Tired of feeling sluggish? Struggling to make it through the day at work? There are many factors that play into fatigue, but in most cases, you can fight off fatigue with these simple tips.
A good workout is one of the best things you can do if you’re feeling drained. Physical activity causes your heart to pump more oxygen and nutrients into your blood stream, which will make you feel more energetic. Exercise also prompts your body to produce endorphins (a.k.a. “feel good” hormones). To jump start your day, spend 30-60 minutes exercising in the morning before work. Don’t have time for a long workout? A quick, 10-minute power walk can give you enough energy to get you through the next few hours. If you’ve got an after-lunch meeting, take a walk during your lunch break to rev up your mind and give you an energy boost before you step into your meeting.
Just 10 to 20 minutes outside is all you need to feel more awake and alert. Exposure to the sun is one of the best ways to get a boost of vitamin D, one of the essential nutrients needed for energy. Slip on your sneakers and take your after-lunch walk outside. Or if you have an afternoon meeting scheduled with one or two others, plan an outdoor meeting. If you aren’t able to step outdoors for a few minutes, open the shades in your office to let in the sunlight.
If you aren’t eating regular, healthy meals, it's no wonder you’re feeling fatigued. Always start your day with a balanced breakfast of complex carbs, protein and a little fat. To keep your blood sugar up throughout the day, eat mini-meals. Nutrients in food wake your brain and body up. When you eat the right foods, your body turns it into energy. Nutrients that restore energy and reduce fatigue include omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Focus on filling up on fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains and lean protein sources and skip the sugar. Need a brain-boosting snack? Studies show that eating omega-3 fatty acids can boost brain function and improve mood. Grab some edamame or a handful of walnuts for a quick snack.
You’ll wear out more quickly if your body is dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you and drink water throughout the day. Adults should drink get at least 64 ounces of water every day. If you get tired of plain water, try flavored, zero-calorie water enhancers and skip the sugary drinks. Consuming sugar may give you a temporary rush of energy, but your energy levels will soon crash. Despite the name, energy drinks are also not the best choice if you’re looking for a healthy energy boost. The high amount of caffeine in energy drinks can actually be dangerous for your heart. If you want to stay energized throughout the day, water is the best option for your energy and health.
It may go without saying, but sleep is essential for your energy levels and your health. Adults should get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. The reality is that many of us get far less. Power down the electronics at least one hour before bedtime to give your brain time to unwind, and cut caffeine after 2 pm, as caffeine is a stimulant that stays in your blood stream for about eight hours. Cool down your body (set your thermostat to between 65° and 75° and keep the ceiling fan on) to help trigger melatonin production, which induces sleep. Turn on a white noise sound machine to help you tune out barking dogs, cars and other disturbances that may keep you awake.
If you suffer from severe fatigue and struggle to stay awake even after trying these tips, make an appointment to see your doctor. For help finding an Goshen Health Family Medicine provider, click here.
Posted: 12/28/2015 by
Filed under: energy, exercise, natural, new, resolutions, years