We live in a society of tired and worn out people. Many people have desk jobs or sit around all day, which while not using much actual energy, tends to make us feel zapped and more tired because physical movement begets energy. We run around from work to chores to home where we face more chores without the needed energy to accomplish these tasks. We spend weekends stuck to gaming systems, television screens, or mobile devices and spend little time in the fresh air.
We spend time wishing we had more energy. We take unhealthy shortcuts by downing energy drinks to keep us going, not realizing that these drinks contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine that have landed many people in hospital emergency rooms. The energy drink industry, which nets an estimated $10 billion per year, is resulting in a rising number of patients, many of whom are young, being treated in emergency rooms for serious complications related to the high intake of caffeine in energy drinks.
According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, visits to hospitals because of energy drink complications doubled from 2007 to 2011. More than twenty thousand emergency room visits cited energy drinks as the primary cause of the health condition being treated, including headaches, anxiety, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks.
Many of us are overweight and partake in a diet filled with processed fake food that does not nourish our bodies and only weighs us down and makes us tired and sick.
Fortunately, there are natural and effective ways you can combat fatigue and increase your energy and vitality. Some of these techniques and habits can also slow the process of aging.
Let us explore some of those techniques and habits…
1. Make sure something is not physically wrong.
There are several physical reasons why you might have chronic fatigue, from thyroid disease, anemia, sleep apnea, heart disease, to arthritis. The only way you can determine if any of these are the problem is to visit your doctor and be evaluated for these diseases. Many can be treated or reversed so that you can gain your energy back.
2. Pay attention to the medications you are taking.
Many medications have fatigue as a side effect, and only a few of them have this side effect wear off after continued use. If you feel especially tired after starting a medication, talk to your doctor to see if anything can be done.
3. Try exercise.
While it would seem logical that exercise would make fatigue worse, actually the opposite is true. Being physically active tends to boost your energy levels, not to mention maximizes the function of many of your body’s organs. Exercise can help you lose weight, which can further significantly increase your energy. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, less than 5% of adults participate in thirty minutes of physical activity each day. More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for aerobic activity that is known to increase energy and vitality, especially as we age.
4. Try yoga.
Yoga is one exercise that has been shown to improve confidence, lessen fatigue, and clear the mind. Many types of yoga are ideal for just about any fitness level. Research has shown that yoga has been found to be helpful to men and women over the age of 65, who generally have an issue with fatigue.
5. Stay hydrated.
Keep a water bottle filled and chilled for more energy by fighting dehydration. Research on athletes has shown that being dehydrated zaps the energy from their activity. Even if you are not athletic, staying hydrated with water will give you that added bit of energy you deserve.
6. Get plenty of sleep.
The best way to get enough sleep is to go to bed early and get at least seven to nine hours of sleep. In one 2004 study, it was found that people who got adequate sleep were more vigorous and reported less fatigue. Naps are another way to freshen up your energy level. Try for short naps, no longer than thirty minutes. Any longer than that and you could have difficulty sleeping during the night. One study showed that a nap followed by a small quantity of caffeine such as a five ounce cup of coffee or tea can restore your energy even more.
7. Try Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids can boost energy and help you to have quicker mental reaction times. Most people are familiar with fish oil as a source of Omega 3’s, but they can also be found in plant-based sources, like ground flaxseed and walnuts. To increase your intake of flaxseed and walnuts, you can add them to baked potatoes, salads, granola, and more, provided you do not have an allergy or intolerance to these foods.
8. Become aware of your personal circadian rhythm.
Everyone is different in terms of when they have the most energy. Find out if you are a morning person or a night owl, and work with it instead of against it. If you have especially demanding activities to do, choose to do them when you have the most energy.
9. Lose weight.
Carrying around extra weight can be exhausting, and the only way to rid yourself of that exhaustion is to start a healthy exercise and diet program that will help you shed pounds and feel more vigorous. If you need help putting together a diet program or meal plan, please contact me, so we can discuss your needs and situation.
10. Do not overeat.
Large meals zap you of energy because the body needs to use a lot of energy to digest them. Think about a time you ate at a buffet, where everyone naturally eats too much food, versus a smaller meal. More likely than not, when you left the buffet you felt exhausted and wishing someone would wheel you out of there, versus the energy you would have felt after a healthy whole food meal. Eating a variety of whole foods in reasonable amounts will keep your blood sugar from fluctuating, giving you steady amounts of energy throughout the day.
How do you combat fatigue? Please share in the comments below.