Fatigue is a feeling that you're chronically tired - mentally and physically.
It can be caused by a number of factors, including unhealthy lifestyle choices, workplace problems, and stress.
There are many different ways you can boost your energy but see your health practitioner first to make sure you don't have an underlying medical problem.
Food, which gives us energy, is broken down by the digestive system. Some elements, such as water, are absorbed through the stomach. The rest is absorbed through the small intestine.
The body's preferred energy source is glucose, from carbohydrates, but it can also use fatty acids (from fats) and amino acids (from proteins). Glucose is delivered to virtually every cell in the body by the bloodstream and is then burned with oxygen to produce energy. Hormones control every step in this process; for example, the pancreas makes the hormone insulin, which helps to control blood sugar levels.
If you want more energy, look at your diet and make sure you're following these basic guidelines:
· Drink lots of water. A dehydrated body functions less efficiently.
· Be careful with caffeine. 1 or 2 caffeinated drinks per day like coffee, tea or cola can boost your energy and mental alertness, but more than 6 caffeinated drinks per day may make you anxious, irritable, and negatively affect your performance. Often energy drinks cause a crash when the caffeine wears off. The proprietary blend on labels means “don’t know what’s really in here”, so be warned!
· Eat breakfast. Food boosts your metabolism and gives your body energy to burn. The brain relies on glucose for fuel, so choose carbohydrate-rich breakfast foods such as cereals or whole-grain bread.
· Don't skip meals. Going without food for too long allows blood sugar levels to dip. Try to eat regularly to maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
· Don't crash diet. Low-calorie diets or diets that severely restrict carbohydrates don't contain enough energy for your body's needs. The typical crash diet also deprives the body of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
· Eat a healthy diet. Increase the amount of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy products and lean meats in your diet. Reduce the amount of high fat, high sugar and high salt foods.
· Don't overeat. Large meals can drain your energy. Instead of eating 3 big meals per day, try eating 6 mini-meals to spread your calorie intake more evenly. This will result in more constant blood sugar and insulin levels. You'll also find it easier to lose excess body fat.
· Eat iron-rich foods. Women, in particular, are prone to iron-deficiency (anemia). Make sure your diet includes iron-rich foods such as lean red meat.
· Watch sugar intake. Taking in too much sugar will cause a blood sugar spike. Once your sugars drop you experience what is called a “crash”. This crash is often mistaken for unexplained fatigued when it is just your body responding to the sugar overload you gave it earlier. Since sugar is addictive, you most likely take in high levels of sugar at the same time each day causing this crash to occur at similar times daily… causing confusion as to why you are so tired, and often blaming other factors for your fatigue.
Try this amazing nutrient-dense soup to enhance your energy! Comforting, hearty bean soups are filling and satisfying. When you puree the tender beans, you get a creamy, ultra-comforting bowl of goodness, without an ounce of dairy. You save steps by simply pureeing the spinach with the hot beans, so you don’t even need to chop it.
Creamy White Bean and Broccoli Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can white beans
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound broccoli florets
2 cups baby spinach or kale
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
red onions (to garnish)
dairy or non-dairy yogurt (optional garnish)
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat, and sauté the onions for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat up to medium, and add in the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Then pour in the white wine, stir and cook for 1 minute. Then stir again and simmer for 2 minutes or until the wine has mostly evaporated.
Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan. Then add in the broth, broccoli, greens, parsley, salt and pepper, and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green and tender throughout.
Then transfer the cooked broccoli and bean soup into a blender and blend until completely smooth. You may need to do so in small batches.
Serve warm with a sprinkle of red onions, more parsley and black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and dollop of yogurt if you desire.
A common cause of fatigue is not enough sleep, or poor quality sleep. Suggestions include:
· Get enough sleep. Adults need about 6-8 hours per night.
• Avoid oversleeping. More evidence is showing that spending an excessive amount of time in bed is also linked with health hazards. In some ways, adults who sleep more than 9-10 hours each night could have an increase of other risk factors such as increased risks of stroke, heart disease and depression…but more commonly other studies have also found memory impairments and decreased cognitive function with longer sleep.
Power Nap: 10 to 20 minutes
Most sleep experts agree that if you want to have a quick jolt of alertness and vigor and/or decrease fatigue, take a 10- to 20-minute nap. So, for example, if you are taking a road trip and begin feeling drowsy, with no Red Bull in sight, pull over to the side of the road and take a quick nap–it packs a big punch!
Grogginess Nap: 30 minutes
Some studies have shown that when you take a longer nap, the effects of sleep inertia begin settling in after you wake up. This is the brief period of grogginess you feel when you first wake up in the morning. Your body is still in a state of rest and parts of your brain are not fully awake yet.
DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON!
How you wake up is just as important as the amount and the quality of sleep you get. Scientists have recently discovered that when you hit the snooze button it has a negative impact on productivity that can last 4-6 hours.
