Fight off fatigue
Sometimes fatigue hits us at an inopportune moment and though you may want to take a nap, it’s just not an option. So, what can you do to boost your energy throughout the day?
Beat the 3 p.m. slump
A walk might help beat afternoon fatigue, or what’s known as the 3 p.m. slump, according to CNBC. Other suggestions include having a low-carb, high-protein breakfast and lunch to avoid a spike in blood sugar, and listening to music to boost your concentration levels.
Getting the blood flowing is a good way to feel more energized. You can try stretching at your desk or going for a quick walk, or, if you have time, doing a more focused workout.
If you’re looking for workouts to do when you’re tired, Aaptiv suggests yoga, Pilates, dancing and light weight lifting to name a few. As a WW member you have access to curated Aaptiv content, right in your app!
Other ways to increase your overall energy levels naturally, according to Harvard Health, include the following:
- Manage stress – try talking to a friend about what’s bothering you, doing yoga or meditating
- Don’t overwork yourself
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol intake
- Use caffeine wisely – Harvard Health says while caffeine does help increase alertness, it has to be used wisely because it can cause insomnia when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m.
To prevent fatigue altogether, Monisha Bhanote, MD, FASCP, FCAP, triple board-certified physician and Yoga Medicine® instructor, suggests taking a holistic approach.
It’s important to examine your lifestyle, looking at nutrition, sleep and exercise, which can all be contributing factors to fatigue, she says.
“Diet plays a significant part in our energy levels,” says Bhanote.
“The western diet, which is rich in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and pro-inflammatory ingredients, can overwhelm our body, resulting in fatigue, which can be one of the first signs of developing chronic diseases. These foods do not provide the nutrients necessary for the body’s cellular processes to function properly,” she says.
“Our energy is sustained by the production of ATP [adenosine triphosphate] from our mitochondria and we are responsible for providing this support through nutrition,” Bhanote says. “Eliminating processed foods and reducing sugar can alleviate the blood sugar spike that can result in fatigue.”
She suggests eating a plant-predominant, whole foods diet that supplies a combination of proteins, fats, and low-glycemic index carbohydrates.
Bhanote also suggests getting your nutrient and vitamin levels checked as some deficiencies can cause fatigue. A combination of a well-balanced diet and target supplementation may help if that’s the case, she says.
Regular exercise is a great way to maintain energy levels and reap a bunch of other benefits, from better sleep to improved mental health.
“Our body wants to move and that movement provides natural endorphins in our body and increases blood circulation, which in turn provides all the nutrients to our organs,” Bhanote explains.
“Also, you want to check how much water you are drinking,” says Bhanote.
“Dehydration can be a cause of fatigue and can also cause headaches.”