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Energy in. Energy in!

by Jacinta Plazzer on December 08, 2022

Sitting at a cafe in Yeppoon recently, I was trying to read and enjoy my early morning coffee, but a young woman nearby was talking loudly on her phone, distracting me from my book. She was in her early twenties, and what struck me about her was that she was constantly yawning whilst talking on the phone.  As yawning is contagious, I started to feel like my energy was being zapped!  It did strike me as odd that someone so young and fit-looking could have such little energy. But alas it was a Saturday morning, and I surmised that I would have been yawning a lot early on a Saturday morning at that age too!

Fortunately, lack of energy after a late night out is easily rectified by a decent night's sleep the following night (plus an afternoon nanna nap).  However, overall sluggishness and lack of energy is not so easily attainable.  This is partly because we are all racing around between work, school runs, shopping, cleaning, and all manner of activities. Covid has changed our schedules so much, we have been forced to slow down and cut back on many of the activities that used to zap us of energy - that long, tiring commute in traffic now seems like a distant memory!

Other than sleep, which recharges our batteries so to speak, the real energy for our bodies comes from the food we consume. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins, in that order, are the fuel for our body.  And this energy is measured in kilojoules or calories. 

Our energy requirements vary depending on so many factors, from our height and weight, to how active we are in our daily life, whether we are pregnant or breastfeeding, young or old! The general requirement for adults, in order to maintain their weight, is an intake of 8700 kilojoules per day.

You might find that if you do lots of exercise, especially when you are not used to it, you feel very tired and ravenously hungry!  So much for exercise giving us energy.  The Yeppoonie Smoothie philosophy is that exercise doesn't have to be painful, boring and take up a lot of time. We follow the 80/20 rule ourselves...80% food focus and 20% exercise. You have to work out what balance works for you.

Personally I am a fan of urban hiking. Basically instead of taking to the bush, which I also like to do, I don my walking shoes, pack some water and earphones, and walk around Yeppoon. I always throw a few steep hills into my walk to push myself.  I find this exercise is easy (except the hill bits), lots of fresh air, mentally more stimulating than the gym or the clothesline if you will, and I always stop at a cafe for a caffeine fix midway through my walk!  I don't get extra hungry so don't need to fill myself up on extra food, a smoothie for lunch suffices!  It is also not too strenuous that I feel tired and warn out by late afternoon, which is one thing I used to struggle with when I trained hard at the gym.

So light exercise, coupled with a focus on healthy eating, is the key to meeting your energy needs...and a good night's sleep too...especially if you are in your early twenties and hitting the bars!


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