Fatigue has both a mental and a physical component. Physical fatigue shows up as a weakness in the muscles that makes it harder for you to do everyday activities.
In contrast, mental fatigue makes it harder for you to concentrate and maintain focus. If you are feeling fatigued, you may have either one or even both of these conditions. So, how can you beat fatigue, regain your verve and put joy back in your step? Check out our top tips to help you beat fatigue and ensure you get the most out of yourself and your day!
In some individuals, failure to eat can cause precipitous drops in blood sugar that can cause flagging energy. Regular eating (three meals a day with healthy snacks such as fresh fruit and nuts in between) ensures a ready supply of fuel.
Avoid meals based on grain-based starches
While we are encouraged to base our diet on starchy staples such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, all these foods tend to cause substantial rises in blood sugar levels. As a result, the body can over-compensate, leading to low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) later on, which commonly manifests itself as fatigue and lethargy. For stable blood sugar and energy levels, the best foods are those that release energy relatively slowly, such as meat, fish, eggs, green vegetables, nuts, beans and lentils.
While caffeine can lift our energies, what goes up must come down. Regular users of caffeine can suffer from problems associated with caffeine withdrawal, one prominent feature of which is fatigue.
Inefficient, shallow breathing
is thought to lead to under-oxygenation of the body, which can cause energy levels to stall. Learning the art of deep breathing from the belly (diaphragmatic breathing) can help boost energy and wellbeing.
Take Sufficient Magnesium
Magnesium plays a critical role in the reactions that generate energy within the body, and evidence suggests that many of us are not getting enough. Good dietary sources include nuts and green vegetables. However, supplementation at a dose of about 400mg a day will help.
Ensure Adequate Iron
Iron is an essential blood-building nutrient that is required to prevent anemia. However, even in the absence of anemia, low iron levels can cause fatigue and low mood.
Take Siberian Ginseng
This herb enhances the health of the adrenal glands, the chief organs responsible for dealing with stress, and may help to pick up energy levels when the pressure is on. Take 300-400mg of concentrated herb extract each day for six to eight weeks at a time. Siberian ginseng is not suitable for pregnant or breast-feeding women, or for those suffering from high blood pressure.
If you are groggy in the morning or nod off in front of the television, chances are you are suffering from 'sleep debt'. Need for sleep is an individual matter, but about eight hours a night is right for most of us.
Some of us feel most tired when we're not doing much. Many individuals find that keeping up an active lifestyle helps to keep energy levels buoyant. This needn't mean trips to the gym: walking, cycling, gardening or other recreational activities done on a regular basis can do wonders to promote feelings of vitality and wellbeing.