Creating Your Own Sources of Renewable Energy

Creating Your Own Sources of Renewable Energy

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put on a solar panel hat and run all day on the fuel and energy that would generate? Well, you do use the sun as a source of energy, replenishing your supply of vitamin D. But on any given day you need a lot of renewable energy from a lot of sources to fuel your body, your brain and your spirit! And sometimes it feels like it’s in short supply.

To help you power through those days when you don’t have the energy you need to get in 10,000 steps, think through that project at work or solve some challenge at home (sound familiar?), we’ve got some surprising ways you can renew your energy, improve your health and increase your vitality.

What produces energy in your body?

  • Energy in your body comes from the mitochondria in each cell (that is the mini-battery that launches your metabolism by offering glucose, fat and protein to your muscles, which gets you moving).
  • Energy is also converted in the liver, where glucose that feeds each cell and powers the brain is both produced and stored.
  • In the muscles, stored energy is converted into the energy of motion through a combination of nerve impulses, glucose and fat burning, as well as a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

How to cultivate renewable energy resources
Fuel #1: Optimism. Research shows that having positive expectations when faced with tough situations early in life leads to better health and a lower rate of death decades later. Seems that folks who are more optimistic gravitate toward healthier lifestyles, are able to adjust to physical and mental challenges and can solve or resolve them. Can’t you just feel how that boosts your energy?

Cultivating optimism: If you’re more of a gloomy Gus than a merry Mary, you can still change your point of view. Psychologists suggest training yourself to question negative reactions, which will shift you toward a more optimistic attitude. So, when you’re feeling pessimistic, ask yourself:

  • “Am I really to blame, or was it bad luck, the situation or other people?”
  • “How long will it last? Will it always be like this or will it pass?”
  • “What does this really affect in my life? What will remain unaffected?”

Fuel #2: Friendship and generosity. Friendships provide support, stress reduction and security—in short, the emotional backstop you need to tackle challenges of daily life. One study found that when you have strong social relationships your odds for survival over a given period of time are 50 percent greater than folks who are isolated. But, remember, the energy you get from friendship derives as much (or more) from giving as receiving.

Cultivating Friendship and generosity: If you want to increase your circle of friends, become more generous. Listen, ask questions and volunteer to lend a hand. That builds bonds between you and your acquaintances, reduces your stress level and lifts the blues. The more energy you expend for others, the more you are re-fueled.

Fuel #3: Smart lifestyle choices. Being undernourished and overfed plus being under-exercised and over-sedentary (the condition of most American adults!) are energy drains. But if you put good fuel into your body and then burn it up daily with physical activity and productive thought, you’ll be rewarded with enduring energy and a younger RealAge.

Cultivating smart lifestyle choices: The first step is to ditch highly-processed foods and red and processed meats; opt for nine servings of produce daily. Say no to all sugary beverages. Next step? Walk 10,000 steps a day; do two 30-minute strength-building workouts weekly; get 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. 

In no time, you’ll discover the more energy you put out, the more energy you’ll have!

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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