Staying fit and energetic involves so much more than sticking to your workout routine and consuming your five-a-day. When you are feeling tired, stuck in a plateau or unmotivated, there are many additional steps you can take to rise up the rungs of your personal fitness goal ladder. Natural ways to feel fitter and more energetic include resting better at night, consuming specific foods and where necessary, considering supplementation to boost your own Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels. Read on for these 4 Natural Ways to Boost Your Fitness!
1. Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
What is HGH and why is it important for fitness? This hormone, produced by your pituitary gland, plays various roles in your body, including aiding weight loss, injury recovery, cell repair and metabolism. As you age, your HGH naturally declines, which can make you feel less energetic during and after workouts. To boost HGH levels in a chemical free way, obtain a good night’s sleep, lose weight if you have a higher-than-ideal BMI and make sure to consume sufficient amounts of protein (since low amino acid levels lower the rate of HGH production). Supplements that can help include arginine (take it when you’re not exercising) and melatonin (which should be taken before bedtime), has been found to raise HGH levels by an impressive 150%.
2. Outdoor exercise
It can be difficult to improve fitness levels when routine sets in and you begin to feel less motivated. One recent study published in Environmental Science & Technology found that “exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, depression and increased energy.” Exercise in the great outdoors has also been shown to burn more calories, owing to factors such as changes in the terrain, wind resistance, unexpected obstacles, etc. Take a look at our review of Tri-Adventure.
3. Reduce your sugar intake
Diets which are high in refined sugars play havoc with your energy levels and can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and an expanded waistline. Carbohydrates are important before and after working out but try to obtain yours from healthy sources such as seasonal veggies and fruits, which are low on the glycemic index (GI).
4. Incorporate mindfulness
To keep stress levels down and enhance your focus during work and workouts alike, consider the value of including activities such as yoga or Tai Chi into your weekly fitness programs. Not only will these activities help you gain strength and flexibility, they’ll also significantly lower your stress levels, enhance your mood and give you greater vitality. Mindfulness-based activities are being used by top international athletes such as Derek Jeter, The Seattle Seahawks and Kobe Bryant to maintain the calmness required to stay intensely focused on their goals and to feel constantly rejuvenated and invigorated.
Boosting your fitness isn’t always about simply burning more calories, lifting more weight or pushing beyond your limits. It also involves making important dietary changes, resting sufficiently and working on your mental health and wellbeing. The focus of 21st century medicine is fast taking a more integrated approach to health and fitness, so why shouldn’t you take the time to find out what truly works for you? Let us know what ‘diets’, foods and/or training methods you’ve used in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! (Why not check out our other fitness articles?)