If you’re a parent, you’re likely surviving on carefully monitored energy reserves. And while there are plenty of effective strategies to make it easier to plan exercise as a busy parent, scheduling gym sessions or staying active with your kids for example, what about strategies for managing your energy levels?
At MitoQ, we’re firm believers that exercising begins with energy – especially when you lead a busy lifestyle. Here are our top tips for enjoying an active lifestyle when the odds are stacked against you.
Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends adults get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. While most parents and working professionals will agree this is easier said than done, it’s one of the most important health investments you can make. From missed exercise sessions to a reduced energy capacity, studies have concluded that a lack of sleep can have a negative influence on exercise routines. Try to give yourself at least 7 hours of sleep per night so that you have more energy to put into your family, work and exercise.
Fuel your body with healthy foods
If you’re not giving your body the daily nutrition it needs to function properly, it’s going to be difficult to find the energy you need to get through a workout. For a healthy adult diet, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends consistently incorporating fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains into your diet. Additionally, the WHO recommends limiting your consumption of free sugars, saturated fats and salt. For more ideas on how to support exercise through good nutrition habits, read: How to Effectively Fuel Your Training.
Energize with exercise
Ironically, finding energy to exercise can start with – exercise. For an energy boost, invest your time in 20 – 40 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Studies have concluded that this can help you to feel more energetic. Examples of moderate aerobic exercise include going for a vigorous walk, swimming at a comfortable pace, playing a social game of sport, or even just mowing the lawn. If you need some motivation to exercise, keep in mind that the potential benefits include improved mental health, cognitive health, sleep, and overall wellbeing.
Keep it fun and family-friendly
Instead of attempting to divide your energy between multiple areas of your life, try to combine activities – when you can (we definitely don’t advocate strapping your toddler to dumbbells like some Instagrammers do!!). For example, try making a list with your kids of all the physical activities you could do together. These activities could include team games like football or baseball, bike rides, hiking, ice skating or even just jumping on a trampoline together. This will not only support your exercise routine but will also encourage your children to live an active, healthy lifestyle too.
Make it a social event
A 1999 study published by the National Library of Medicine suggests that social support might play a positive role in increasing physical activity. Additionally, the Harvard Study of Adult Development - an ongoing study monitoring health and happiness that has been running for around 80 years – has found that relationship satisfaction plays an important role in our long-term health and happiness. So, exercising socially is a win-win. Whether it’s going for a brisk walk with your loved ones, taking a class with friends or playing a social game of basketball, adding a communal aspect into your exercise routine could help to keep you feeling motivated and positive.
Be mindful of your mindset
Without a goal or motivation, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent exercise routine. So, find ways to keep yourself feeling motivated about working out. Pro Sports Coach Paul Cadman recommends following the SMART goal-setting process. This stands for being Specific about your goals while making them Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and deciding on a Timeline to achieve them within. While you set these goals, try to focus on workouts that you know you’ll enjoy. In the words of LA-based personal trainer, former LA Lakers coach and MitoQ Ambassador Gunnar Peterson, “Find what you like, because you’re more likely to do it.”
Remember that age is just a number
While it’s natural for your body to age, there are many things you can do to help it to age healthily. Exercising and living a healthy lifestyle is key to this and can support your energy levels whether you’re 30 or 70. This is something that integrative physician Dr. Mark Menolascino discovered early on in life: “One of the best lessons in aging I learned was at age 30 when I was hiking, and I was passed by an older individual. I asked him how old he was – he told me he was 71. He was out-hiking me! At that point, I realized that age is just a number. It’s how your body and your cells are aging that makes the difference.”
Take care of your body’s energy source
Taking care of your body and cells starts with supporting your mitochondria – the powerhouses of your cells. Your mitochondria work to create the energy that your body needs to function at its best. However, as we age the function of our mitochondria can start to decline due to dropping levels of antioxidants within them. If this happens, free radicals can build up within your cells and cause damage, leading to reduced energy levels and health niggles.
That’s why we created MitoQ. Unlike all other antioxidants on the market, MitoQ was engineered to be able to get inside mitochondria, where it helps restore balance, optimizing your cells for better energy, resilience, physical performance and recovery, sleep quality, mental focus and longevity. Tracy Anderson (fitness pioneer, mom, founder of the Tracy Anderson Method) says: “When we start to feel the symptoms of poor mitochondrial health – tired, or run-down, or like our energy is lacking – this is kind of a 911 that we need to be doing something about it. I think that just starting with MitoQ is something you can do that’s easy.”
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