There are many reasons why people experience fatigue, including health conditions like anaemia, a busy work life and big life changes, like moving house or bereavement. Some try to combat this by taking naps during the day, however, this can impact the overall sleep pattern and result in difficulty getting proper shut-eye.
Being fatigued can also make you depend on foods rich in carbohydrates to get your regular energy back, but this can lead to unwanted weight gain and other negative side effects.
Instead, here are a few ways to break the fatigue cycle and encourage a happier and healthier lifestyle.
1. Use natural remedies
Many people turn to natural solutions to help them reduce tiredness and fatigue, one of which involves applying peppermint or rosemary oil on the skin to invigorate the body. The latter especially is, according to Base Formula, a “cephalic (mind-clearing) and stimulating oil” that is great for “fatigue caused by a tired mind” by increasing blood flow to the cerebrum — the part of the brain responsible for muscle function.
More recently, individuals have discovered products containing CBD — a compound found in the hemp plant that’s distinct from THC (in that, it won’t get you high). CBD is popular as it may potentially support sleep. Naturally, this may help any fatigue symptoms you’re experiencing. This is likely due to the compound’s influence on our endocannabinoid system, which is thought to help our body balance its different systems, like the immune and endocrine. The balancing act is also called homeostasis, and a lack of balance can sometimes be responsible for our excessive feelings of tiredness.
CBD is commonly ingested as oil, but is also taken in capsules and is available in drink form. Before you embark on this wellness trend though, it’s wise to consider how it may impact you individually. As the gurus at TRIP explain: “an individual’s metabolism, diet, weight and genetics could play a role in the period of time it takes for CBD to come into effect”.
2. Watch what you eat and drink
We’re all familiar with the advice that certain foods will drain us of our energy. While carbs like rice, pasta and bread are an essential source of fuel for our body, it is important to make sure we’re eating complex versions, such as, whole grains and legumes, rather than the simple ones like sweets, cereals and syrups. This is because they’re more likely to cause energy spikes that result in a ‘crash’.
Avoiding processed foods altogether is a healthy option generally, but for fatigue symptoms especially so. As a general rule, make sure you’re consuming enough fresh fruits and vegetables, because these contain all the necessary nutrients your body needs to work at full capacity. Sticking to lean proteins like chicken, turkey and fish is also better for fighting fatigue compared to marbled red meat like beef. This is because they allow the body to regulate its energy from carbohydrates and fats more effectively, and do not contain saturated fats, which can make you feel tired.
3. Get physically active
We’re not talking about hardcore sprints or gym workouts (unless that’s your thing) here, as these may make you feel more exhausted. However, according to Creaky Joints, researchers found that “when patients added some daily exercise, it reduced muscle loss and substantially improved their function without making their symptoms worse or causing a flare-up of their arthritis”.
Aerobic exercise like walking, swimming or cycling, have been shown to reduce fatigue by boosting our endorphin levels, oxygenating the blood for enhanced energy. Stretching is hugely beneficial too, as it helps blood to reach muscles that are stiff or achey. Low-impact, low-key movements such as Yoga or Pilates may be useful after a long day, or even a novel workout like Barre. As noted by Naturally Sassy: ”Barre is inspired by ballet principles, while also taking elements from yoga and Pilates to create a low-impact, high-intensity workout.”
4. Stay hydrated
There’s no use searching for a silver bullet if you haven’t got the fundamentals covered already. Simply making sure that you are well-hydrated throughout the day can have a huge impact on your fatigue, since water is vital for transporting nutrients to your cells, as well as removing any waste. Remember, around 50-60% of your body weight is water. However, this is persistently lost through urinating, breathing and sweating. When you are low on fluids, you may find yourself feeling tired and feeble.
It’s also a good idea to eat H2O-rich food, such as fruit and vegetables, and be mindful of diuretics such as caffeine or alcohol. As explained by Everyday Health, “diuretics in general trigger your kidneys to release sodium in your urine, which then takes water from your blood, helping you urinate out excess water”. Therefore, they can contribute to dehydration. If you’re feeling fatigued then your common sense may already have told you to cut down on the booze, but you can also lose important water content from your body from too much coffee. Calculating the absolute minimum you need and going from there is a safe way to prevent any excess fluid loss.