proven as one of the most effective methods to prevent brain cells from atrophying over time. The most effective type of brain-body exercise has been found to be complex movements, rather than simple ones. 

Examples of simple movements are walking and eating. When walking, the brain doesn’t have to figure out how to swing our arms or step one leg in front of the other. In our infancy, we figure out how to walk – but from that stage on, our body does it automatically. Complex moves change constantly and require the brain to figure out how to do them. For example: bending to the floor to pick up a heavy bag of groceries, placing the bag on a counter, and putting the various groceries onto different shelves. This sequence requires the brain to communicate how to keep us on balance as we go from bending to standing while twisting and turning of the torso, arms, and legs in sorting out groceries. These types of complex moves are used continuously in Essentrics. They are deliberately designed to ignite and challenge the brain and leave the participant feeling energized, stimulated and blissful.  

Gentle, full-body exercise is your secret weapon to rebooting the powerful calorie-burning mitochondrial furnaces in your muscle cells — keeping you feeling youthful and invigorated at every stage of life! 

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