Women's Interest

EngerG Coaching: Tips for your Lifestyle (March 2014)

Identity Magazine - Wellness Q&A
Written by Ellen Goldman

Why am I always so tired? I exercise a few times a week, and usually go to bed at a decent hour, but I always feel so draggy and lethargic. Any ideas on how to get more energy?

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Appreciate the life you are living and achieve more through EnerG coach, Ellen Goldman. Your questions on balance, motivation and your lifestyle are answered through these simple tips and solutions. Get more out of your life with the help of Identity.


ellen-goldmanEllen Goldman EnerG Coaching

Question: 

I am a pretty disciplined individual, but some days it seems I just can’t get motivated.  Whether it’s exercise, or working on a project, it doesn’t really matter.  I want to get it done, but can’t seem to get in to motion.  Any ideas?

Answer: 

We all have days when we are feeling unmotivated or lethargic.  Sometimes it’s our bodies way of telling us it needs a rest.  So if you don’t have a day in the week where you can kick back and do nothing, or just do what is fun for you, that might be the simple answer.  Build it in to your week, and you’ll come back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

However, if you already do a pretty good job of balancing relaxation time with work time, for the jump-start trick when it really needs to get done, try this.  Tell yourself that you will commit to “working” on the task (exercise/work/cleaning, etc.) for 20 minutes and then you have permission to stop.  Set a kitchen timer or your cell phone alarm.  Chances are once you get started, you’ll persist until it’s done, and just shut and ignore the buzzer.  But if it goes off, and you really can’t seem to get into whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, just reschedule it for another day and time.  When you are totally uninspired, you probably wouldn’t do a good job even if you forced yourself to persist.

Question: 

Last year, my youngest child started school full time, and I started my own business.  For the first time in years, my days are more sedentary than active, as I spend many hours at my home office desk.  I have begun to experience pain, tightness and tension in my neck and shoulders.  I’m working out as I always have, but can’t seem to get rid of the discomfort.  Could my new profession be harming my body?

Answer: 

This a very good chance that your job is wrecking havoc with your body, but that doesn’t mean you need to close up shop.  First, let’s take a look at your desk ergonomics; that’s a fancy way of looking at your efficiency in your working environment.  Are you sitting in a well-constructed task chair, or using an old folding one?  Using a laptop rather than a full screen computer?  Are you on the phone a lot, and if so, do you use a headset?  Investing in a great chair, a full screen monitor and a headset should be your very first business expense.

Keeping you feeling good is essential to the success of your business.  When you work, do you take a break every 60-90 minutes to get up, move your body and stretch a bit?  If not, start setting the timer on your smart phone or computer to go off and remind you to take a break.  Lastly, begin incorporating chest and low back stretches into your workout routine.  With a few adjustments to your work environment and exercise routine, you should be feeling much better very quickly.  And as your business begins to turn a profit, a monthly massage will do you a world of good to ease any aches and pains.  And what a great way to relax and reward your hard work.

Question: 

Why am I always so tired?  I exercise a few times a week, and usually go to bed at a decent hour, but I always feel so draggy and lethargic.  Any ideas on how to get more energy?

Answer: 

Low energy levels and constant fatigue are common complaints for many people.  Often simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference.  First take a look at how well you are nourishing yourself during the day.  Never go more than three and a half to four hours without eating, and make sure all your meals and snacks have a combination of some lean protein, complex carbohydrate and a small amount of healthy fat.  Dehydration, especially in warm environments, often is masked as fatigue.  So drink water or non-caffeinated, low-sugar beverages all day.

When you exercise, work at an intensity level that is enough to give you health benefits, but don’t push way beyond your aerobic capacity.  Pushing yourself to the max will often do more harm then good and cause exhaustion rather than leaving you energized.  Although you go to sleep at a reasonable hour, do you wake up feeling refreshed?  Interrupted sleep, which can be caused by so many different things, could be keeping you from the restorative nature of a good night’s sleep no matter how many hours you spend in bed.

Lastly, an overabundance of stress, without a way to manage it, can lead to feelings of fatigue and depression, and certainly sap your energy.  After making some adjustments to your daily habits, if you are still feeling drained and exhausted, a doctor or other qualified health professional should be consulted to rule out illness, chronic disease or medication side effects.

Question: 

I’ve been working hard to take off a few extra pounds by changing my eating habits and increasing my exercise.  I do great all week, but come the weekend, no matter how careful I think I’ve been, on Monday mornings the scale is back up.  Happy hour on Friday, and dinners out on Saturday and Sunday which include cocktails and wine, are part of what I look forward to all week.  How can I get the excess weight off without giving up my weekend socializing?

Answer: 

Quite often I find that the big difference between the week and weekend is alcohol consumption.  Alcohol and weight loss do not have to be enemies, and an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy diet.  However, too much consumption can lead to packing on the pounds.  Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, and offers no nutritional value, so it only adds empty calories to your diet.  Since many drinks are also made by mixing the alcohol with high calorie juices, syrups or sodas, cocktails could add up to the calories of a small meal.  Coupled with the fact that alcohol lowers our inhibitions and increases appetite, you might be a less diligent about how much you’re eating.

So how can you go out and stay in control?  Take a few minutes before going to remind yourself why it is important to you to lose the weight, and ask yourself, “How do I want to feel when I weigh myself on Monday?”  Make an educated decision before you go about what and how much you will drink.  Wine and light beer has the least amount of calories.  Mix alcohol with either club or diet soda.  Ask the bartender to remove the snacks or put them in front of someone else. Wait to order your drink when your food is served.  If you do have more than one drink, commit to drinking a glass of water or club soda in between.  This will slow the alcohol effects, keep you hydrated and alert.  Keep in mind that your socializing should be about the company you are with, not how much you drink.

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About the author

Ellen Goldman

Ellen Goldman created EllenG Coaching to help overextended business professionals and entrepreneurs who are worried about their health and happiness, and are either exhausted, burnt out, out of shape, overweight, or all of the above! Through her coaching programs, motivational talks and online courses, she shows clients how to integrate health into their busy lifestyles with simple, small steps that lead to massive change, resulting in greater energy, focus, productivity and happiness every day. With 30 plus years experience in the health and fitness industries, working as a personal trainer and certified wellness coach while raising her family, Ellen knows first hand that you do not need to sacrifice your health and happiness to have a successful career. Her mission is to help others thrive both personally and professionally. To learn more about Ellen and her wellness programs, visit www.EllenGcoaching.com

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