Fatigue is defined as "extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness". Many people feel extremely low on energy and lack the drive or enthusiasm to do anything beyond the basics. Forget new recipes to try or a new book to start, you're usually overcome with a strong desire to sleep or rest - so much that it affects your day-to-day activities.
Our busy lifestyles and schedules also play a big role in this. Intense work pressure (even when working from home), emotional stress, lack of sleep, large meals without control also at erratic hours can all contribute to this feeling of being 'low on energy'. But there are ways in which you can fight back.
First, be sure to consult a doctor about your fatigue sensations if you feel there could be medical reasons for it. But other than this, a few lifestyle changes right at home can make a huge difference. These can be related to our food, what we drink, our sleeping habits, and our levels of physical activity.
For starters, you need a healthy diet. One that has a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. You need to significantly reduce high fat, high sugar, and high salt foods. Women in particular, need to have more iron-rich foods in their meal plans to combat iron deficiency. Check your food portion sizes. Large meals tend to drain us of energy. (We all know about the dreaded post-lunch slumps). Huge gaps between the traditional 3 meals are another reason for wider swings in energy levels. Along with this, remember, skipping meals is a no-no. So, start your day with breakfast. Make fun energy-rich smoothies or a healthy carb-rich breakfast made of cereals or wholegrain bread.
This golden old advice still holds true - drink enough water. Your body needs to be constantly hydrated. Even small levels of dehydration can zap you. Make sure you're having your daily quota of water. Avoid excess caffeinated, carbonated and excessively sweetened drinks. Make sure to add fruit juices into your hydrating mix. Try energy drinks (not heavily sweetened or carbonated) like Prolyte that offer nutrients and electrolytes to keep you feeling fresher and more active for longer.
Your body could be at rest the whole day and you may still experience exhaustion. This comes from sitting in one place and working. Mental exertion is real. In our chase for meeting deadlines and 'doing things' for a fulfilling life, we forget to take adequate rest at times. Our brains are not designed for constant stimulation. To remain fresh and active, it needs regular amounts of downtime. So, make sure you're getting enough sleep. Try to be regular with these timings. Allow your body and mind time to recover from the exertions of the day.
More physical activity
This is a very important part of beating fatigue. It may seem counterintuitive that we're asking you to sweat it out when you're already tired. The main reason for this is that sometimes the exhaustion has no underlying health issues causing it. Your body needs a jolt of energy to get back on top. Exercise can help here. It also helps you sleep better. What's more, you can meet other fitness goals that you've always wanted - like getting in shape.
After exercise, it is natural that you will feel a little tired. Your body has lost water and electrolytes. Your muscles might ache. But your mind will be fresh. It will feel active and energised. To take this feeling further, you need to make sure you rehydrate with water and/or energy drinks to recover lost fluids, minerals, and electrolytes. Homemade energy drinks, smoothies, or healthy packed ones like Prolyte can help you do just that.
A changed perspective
Once you've started, you'll start to notice a marked improvement in your state of mind and moods. You will be mentally alert and better placed to deal with the stresses of the weeks that are to come. Get started today!