Dr. David Friedman on The Secret Link Between Routine and Energy

Content By: Ari Whitten

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Dr. David Friedman is the international award-winning author of the #1 best-selling book, Food Sanity – How to eat in a world of fads and fiction. He’s a Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist, And Chiropractic Neurologist. Dr. Friedman is also the host of the To Your Good Health Radio Program.

Routines Are a Part of Life

The problem is that most cities have between 50 and 1000 different restaurants. Yet, people eat at the same place and order the same food and drink. They drive to work the same way every day. They watch the same shows on TV. This routine creates a lack of new input to the brain, which results in low energy. – Dr. David Friedman

Human beings are creatures of habit, and most of us tend to eat and drink the same things, take the same route to work, and watch the same shows over and over again. While this makes our lives more comfortable, it may cause fatigue in the long run as these actions don’t stimulate the brain or supply it with any new input. 

So, how does routine affect your brain? Read on to find out.

How Your Routines Affect Your Brain

I interviewed actor William Shatner on my radio show, and he’s almost 90 years old. He has more energy than most people half his age do. So, I asked him, “What’s your secret to having so much energy and love for life?” And he told me this: “The key to energy is to say yes to opportunities that come your way. Stop making excuses.” 

– Dr. David Friedman 

Have you ever wondered why your childhood memories are of those endless summers filled with wonders and new adventures? Yet, as you get older, time just seems to fly by, and before you know it another year has passed. Why is that?

One of the main reasons why time seems to fly by as you get older can be found in the brain. As children, we experience new things, smells, sounds, and events, and because of that, the brain creates thousands of neuronal synapses per minute to store all this new information. As we get older and stuck in routines, however, the lack of new experiences reduces our neuronal synapses to just a few hundred per minute. By the time we reach the age of 60, most of us have fewer than 100 synapses per minute. 

In other words, as you start developing routines and sticking to them, you might be robbing your brain of vital input that keeps it young and healthy. This might be expressed in lethargy, depression, and fatigue.

How to Change Your Routines

I have a patient who is a realtor. He told me he was feeling lethargic, depressed, and his business was lousy. He had nothing to look forward to. I challenged him to do one new thing a day, and I told him his energy level would go up. He took me up on that challenge and took a new route to work. He noticed a coffee shop he had never seen before, and he stopped to get his morning coffee. He met a lady there who noticed he was wearing a realtor name tag, and she told him that she was looking for a realtor to list her house. He ended up listing a $1.2 million house from this lady all because he stepped outside his daily routine. On his next visit, he had energy like I’ve never seen. His whole face was just filled with life. – Dr. David Friedman

Fortunately, breaking out of your old routines is simple and affordable. First off, say yes to the opportunities life gives you. Then stop making excuses. Stop putting things off for a “better time.”  

In the beginning, it may seem overwhelming, but it is easy. Just do one new thing a day. 

Here are a few ideas of what to do: 

  • Meet new people
  • Listen to some new music
  • Take a different route to work
  • Sleep on the other side of the bed
  • Try a new dish
  • Go to a new restaurant
  • Watch a movie genre that you otherwise wouldn’t

These changes in your daily routine will give your brain new input and something to look forward to. As a result, you may see a great surge in your energy levels. 


Doing the same things day in and day out and not trying new things could hinder your brain from gaining new input which is critical for optimal brain function. The lack of new inputs is likely to, in turn, cause you to feel demotivated, depressed, and fatigued.

The best method to boost your brain function and energy levels is to make small changes to your daily routine such as eating at a new restaurant, ordering a different dish off the menu, or taking a new route to work. All these small steps will improve your brain function and boost your mood, motivation, and energy levels.

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