Two Natural Ways to Fight Fatigue
You yawn and look at your watch… It is two o’clock and you have to be ready to tee off in forty five minutes. Your heart says you can’t wait to play golf but your body is feeling heavy and your brain is having a hard time getting in gear. You begin to hope it will rain. This is an all too common feeling. At certain points of the day you feel tired. Or maybe you just can’t finish 18 holes with as much vigor as you used to. You just don’t have the energy.
Like a car or cell phone battery, our bodies can be replenished of energy when we need it. However, it is not as simple as plugging our phone into an outlet for a few minutes for it to recharge. Instead, we must be aware of where our energy comes from and how we can get more of it. So how do we fill up our tanks, so to say? Below we will dig into two ways you can fight fatigue and feel more energized.
You are sitting on the couch – tired – the last thing you want to do is get up and walk around the block. Nevertheless, YOU SHOULD! Why? Because exercise fights fatigue in several different ways. First, when you exercise your body creates more mitochondria. Mitochondria convert glucose and fat into a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is your cells’ source of energy. We only store a small amount of ATP but our bodies can create more when needed. In fact, exercise triggers your body to create more ATP which in turn gives you more energy. It is a win, win! Second, when you work out your body releases epinephrine and norepinephrine. The amount induced by exercise makes you feel energized. Along with this, exercise boosts levels of endorphins which are “mood lifters” and make you feel more awake. Finally, exercise is the only proven way to increase the amount of sleep you get. Studies show that exercise improves the amount of time you spend in deep sleep and REM sleep.
What kind of exercise is right for you? That depends on how much exercise you have been doing. It’s important to remember that it is never too late to start exercising. If you are reading this and wondering if exercise will cure your draining energy levels, start with a walk around the block and gradually build up from there. Experts say that when it comes to aerobic exercise, if you can talk easily during it, increase the level of effort. If you cannot carry on a conversation at all, back off a little. If you are wondering what kind of exercise is best for you, call us today or check with your doctor for advice based on your own health history.
Eat Energy Giving Foods
Caffeine and energy drinks can provide you a temporary lift. Unfortunately, as you may have discovered, after a few hours you often find yourself more tired than you were before you consumed them. Although a cup or two of coffee can still offer some rewards, it is important to understand which foods can provide your body with lasting energy. When choosing foods, it is crucial to not only look at how many calories the food has but more importantly the source of the calories. To fuel our bodies we need adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, proteins, healthy fats, and a mix of unrefined or minimally refined carbohydrates.
Choosing foods for what they provide your body is a mindset and something that most Americans can improve on. The type of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat can affect how you feel. For example, try to avoid highly refined carbohydrates and choose instead complex carbohydrates, such as high-fiber whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and most vegetables. These take longer to break down, so your blood sugar levels rise and fall more gradually. In addition, essential fatty acids, which are highly concentrated in the brain, support cognitive performance, providing an energy boost. Essential fatty acids include the omega-3 fatty acids- found in fish, flaxseeds, soybeans, walnuts, and canola oil. They are called “essential” because your body cannot manufacture them from other nutrients; they must be acquired through food or supplements.
Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can cause feelings of fatigue. Low levels in the following contribute to decreased energy: iron, vitamin B12, magnesium, and vitamin D. It is important to note that if your levels are normal for these vitamins and minerals, taking more will not give you more energy. At Lake Country Medical Concierge we can do blood work to test your vitamin and mineral levels. If you are having unexplained drowsiness, call us today and we can help you determine if you are suffering from a deficiency.