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Fitness is one of the most essential elements of a healthy lifestyle. But it can either be an invigorating joy or pure hell â€“yes, fatigue is painful. We asked our multi-perspective expert sources for the best advice and tips on getting the energy to make exercise feel indulgent.
AI: Itâ€™s hard to enjoy a workout when youâ€™re dragging and panting through it. But some of those tempting energy drinks, so prevalent now, can backfire (not pretty), and their stimulants stress and wear down the nervous system. What are the best natural, energy-enhancing and health-promoting tonics, remedies or strategies that set us up for an indulgent experience at the gym? Or on the track, court, beach, in the studio, pool . . .
The Chinese Herbalist/Accupucturist : Susan Mosley, LAc, Dipl. C.H.
p(. “I prescribe Health Concerns (brand) formula ‘full force’ with astragalus, used by Chinese athletes for centuries. Astragalus is a natural herb proven to boost heart function and improve cardiac output, increasing energy and endurance.”
Compared to caffeine, you feel very up, but without the jolt. When you depend on most common stimulants, over the long run your going to have to pay for it. But these herbs are Adaptagens, meaning they increases resistance to stress; theyâ€™re restorative and have a balancing influence on physiology â€“ versus the crash and burn effects of stimulant drugs.
â€œFull forceâ€ formula also contains eleuthero root (ci wu jia) for endurance. Propolis and ligustrum (nu zhen zi) act as cofactors with astragalus. The herbs are provided in an alcohol tincture form to enable maximum absorption and rapid uptake for use prior to any performance activity.
Additional Chinese herbs for a sustained, constitutional energy boost include, Astra 8, Power Mushrooms, and/or Astra Essence. These herbs donâ€™t lose their effect over time like many drugs. The results are cumulative, natural and normalizing. Purchasing info at www.fourseasonswellness.com.
more info on astragalus
The Naturopathic Physician: Darren Fink, N.D.
The right multi-vitamin and mineral supplement will make a real difference in how you feel both before and after exercise. Look for formulas made from whole food sources. Itâ€™s actually possible to get a toxic level of synthetic nutrients (found in most supplements), but with natural, organic (meaning carbon-based) nutrients, the body is able to quickly throw away what it doesnâ€™t need. More importantly, it can immediately use what it does need, if the nutrients are organic. This bioavailability supplies nutrition you can feel. Liquid vitamins also are typically more available and absorb better. The best product Iâ€™ve found is called Ultracore. It has all the synergists and co-factors the body needs to best utilize the nutrients. Ultracore is a blend 100% carbon-based, pharmaceutical-grade compounds, in a carbon solution, that is aged in vulvic acid and oxygen. This aging process ensures every cell in body gets nutrients and fast. It causes the separate isolates to merge into one food. This formula rushes electrolytes into every cell, so physical performance is enhanced naturally. It makes working out indulgent because those electrolytes are essential to recover and repair. When you get those essential nutrients, your energy is better after workout â€“itâ€™s a long-term energy enhancer. Not a short-term rush. Give your body the nutrients it needs in the form it was created to receive them for long-term feel good fitness.
The Yogi: Mark Blanchard, Certified Yoga. Instructor
What youâ€™re doing during the yoga practice IS the energizing tonic because the breathing techniques used release chemicals and hormones from your adrenal cortex that cause energy to flow. Breath is more important than anything in fitness and Yoga optimizes the breathâ€”itâ€™s naturally stimulating. I use the _ujayi _breath, which translates, â€œexpanding successâ€. This technique balances the life force and optimizes oxygen levels, which releases stress from the body. When trapped tension is released, more energy is freed up. The breath (always through the nose, not the mouth) also fills every cell with the proper volume of life force, so the body is energized. In many other exercises, life force is lost through mouth breathing. This is why my Progressive Power Yoga workouts are challenging yet relaxing.
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Ahh, the beloved endorphinâ€”for years, studies have shown that physical activity triggers the release of these feel-good hormones, but recently, scientists have been focusing their attention on creative activity as well. Turns out, the coveted endorphin rush that comes from physical activity , can also be attained by picking up a guitar and strumming out your favorite song. Art Therapy, as it has been labeled by the medical world, has even been proven to reduce stress levels, shorten recovery times and reduce the use of pain medicationâ€”just imagine what it can do for mid-week burnout.
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