Chronic Fatigue? Here’s 8 Tips to Help
It’s barely 8 p.m., but you can’t keep your eyes open. Your 3 p.m. slump requires shuteye, but your boss hasn’t embraced the nap-pod craze yet. How can you get more energy to power through your day when fatigue constantly sneaks up on you?
Some people do have a legitimate, though little-understood disorder called chronic fatigue syndrome, but millions more suffer from exhaustion they can’t pinpoint. If you feel tired all the time, it can adversely impact your quality of life. Here are eight tips to banish overwhelming tiredness and get back to feeling your best.
1. Take a Break
Could you imagine performing biceps curls — for eight hours nonstop? Few people would even entertain the thought while thinking nothing of doing the same to their brain during the workday.
Researchers from the United States Army Research Institute found that your body’s ultradian rhythms run in 90-minute cycles. Therefore, that’s how often you should come up for air.
What you do during your downtime matters. If you work on the computer, scrolling social media won’t do the trick. Instead, get up, take a walk, grab a healthy snack or chit-chat with a colleague.
2. Get Your B-Vitamins
One reason Americans and people in some other developed countries often experience chronic fatigue is due to nutritional deficiencies. While many get more than enough caloric intake, the processing that white flour and many other foods undergo strips them of vital nutrients, like vitamin B-12.
Supplementation is one way to remedy this problem, but you might not get full benefits from a pill if you struggle with absorption. Fortunately, you can find intravenous cocktails infused with a potent blend of B-vitamins and other nutrients. By delivering these substances directly to your bloodstream, they can immediately aid in red blood cell production and boost your energy levels.
3. Test Your Iron Levels
Pernicious anemia refers to the inability to absorb sufficient amounts of vitamin B-12 due to a lack of intrinsic factor in your intestines. However, even if you don’t have an autoimmune or inflammatory bowel disease, you might be deficient in iron, a mineral crucial for energy.
Your doctor can order a blood test to check for this condition. However, if you lack health coverage, you can also find at-home test kits that let you monitor your levels. Since this mineral occurs in red meat, vegans and vegetarians are at risk — they should up their spinach intake or consider supplementing.
4. Eat a Plant-Based Diet
One reason that diet plans like Atkins make the bestseller list is that they focus on upping your consumption of foods that your body struggles to digest. It takes your body more energy to digest meat — oomph that you don’t have to power you through daily tasks.
However, if a negative calorie burn is your goal, you can chow down on plant-based foods like watermelon, celery, and cucumber, which likewise burn more to digest than you consume. Plus, plants are rich in phytonutrients, substances that benefit human health and boost energy levels.
If you have low energy, the last thing you might feel like doing is hitting up a Zumba class. However, if you force yourself to go, you’ll feel perkier when you emerge unless your fatigue resulted from running a marathon.
One way to overcome mental resistance to working out when you feel tired is to commit to fitness for only five to ten minutes. Tell yourself that you can stop after that time. In most cases, you’ll find the energy to continue once you get your blood flowing.
6. Shake Up Your Routine
Sometimes, a slight variation from the norm is all you need to restore your mojo. When you do something new, it elevates dopamine levels in your brain. A lack of this neurochemical can cause apathy, fatigue and lack of focus.
Try deviating from your standard commute when you drive home from work. If you always walk a mile for exercise before breakfast, try alternating brief jogs or riding your bike instead.
7. Practice Yoga and Meditation
A significant cause of excess fatigue stems from stress. When you feel overwhelmed for a prolonged period, your levels of cortisol increase. This stress hormone boosts energy levels in the short-term, but over the long haul, it tells your body to brace itself for a prolonged onslaught by increasing appetite and making you feel lazy. In severe cases, it can lead you to develop Cushing’s syndrome, often characterized by excessive abdominal weight despite skinny arms and legs.
How can you tame the tension? Two of the best natural, side-effect-free methods are yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation offer amazing benefits to our bodies and minds. Begin by incorporating a few minutes when you wake up and before going to bed. You may find you love it so much that you expand your practice.
8. Make Your Bedroom Conducive to Sleep
Finally, blue lights from electronics screens interfere with melatonin production. This vital sleep hormone tells your body when to go under, but you could toss and turn all night if you scroll Facebook in bed. Ban these devices, including TVs, from your bedroom if you struggle with insomnia.
Another way to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly is to eliminate excess light and sound. Blackout curtains can prove indispensable for urban dwellers exposed to flashing neons. Carpeting helps absorb sound, and a suspended drop ceiling can cut the clatter of your upstairs neighbor’s heavy steps on her tile floors.
Beat Back Chronic Fatigue With These 8 Tips
If you feel tired all the time, consider talking with your physician if you fear an underlying condition may play a role. Otherwise, the eight tips above should help you beat chronic fatigue and return the spring to your step!
Looking for more concrete help? Find a health and wellness professional that specializes in fatigue near you.
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