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How to Feel Like You’re Running on Rocket Fuel

How to Feel Like You’re Running on Rocket Fuel


    I won’t lie. I used to hate waking up. Waking up was the first reminder that I had an insane list of tasks to accomplish and not nearly enough time to do so.

    I’ve found that there are good and bad ways to wake up. The normal way (miserably drag yourself out of bed as the alarm blares, eat a rushed breakfast, drive to work praying that you won’t be late) is the bad way; it sucks. It starts your day off with tinges of misery and stress.

    Fortunately, I have found that if I am intentional I can optimize how I wake up to feel full of mental and physical energy that erupts through the day and leaves me feeling calm, happy, and productive.

    Below are four ways I’ve found to add huge doses of mental and physical energy to my day by kicking the morning off right. Any one action will work well – if you combine all four you’re going to feel like an absolute rockstar.

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    Wake up naturally (sort of) 

    The glow of electric lighting, computer screens, phones, and tablets, have made it addictively easy for us to stay up unnaturally late. Consequently, we need wildly irritating alarm clocks to wake us up in the morning.

    The first step to feeling like you’re running off of rocket fuel is to change (ever so slightly) how you wake up and go to sleep.

    First go to bed when you’re tired. I know, clicking one last link, watching one last episode, or having one last drink feels like it will bring infinite happiness in the moment. But it won’t. Did it last night, or any other night? No, of course not.

    Resist the urge to stay up watching tv or looking at things online. Instead once you start to feel tired, read a book in bed until you drift away.

    Now start waking up at the same time every single day. Doing these two things alone is going to adjust your sleep cycle to a more natural one that will leave you feeling rested and energetic in the mornings.

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    However, there is a killer hack to making the entire process even better and to help smooth over the times when you stay up too late. Get rid of your alarm clock, especially if you’re using your cell phone, and replace it with a wakeup light. What’s a wakeup light? It’s an alarm clock designed to mimic the rising of the sun and to wake you up naturally with light.

    Wakeup lights are so incredible that after two days of using mine, my girlfriend bought one for herself.

    Wake your body up

    Now that you’re awake and hopefully out of bed, it’s time to charge your body, and the trick to doing that is exercise. The best thing to do is find some sort of exercise that fits well with your lifestyle and then start small.

    Personally, I’m a runner. I like running because it gives me time to myself, gets me outdoors, and I can do it anywhere. I run at least three days a week. The other days I swing a kettlebell on my roof or jump rope in my room.

    If you’re not already in an exercise routine, that’s cool. Pick an exercise you think you may enjoy (or if not enjoy, at least one that you won’t hate) and start small – like five minutes a day – then slowly add more time.

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    Exercising in the morning wakes your body up and keeps you healthy.

    Clear your mind

    So, you’ve started the day with as much energy as possible and fueled your body up with exercise. Now it’s time to optimize your mind for happiness and performance.

    You have to find something that will help you focus, and give you the opportunity to clear your mind. Personally, I like to meditate for a few minutes. Like exercise, it’s completely cool to start small. I started at two minutes a day, and each week I added a minute. Now, I’m up to 12 minutes a day. I plan to keep doing this until I hit 20 minutes.

    You don’t need to meditate to optimize your mind. The trick is to find an outlet that helps clear your mind and train your focus. You can write a list of things you want to accomplish for the day, make a gratuity list, go for a walk around the block, do a soduku or crossword, write etc.

    Just make sure that you are exercising your focus and creating and opportunity to rid your mind of the residue from the day(s) before and the day(s) ahead.

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    Ride the wave

    Now that your mind and body are awake, it’s time to set yourself up ride the wave all day long. The way to do this: put awesome foods into your body.

    Many of us skip breakfast, or have something very light which is a bad idea if you want to feel like you have rocket fuel coursing through your veins. Instead have a power breakfast.

    Power breakfasts are healthy breakfasts that have a solid mix of carbs and protein, and a bit of fat to keep you feeling great. My two favorites: smoothies (mine are kind of crazy with greens, nuts, fruit, chocolate, and whole milk) and eggs, beans, and bagel.

    Eating a power breakfast will give you the fuel you need to keep your mind and your body alert and active throughout the day.

    I’ve tried many things, but the above routine has been my most effective so far. What about you? What tricks have you found to make yourself feel like you are running on rocket fuel all day long?

    (Photo credit: White Rocket in the Sky via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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