“It was stressful, so I went to the gym.”WHAT?!
I have seen this scene a couple of times in TV Shows or maybe movies:
Some jacked dude picks up the phone. There is a woman on the other side. She wants to meet. He says something along the lines of:
“It was a stressful day at work, so I went to a gym. I am going to take a quick shower and join you in town.”
It sounded ridiculous to me. If he was stressed – why didn’t he have a nap?! The gym is the last place I think of when I am tired!
Enter Tony Robbins
I always wanted to go to a Tony Robbins seminar. Trought his career he has coached presidents, movie stars, business tycoons and thousands (or probably millions) of regular folks. This man is a machine.
His “entry-level” seminar is called “Unleash the Power Within” and focuses on helping you raise your standards and commit to a better quality of life. If you get a chance – it may be the best investment of your life.
Apart from many takeaways, 2 things stood up for me in regards to fitness and energy:
- We spent a bulk of time on dialing in the health. In the western culture we view our bodies as mere vehicles for the brain (Read here how I blame Plato and Aristotle), but the physical well-being is the engine powering our mental capabilities and the source of energy. We learned that the plant-based diet is right for you, that most of us don’t hydrate enough and even that somehow, the modern folk have lost the way to breathe correctly.
- These four days were 16-18 hours long. There was no slowing down, almost no food or breaks, and yet, I was pumped and full of energy throughout!
The key was alternating lectures with proprietary SYA technique. The SYA technique stands for Shake Your Ass.
It was also way more joyful!
And did we shake our asses like there is no tomorrow! The movement generated energy that helped us keep focus, improved learning, and enhanced the attention.
We also had Pitbull to help us.
The stress and exhaustion we sometimes experience in the modern world are radically different than what our bodies were accustomed to. We face no real danger from our overbearing bosses, nor do we have to fight for our lives daily, even though it feels that way. Physical activity gets your blood flowing, nourishing your cells, and restocking all the supplies. It grounds you in what is real and immediate.
Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz in the “Power of Full Engagement” agree with Tony Robbins. Cycling periods of physical activity with rest is the key to maintaining energy. Switching gears – mentally and physically – is the key to rest, not inactivity.
“The best way to manage your energy is to balance spending with replenishing.”
Sitting all day uses your mental energy, but let’s be honest – you are not moving much. Your exhaustion is mental, even though it feels the same way as physical.
And, counter-intuitively, after a long, stressful day of work, the physical activity lets me gather my thoughts and rest.
According to Tony Robbins, there are
Eight gifts of pure energy
- Vital breathing and lymphasizing
- Breathe through your diaphragm, inhaling deeply
- Jump around, helping your lymph system to work
- Living water and live foods
- Drink water, for goodness sake
- Eat real food, ideally full of water – stuff that is green! (Except green cheese)
- Essential Oils
- No, not the magical aromatic ones. The ones like Olive Oil or Avocado. Monosaturated fats.
- Again, eat green stuff. It’s alkaline.
- Aerobic energy
- SHAKE. YOUR. ASS
- Maximum nourishment
- Just eat real food, mkay?
- Structural alignment and maximum strength
- DO strength training.
- Directed Mind and heart
- Be a nice person. Don’t dwell on how people have wronged you. Think nice thoughts
Even though it all sounds a little woo-woo, it’s precisely what the doctors always said we should do. The more we keep dismissing all that as “basic”, the more critical it is to remind ourselves that we have bodies that need nourishment, water, and movement. We cannot keep punishing ourselves with Twinkies, Pizza, and beer and expect to be strong and healthy.
We are somehow infected with the idea that good things have to be hard, inconvenient, and/or disgusting. It is all, of course, a matter of mindset, but physical activity can very well support mental performance. You have to get over your lazy self and shake your ass.
You’ll see you’ll feel better afterward and will have more energy to send these emails you’ve been putting off.