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Shape Find Your Energy

Shape Find Your Energy

Shape Find Your Energy
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Oomph. Verve. The proverbial pep in your step. So often these seem to go missing and we feel drained of our essential drive. At a time when daily life requires more energy than ever for work, relationships, fitness, and even free time, this ultimate guide will help your body and mind rev back up. Get beyond the coffee cure with science-backed strategies to jump start your morning, stimulate more creative thinking, and transform your powerful stress into motivation. Learn about the superfoods that will spark energy all day long; efficient workouts to build strength and stamina; and even the molecules that are your inner energy source. Then, reconsider rest and the essential role it plays in all of your active accomplishments. Improve your quality of sleep, meditate to calm and heal, and cultivate techniques that inspire and build the confidence you need to be your best… then get back to it!

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United States
Meredith Corporation

in this issue

3 min.
more energy now

In a time of such plenty, a lot of us are living with a deficit. It seems that as the world around us is a supercharged schedule of constant opportunities and expectations, many of us simply can’t summon the spirit to get it all done, at least not without sheer grit and lots of caffeine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 16 percent of all women between the ages of 18 and 44 say they often feel very tired or exhausted in the face of the demands of daily life, and doctors tell us the energy gap may be even wider. “I’d say it’s a top complaint I see in my practice among women between the ages of 25 to 50,” says Holly Phillips, M.D., a New…

3 min.
find your drive

Motivation isn’t just a mental game. “Research is showing that what you eat, how much you sleep, and other factors can directly impact your drive,” says Daniel Fulford, Ph.D., an assistant professor and a clinical psychologist at Boston University. These physical influences affect what’s known as perception of effort, or how much work you think an action will take, which in turn can determine whether you keep pushing forward, Fulford says. Here’s how the process works: Your brain assesses the difficulty of a task or a goal based in large part on your physiological state. “It uses signals, including how hungry or how tired you are, to determine if a physical activity is worth the effort required,” Fulford says. For instance, if you’re exhausted, your brain might evaluate going to the…

5 min.
competitive edge

Nothing energizes you like competition, studies show. It drives you to push yourself harder in the moment, and it also fuels the long term, says Brynne DiMenichi, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist who has researched competition at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “If I’m training for the same half-marathon as my friend, I won’t skip as many runs, and I’ll train harder,” DiMenichi says. “I’ll have that extra motivation to stay on track so I can beat him.” “Competitors are important because they give you a reference point,” says Ashley Merryman, a coauthor of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing. “I could run on my own, but I don’t know how well I’m doing unless I see a person in front of or behind me.” That same instinct takes hold at…

5 min.
build your creative mind

The word creativity calls to mind artistic pursuits like oil painting and playing an instrument. But it’s far more than that. “In psychology, creative refers to generating ideas that are novel and useful,” says Adam Grant, Ph.D., a psychologist, an author, and a professor specializing in organizational psychology at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The benefits of that skill are wide ranging and universal. Navigating your way to the top of a bouldering wall or thinking up the perfect gift for your sister’s birthday requires creativity, as does brainstorming a great idea at work or decorating your home. “Without creativity, the world stands still,” Grant says. “We don’t get innovation. We don’t find ways to improve our lives. Creativity is the lifeblood of improvement and joy.” It’s also…

6 min.
use stress to grow good energy

A whopping 80 percent of people say they’ve recently experienced a physical or emotional symptom of stress like headaches or feeling overwhelmed or depressed, the American Psychological Association reports. And no wonder: “More than ever before, we are being bombarded by negative messages on the news, on our social media feeds, even in conversations with friends,” says Michelle Gielan, the founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and the author of Broadcasting Happiness. This onslaught of negativity creates a sense of helplessness, says Julie K. Norem, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Wellesley College. “We feel we’re at the mercy of outside forces and up against problems that are so big, we can’t envision a solution,” she says. The heightened anxiety makes us revert to high-stress fight-or-flight mode. “We may…

5 min.
joy of the jump start!

“The most effective way to stick to a wellness journey is to get quick results at first. Commit to just three days of lifestyle changes.”—Jasmine Scalesciani-Hawken, founder of Olio Maestro, a detoxification brand CLEANSE YOUR MIND “I like to start any journey with a blank canvas. For example, when I wanted to overhaul my diet, I emptied my kitchen of all foods that weren’t going to make my body feel good. But I also emptied my mind of negative opinions, from others and from myself. Making a shift often starts with the assumption that something is wrong with you. That mind-set led me down decades of yo-yo dieting and thousands of dollars lost on unused gym memberships. When I started my recent health journey, I created a supportive space by surrounding myself…