We sleep in cycles that take about 90-110 minutes to complete. About 2 hours before we wake p these sleep cycles end and your body prepare to wake up. When your alarm rings, your body is in wake-up-mode. If you hit the snooze button and drift back into sleep you force yourself into another sleep cycle that is 90-110 minutes in length. When the alarm goes off 15 minutes later, the part of your brain that is responsible for decision making, alertness, and self-control is still in the sleep cycle. It is unable to snap awake- it NEEDS 75 more minutes to finish what the snooze button has started. This is called “sleep inertia”.
Sleep scientists have discovered that it can take 4-6 hours for this sleep inertia to wear off and your cognitive functions to return to their full capacity. This is why you feel out-of-it and sleepy after hitting snooze. In that case, on days you hit the snooze button… unless you can snooze for 90 minutes you are setting yourself up for a groggy day.
· Limit caffeine. Too much caffeine, especially in the evening, can cause insomnia. Limit caffeinated drinks to 5 or fewer per day, and avoid these types of drinks after dinner.
· Learn how to relax. A common cause of insomnia is fretting while lying in bed. Experiment with different relaxation techniques until you find one or two that work for you; for example, you could think of a restful scene, focus on your breathing, or even meditation.
· Avoid sleeping pills. Sleeping pills don't work in the long term because they don't address the causes of insomnia.
· Avoid reading or watching TV in bed. This often stimulates thinking and causes brain activity that may interrupt sleep.
· Leave your phone in the kitchen! Often we get up at night and check our phones, or we get woken by alerts or curiosity of social media posts in the middle of the night.
· Don't smoke. Cigarette smoke contains many harmful substances. There are many reasons why smokers typically have lower energy than non-smokers. For example, the body needs to combine glucose with oxygen to make energy, but carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen available.
· Vaping can cause stimulation of heart rate making it more difficult to sleep as well.
· Limit the time you sit down. Reduce sedentary behaviors such as watching television and using computers.
· Increase physical activity. Physical activity boosts energy levels, while a sedentary lifestyle is known to cause fatigue. Being active has many healthy effects on the body and mind. It reduces blood pressure, helps to maintain a healthy weight, and is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. A good bout of exercise also helps you sleep better at night. “A tired puppy is a well behaved puppy”
· Seek advice. If you haven't exercised in a long time, are obese, are over age 40 or have a chronic medical condition, seek advice from your doctor or health practitioner regarding small steps you can take towards a more active lifestyle. Energy breeds energy. It is a proven fact.
· Seek treatment for substance abuse if you need it. Excessive alcohol consumption or recreational drug use contributes to fatigue. It's also potentially dangerous.
· Workplace issues. Demanding jobs, conflicts at work and burnout are common causes of fatigue. Take steps to address your work problems. A good place to start is to talk with your human resources officer.
Studies suggest that between 50 and 80% of fatigue cases are mainly due to psychological factors. Suggestions include:
· Assess your lifestyle. Are you putting yourself under unnecessary stress? Are there ongoing problems in your life that may be causing prolonged anxiety or depression? It may help to seek professional counseling to work out a family, career or personal issues.
· Relaxation training. Constant anxiety drains the body of energy and can lead to burnout. Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga, help to 'switch off' adrenaline and allow your body and mind to recover.
· Learn to do nothing. A hectic lifestyle is exhausting. Try to carve out a few more hours in your week to simply relax and hang out. If you can't find a few more hours, it may be time to rethink your priorities and commitments.
· Focus on the positive…even in the worst situations looks for a silver lining. It is hard to do, but stress management is essential in proper mental health.
· Have more fun. Are you so preoccupied with commitments and pressures that you don't give yourself enough time for fun? Laughter is one of the best energy boosters around.
Banish the mid-afternoon energy slump checklist
Most people feel drowsy after lunch. This mid-afternoon drop in energy levels is linked to the brain's circadian rhythm and is 'hard-wired' into the human body. Preventing this drop in energy may be impossible, but there are ways to reduce the slump, here is your checklist:
NUTRITION- HYDRATION- MINDSET
1. Never ever hit snooze. Even if you didn’t get the best night's sleep or enough sleep…hitting that snooze button is setting you up for a sleepy day.
2. Proper diet. You are what you eat. You can not expect a car to run on fumes, so don’t expect your body to run on chips and brownies. Protein-rich, complex carbs and healthy fats will keep your engine running smoothly.
3. Move around! Energy breeds energy. Think of the toddler who is bouncing of the walls all day long. It’s because they are moving! Try it, the more you move, the more you will feel like moving. Take a walk…sunshine and fresh air will do the trick.
4. Laugh a little. Life is crazy and hectic. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to stay positive even when things are rough. Stress is an evil monster and it will take you down and wear you out. When dealing with stress you need that energy to get you through!
5. Hydrate. Think of the wilted old flower in the pot on your front porch that just needs a little H2O. The second you quench its thirst it will perk up… and so will you!
SPRING GetuGreat 2020
STARTS MARCH 22